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Services for Graduate & Professional Students

Welcome Graduate and Professional Students! CAPS realizes how busy our graduate and professional students are and we offer a variety of resources to help you manage your multiple demands. Mort Silverman, senior adviser at the National Suicide Prevention Technical Resource Center in Newtown, Massachusetts, indicates that graduate school -- with its competitive climate, relative seclusion in the lab or library, myriad of financial concerns, and constant worries about future employment--is rife with potential psycho-social triggers (US News & World Report, 2005).*

CAPS offers the following services specifically for graduate and profesional students navigate through these challenges. Graduate and professional students who have paid current UCSD registration fees are eligible for services. Below is a list of our offerings.

Individual Counseling
CAPS provides confidential, short-term individual counseling for registered UCSD graduate and professional students, including departments within the Office of Graduate Studies (OGS), Scripps Institution of Oceanography, School of Medicine, Skaggs School of Pharmacy, and Rady School of Business. Please visit our Services page for more detailed information about individual counseling services, appointments, and counseling process. To make an appointment, please call our Central Office at 858-534-3755.

Group & Workshops
CAPS is proud to offer over 20 unique groups, workshops, and forums each quarter. Groups range from traditional psychotherapy groups, to psychoeducational workshops, and drop-in forums. Visit our Groups page for detailed information. Groups and workshops specifically for graduate students include:

  • Resilience: Graduate and Professional School Student Support Forum:
    Fall 2018: Wednesdays, 2-3 pm, (Weeks 2-10), Oct 10 -Dec 5, except 11/21 │ Location: GSA Lounge, Original Student Center (by Triton Food Pantry & Art of Espresso)
    A supportive, drop-in space for graduate and professional school students seeking strategies for resilience, perseverance, and flourishing. Common themes: Stress management, recovering from set-backs, work/life balance, and navigating interpersonal challenges. Contact: Christina Lambert, Ph.D. (858) 534-3035.
  • Graduate and Professional Students of Color Forum.
    Fall 2018:Tuesdays, 1-2 pm, (Weeks 2-10), Oct 9-Dec 4 │ Location: GSA Lounge, Original Student Center (by Triton Food Pantry & Art of Espresso).
    Join us to connect and discuss about various topics from a multicultural lens, which includes managing stress and improving well-being, communication with your advisor(s), dealing with imposter syndrome, family responsibilities, relationships (romantic or social), current sociopolitical climate, experiences of discrimination, etc. For Questions: Contact Dr. Niyatee Sukumaran at (858) 534-9057.
  • Graduate Women in Science & Engineering Forum (WISE).
    Ongoing: Wednesdays 1-2pm
    A support group for women in the science fields where women are underrepresented. Discussion topics are selected by group members. This group will facilitate the development of: 1) a sense of community where each person enjoys a feeling of belonging, 2) support toward the attainment of goals, 3) self-empowerment in creating and maintaining visions for one’s personal and professional life. Contact Dr. Judy Goodman Fermin at 858-534-3755 for more information.
  • Stress Management Series for Graduate & Professional Students.
    Fall 2018: Wednesdays, 1:00-2:00, (Oct 24, Nov 7, Nov 21) | Location: GSA Lounge, Original Student Center (by Triton Food Pantry & Art of Espresso)
    Gain strategies for stress management. Engage in relaxation & mindfulness. Discover the power of self-compassion.
  • Balancing Graduate/Professional School and Your People.
    Fall 2018: Tuesdays, 2:00-3:00 pm (Oct 16-Oct 30) | Location: GSA Lounge, Original Student Center (by Triton Food Pantry & Art of Espresso)
    Having trouble making time for the people in your life while being in graduate/professional school? Learn techniques and strategies for balancing your life to help you flourish! CAPS online registration required http://caps.ucsd.edu/signup. For Questions: Contact Dr. Wesley Kayne at (858) 534-7403.
  • Biofeedback for Graduate & Professional Students.
    Fall 2018: Wednesdays, 1:00-2:00, (Oct 17, Oct 31, Nov 14) | Location: GSA Lounge, Original Student Center (by Triton Food Pantry & Art of Espresso)
    Drop-in for one-on-one consultation with a CAPS clinician. Learn to manage your stress by using relaxation techniques while your physiological markers are monitored. Facilitators: Mind-Che Tu, Ph.D. and Niyatee Sukumaran, Ph.D. . For Questions: Contact Dr. Niyatee Sukumaran at (858) 534-9057.
  • Questioning Career: Designing the Life You Want.
    Winter 2019: Dates/times/location TBD (5 sessions, meets weekly)
    This popular five-session series empowers graduate students and postdoctoral scholars to clarify their career path and create the life they want. Workshops include a variety of dynamic exercises and valuable assessment tools, proven to increase confidence in making career choices congruent with one’s personality, values and strengths. Facilitators: Christina Lambert, Ph.D. and Wesley Kayne, Ph.D.
  • Optimizing Performance & Maintaining Wellness for 2nd Year SOM Students.
    Winter 2019: Dates/times/location/facilitator TBD (3 sessions, meets weekly).
    Support in preparation for Step I. This 3 Session Series will include: Motivational interviewing for goal achievement, Capitalizing on strengths, Managing negative thoughts, Mindfulness for focus, and anxiety reduction, and Peak performance strategies.

CAPS provides referral services for students who are referred to outside providers. Reasons for referrals to outside providers include: need for treatment at a rate that would exceed our short-term service model, or a referral to a specialist for particular conditions. For students with SHIP insuance only, CAPS and Student Health Service administers the paperwork required for referrals. For students without SHIP or are double-covered with another insurance plan, they must comply with referral procedures required by the non-SHIP insurer. CAPS staff will assist in matching the student with a provider who can best meet their treatment goals. If you have any questions about our referral process, please contact our Central Office at (858) 534-3755.

CAPS provides consultation to students who have general mental health questions or concerns about afellow student or friend. We will provide as much assistance as possible. Due to confidentiality laws, however, we may not be able to provide information about your friend if she or he is utilizing our services. For more information about confidentiality limitations, click on the FAQ & Confidentiality tab, or call our Central Office to speak with one of our psychologists at (858) 534-3755.

CAPS staff provide presentations at the campus wide New Graduate Student Orientation, as well as the School of Medicine New Student Orientation and School of Pharmacy New Student Orientation. CAPS also provides workshops for groups of graduate students in UC San Diego’s Graduate and Professional School Programs. Graduate School Program Coordinators are invited to request the following workshops online at https://wellness.ucsd.edu/CAPS/services/pages/signup.aspx. Select Presentation or Outreach Request, then select Presentation by CAPS on mental health topic(s). 10 student minimum. One month advance notice preferred.

  • Keep Calm and Stay Focused: Learn how to use Mindfulness Techniques to Reduce Stress and Improve Concentration (Dr. Elise Curry)
  • Imposter Syndrome (Dr. Pooja Amatya)
  • Managing Professional Relationships (Dr. Christina Lambert and/or Dr. Rina Schul)
  • Manage Time, Sustain Motivation, and Achieve Your Goals (Dr. Fengqin Lian)
  • Managing the Stress of Graduate School (Dr. Greg Koch)
  • Romantic Love and Relational Compatibility (Dr. Scott Hansen)
  • Anger and Conflict Management: How to Fight Fair in Relationships (Dr. Scott Hansen)

Graduate & Professional Student FAQs

Do I have to pay for counseling?
Our counseling services are free to all enrolled students who pay registration fees. This covers all graduate academic programs, professional students, School of Medicine, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, and Rady School students in the full-time MBA program. There is a $20 no-show or late cancellation charge for missed appointments, or for canceling your appointment less than 24 hours in advance.

Is it possible to receive couples counseling if my partner is not a student?
Yes! As long as one person is a registered UCSD student, the couple can seek counseling. The non-UCSD partner will need to complete a set of paper forms prior to the first meeting. Please call our Central Office at 858-534-3755 to make an appointment or for more information..

Will I run in to students I teach in the CAPS waiting room?
There is a possibility that you may wait in an area with students to whom you teach or mentor. If you feel uncomfortable, please inform the front desk person to discuss your needs. Because CAPS is located at 8 different locations, the chances of running into one of your students is reduced.

Will I be the only graduate student in the group?
Most of our groups are a mix of both undergraduate and undergraduate students. If you would like a group exclusive to graduate students, we have those too. See the Groups & Workshops section above.

I'm not sure I want to continue with my program and don't know what to do.
CAPS and GrAdvantage offer specialized workshop called Questioning Career Transitions which helps students work through questions and concerns about their academic programs and career track. Additionally, students can seek support from their academic programs or speak to a counselor at CAPS

How can I balance my family/parnership/relationship and graduate school?
Managing multiple roles can definitely be difficult and stressful. CAPS offers individual counseling to provide support in finding balance with multiple roles. We also offer support groups such as the Graduate Student Support which addresses common concerns and issues among graduate students.

I'm anxious about public speaking and now I have to teach a class. What can I do?
Public speaking is a common concern for individuals. The grAdvantage Program offers offers many resourses, including their Communication Skills Development program. Additionally, the Building Social Confidence Group helps students decrease their anxiety in social situations, and would likely help increase your confidence when leading a discussion.

*US News and World Report, April 11, 2005 Contents under pressure, by Carolyn Kleiner Butler.