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Counseling Center Becomes CAPS

With a new year comes new changes and TWU’s Counseling Center has changed its name to Counseling and Psychological Services to better reflect the services it provides for students.

Director of TWU’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) Dr. Denise Lucero-Miller said: “We have hired some new staff members and we have been providing a wide array of services for a long time that weren’t quite captured under counseling. And counseling implies a center with counselors on staff, whereas [CAPS] actually has psychologists on staff, doctoral level psychologists. We also wanted the name change to represent our staff a little bit more accurately.”

TWU’s Denton CAPS has eight psychologists, three residents and four doctoral students on staff who all work full case loads, handle emergency services and plan outreach events. TWU Dallas and Houston also have CAPS departments of a smaller magnitude.

Dr. Lucero-Miller said: “We are going to continue to expand our services in Dallas and in Houston. As we already have centers there we plan on doing more programing there. We also hope to grow our staff so we can see more clients because the demand is pretty high.”


Counseling and
Psychological Services
offers 12 free
sessions per year for all
students. Find more
info here

The department’s name change was suggested by Dr. Lucero-Miller to correctly represent the problems TWU’s CAPS are equipped to work with.

Dr. Lucero-Miller said: “When we think about counselors we think about master-level clinicians who focus on things like study skills or basic stress management, test anxiety, adjustment to college, those kinds of things. And we do a little bit of that, but given that the population at TWU is a little bit older, non-traditional, has more life experience, predominantly women, who present with all different kinds of things in their backgrounds we tend to work with a lot more serious issues, depression, anxiety, trauma; those types of things where you would need to have a Ph.D. to do that work.”

All students receive 12 free hours of counseling per academic year for personal, group or couples therapy and are encouraged to use that opportunity. Dr. Lucero-Miller explains that therapy can be useful in all situations, even for problems students would say are too minor.

Dr. Lucero-Miller said: “I think there’s this misconception sometimes that people would only come to counseling if they are very depressed or suicidal, whereas, certainly we deal with those issues, but most folks come in because they want to be proactive, they want to learn more about themselves, they want to have better relationships, they want to manage their stress effectively so they don’t have a breakdown sometime this semester.”

According to Dr. Lucero- Miller, having departments like CAPS on college campuses not only benefits students’ psychological health, but also allows students to succeed academically.

Dr. Lucero-Miller said: “We’re really invested in helping [students] reach their academic goals. Our belief is that when we’re functioning well psychologically and emotionally and feeling good where we’re at in our lives we tend to do better academically and we tend to graduate.”

Correction: An earlier version of this story stated students receive 12 free counseling sessions per semester. It is corrected to 12 sessions per year. 

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