Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS)


Staff members provide confidential assessment and brief counseling/therapy for students whose concerns range from the normal challenges of everyday life to more disruptive psychological concerns to concerns about friends or family members. Any problem is an appropriate to talk over with a counselor, including:

  • Academic performance
  • Family, friend and partner relationships
  • Self-esteem
  • Stress
  • Loss of an important relationship
  • Illness or death of a loved one
  • Sexual orientation
  • Problems with Depression or Anxiety
  • Eating and body image concerns
  • Sexual assault and violence
  • Race, ethnicity, nationality, or other cultural identity
  • Gender identity

Individual Counseling

Individual counseling can help the individual student explore, understand, and work through difficulties on a one-to-one basis with a CAPS counselor. Seeking support is a sign of a resourceful student, one able to know when it's time to take action in order to move through the challenges of life here at Duke. Often, simply having an objective person with whom to discuss things brings about a fresh perspective and a renewed sense of strength and confidence. Other times, the process helps students recognize different options. 

For questions or to schedule an appointment, call 919-660-1000.

Psychiatric Services

CAPS has three licensed, Board-certified psychiatrists who have completed specialty training in psychopharmacology and psychotherapy.  CAPS psychiatrists offer limited psychotherapy, psychiatric consultation within the Duke community, medication evaluations, ongoing medication management within the scope of CAPS services, and referrals for needs that fall outside the scope of care that CAPS provides.

Medication management can include treatment for depression, anxiety, difficulty sleeping, eating problems, and more. We do not evaluate or treat students for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, but we can help with appropriate referral when this is a concern.

Students commonly first meet with one of our therapists before being referred to a CAPS psychiatrist for a medication evaluation. However, students who know their needs will include consideration of medications may request that their initial visit is with one of the psychiatrists. Because we schedule a full hour for the initial medication evaluation and then always schedule half-hour follow-up visits for anyone for whom we prescribe medicine, at times there may be a wait to see a psychiatrist. However, emergency slots are available during the week for urgent medication needs.

For questions or to schedule an appointment, call 919-660-1000.

Group Counseling

Group counseling provides a safe place to examine how others experience you, and allows participants to implement insights and practice relational skills in a safe group setting. Group Counseling is professionally facilitated toward a supportive, honest and caring interaction that helps shed light on the universality of your struggles. Often, simply addressing common concerns helps students feel less alone. More importantly, hearing the varied ways in which others have had success can contribute to growth for all group members.

CAPS offers a variety of groups to address the many needs of the Duke student community. Typically, we offer groups for general graduate and professional school students as well as general undergraduate groups.  At times, we may offer groups on specific issues or for particular communities on campus.  Check back to see any updates and additions to our Group Counseling Services.

Groups Offered This Semester
Below are the groups offered this semester. For an informational appointment related to any of these groups, contact CAPS, 919-660-1000.

Undergraduate Interpersonal Group: This group provides undergraduate students with the opportunity to explore and begin improving their relationships.  (Offered routinely)

Graduate Interpersonal Group: This group helps graduate students enhance self-understanding and explore avenues for improving interpersonal relationships. (Offered routinely)

Couples Counseling

CAPS offers couples counseling to Duke students and their partners struggling with frequent conflicts, problems in communication, loss of intimacy, or difficulty managing a shared crisis. The main goal is to help couples gain clarity on the direction of the relationship moving forward. In some cases, couples decide to continue the relationship and enjoy growth and greater closeness as a result of the counseling experience. In other cases, counseling helps couples reach decisions to end their relationship but do in a way that still promotes growth, respect, and appreciation for each other. 

CAPS offers couples counseling to all students, regardless of marital status or sexual orientation. At least one member of the couple seeking couples counseling must be a Duke student.

For questions or to schedule an appointment, call 919-660-1000.


Concerned about a student? or Yourself?

Simply contact our reception staff at (919) 660-1000 to access our consultant.

If you are concerned about a student and wish to speak with a mental health professional about your concerns, CAPS has a consultant available to speak with you by phone or in person.

CAPS schedules times each day so that any student, parent, faculty or staff member concerned about a student (including any student concerned about himself or herself) can consult with one of our mental health professionals. Some common reasons for using our Consultation Services include

  • concern that a student is showing signs of impairment in daily functioning,
  • questions about a student’s development (academically or socially),
  • alarm that a student is showing indications of self-destructive or unusual behaviors,
  • concern about a student whose family is experiencing a crisis
  • need for information about referrals for more specialized services in the community.

In the case of an emergency after hours (after 5pm Monday-Friday, Weekends, and Holidays), call 919-966-3820 and ask to speak to the Advice Nurse.

Career Self-Exploration

Career Focused

Self-Exploration and Assessment

CAPS also offers individual vocational assessment and counseling with our pre-doctoral psychology interns and follow-up referral to the Career Center if the student desires it.

The assessment measures your career related personality traits and interests as well as life values or priorities.  Your interest patterns are compared for similarity to the usual interest patterns held by people in many different careers.  Yet there are questions about the unique aspects of your life that highly individualize the content of the counseling so that the conclusions fit your finest sense of yourself.

duke U CAPS Integrative Health Coaching

duke U-CAPS Integrative Health Coaching.  CAPS offers a unique approach to health coaching that puts YOU at the center of developing and reaching health and lifestyle related goals.  Integrative health coaching customizes an individual plan based on you as a whole person your values, holistic health and life purpose.  Through the coaching process you can determine personal goals in the areas of health, wellness, personal and academic development, social connections and life purpose.  Our health coaches, trained by the Duke Center for Integrative Medicine, support you in setting goals, sustaining action and improving your performance and quality of life.  Individual, group and student group sessions are available.

The Being Well

Quench Your Thirst to Simply Be

A new resource being offered by CAPS is not actually a service or materials ... it's a space.

Duke Students are often so busy--for extended periods of time--that it becomes difficult to remember life that is not so defined by activity and accomplishment.

The Being Well is offered as a space to reflect, to encounter yourself as human being rather than simply a "human doing."