CAPS Student Hero: Gerardo Jaime

Gerardo is new to UCSC and to our Student Advisory Board! This ambitious frosh applied to join the CAPS team before he even arrived on campus, and we couldn’t be more pleased.  (Also, he wears a bowtie. Bowties are cool.) Gerardo, thanks for being a CAPS Student Hero!

Gerardo Jaime

Gerardo Jaime, Student Advisory Board Member

What’s your favorite part about being a UCSC student?

The scenic campus and nice atmosphere it provides to its students.

Tell us about something you’re passionate about outside of school (e.g., clubs, hobbies, interests, volunteering, activities, etc.)

I’ve always enjoyed volunteering and playing sports. More specifically, I like going to the gym and playing soccer.

If you could share one thing that you’d like your peers to know about CAPS, what would it be?

The services offered here are 100% confidential. Not only is it for people who need the services, but also for those who want them.

Gerardo Jaime is a first year Cowell student, majoring in Business Management Economics. 

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The “No Point in Trying Again” Myth

Did you have a bad experience in therapy, and now find yourself feeling hopeless or reluctant to try again? CAPS psychologist Blair Davis explains why it’s worth giving it another go.

Myth: Therapy didn’t work for me before, so it won’t help if I go to CAPS.

Fact: Just as some physicians aren’t a good fit for some patients, some therapists are not the right fit for you. If you had a medical doctor you didn’t like, would you decide never to go to a doctor again if you were sick or injured? Probably not. Maybe a therapist you saw in the past just didn’t have the right personality or style for you. It’s worth another try if you have concerns that might be helped through counseling. Continue reading

Meet Christina Aranda, Postdoctoral Fellow

Today we’re sharing our last staff profile of the year! This is Dr. Christina Aranda, one of two fellows who is currently working at UCSC CAPS. Postdoctoral Fellows are a core part of our staff, not only taking on clinical cases and crisis responsibilities, but also providing ADHD screenings for our tearm. Take a few minutes today to get to know Christina!

Dr. Christina Aranda

Christina Aranda, Ph.D.

What is your position at CAPS, and how long have you been working at UCSC?

I am a postdoctoral fellow at CAPS and began working here August 2013. I am located at Crown College and provide crisis counseling, individual ongoing counseling, and group counseling. I also conduct ADHD screenings and take part in student outreach events. Continue reading

The Off-Campus Referral Myth

Sometimes students tell us they’ve heard we refer everyone off-campus. The short answer is that this isn’t true. The long answer is a bit more complicated. Dr. Blair Davis clears this one up!

Myth: If I contact CAPS, I’ll be referred off campus.

Fact: Many students are seen at CAPS for brief, individual counseling, but other students may be referred off-campus for a variety of reasons. There are many factors that go into these decisions, the main one being what is the best way to address your concerns. Just as you would not go to the Health Center for open-heart surgery or for intensive physical therapy after an injury, CAPS may not have the right resources to help you with certain issues. Some problems require more time or more frequent appointments than students generally will have with a CAPS counselor, and other problems require specialized services that CAPS doesn’t provide, such as ADHD assessment or alcohol and drug detoxification services. Also, at certain times when CAPS is very busy, it may take less time to get an appointment with an off-campus therapist than with a CAPS counselor.

CAPS Student Hero: Araceli Aviles

Twice a month, CAPS wants to give a little space on our blog to honor the amazing students who volunteer to support our mission at UCSC. We call them our CAPS Student Heroes, because their efforts do so much to help us continually improve our center. Keep an eye out on the 2nd and 4th Mondays every month to learn more about these great folks. Today, meet Araceli Aviles, one of our Student Advisory Board members. Thanks for all you do, Araceli!

Araceli Aviles

Araceli Aviles, Student Advisory Board Member

What’s your favorite part about being a UCSC student?

My favorite part about being a UCSC student is the emphasis that knowledge is more than grades. I love going to a University that cares about the type of person I become and how I contribute to the world, not just the GPA I end with.

Tell us about something you’re passionate about outside of school (e.g., clubs, hobbies, interests, volunteering, activities, etc.)

I am passionate about my family, practicing and teaching Non-Violent Communication, and the power of music. I am also passionate about promoting the theme of an on-campus club I am a part of, Stigma Slimers, which works to advocate and raise awareness of the stigma surrounding those with mental illness.

If you could share one thing that you’d like your peers to know about CAPS, what would it be?

The one thing I wish everyone knew about CAPS is the many locations and counselors that can be found around campus, not simply in the CAPS department of the Health Center. I would love for students to be able to know more about their immediate resources through CAPS.

Araceli Aviles is a College Ten Senior, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Literature.

The Medication Myth

If you’ve ever accessed the internet or watched television, you’re surely aware that there are a wide variety of psychiatric medications out there prescribed to address things like depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns. Concerns about stigma and side effects have made some students wary of medication – and by extension, of accessing CAPS services. Dr. Blair Davis helps sort out fact from fiction.

Myth: If I go to CAPS, I’ll be put on medication.

Fact: CAPS offers a variety of services, including counseling and psychiatry (medication). There are reasons why medication makes sense in some situations and not in others. There are also ways to treat certain problems (such as depression and anxiety) without medication that can be very effective. CAPS works with each individual to figure out what is the best way to address his or her particular concerns, which may or may not include discussing medication. Medication is never forced on students, but it may be recommended as an option. In this case, CAPS will help explain the process of talking to an on-campus or off-campus doctor about medication options, benefits, and possible side effects.

Meet Lauren Lee, Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Lauren Lee is one of our postdoctoral fellows, and the featured clinician this week on our ongoing feature, Meet the CAPS Staff. Postdoctoral fellows hold their doctorate in psychology and hold a one-year, supervised full-time position at CAPS while they work towards licensure. Lauren is an essential part of the CAPS team!

Lauren5

Lauren Lee, Ph.D.

What is your position at CAPS, and how long have you been working at UCSC?

I am a postdoctoral fellow and just started at UCSC this academic year. I provide individual, couples and group therapy to students, as well as outreach to students across campus.

What is your favorite part of your job?

In a given day my duties and responsibility may vary quite a bit, I love the flexibility that I incorporate into each client interaction and task.

Tell our readers about one of your favorite spots on campus or in Santa Cruz.

I don’t have a favorite spot just yet, but I am exploring!

What do you do to take care of yourself and relax?

I spend time with my fur-babies (2 dogs) and enjoy running. I also love to cook and eat good food, so I am open to trying lots of different cuisines.

What is one thing you wish you knew as a college student?

I wish that when I was in college I was more open and aware of all the opportunities available to me. I might have tried for intramural sports of joined more student organizations had I been.