Cara Capparelli, MS, MHC-LP, NCC

Cara Capparelli portrait

Theoretical Framework: My approach in working with students navigating mental health and other life challenges is grounded in advocacy and empowerment. I aim to help students create networks of support by coordinating services, negotiating the system and encouraging students to become self-advocates as they form connections across campus and in the community. As a case manager, I assist students with accessing resources in collaboration with our clinical team and in consultation with campus partners. Clinically, I gravitate toward humanistic, multicultural, narrative and strengths-based theoretical orientations. My therapeutic process focuses on the subjective experience of individuals, their unique stories and the meaning those stories carry, and aims to maximize one’s internal strengths and resources. I also incorporate interventions grounded in acceptance and commitment therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and exposure and response prevention.

Professional Interests: My areas of professional interest include adjustment and transition, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorders, career and identity development, family and relationship issues, and disordered eating. I also particularly enjoy working with first-generation students and the LGBTQIA2S+ community.

Group and Liaison Roles: I co-facilitate the Anxiety Skills Group and the Adventure Based Counseling Series, a Barnes Center at The Arch collaborative group offering through Counseling, Recreation and Health Promotion, and I serve on the Barnes Center Eating Disorder Multidisciplinary Treatment Team. In terms of community involvement, I am a member of the Higher Education Mental Health Community Task Force, a consortium among local colleges and universities, hospitals and mental health providers aimed at improving student experiences with community mental health resources. I also represent the University on the Onondaga County Suicide Prevention Coalition.

Educational Background: I am a Syracuse University alumna, holding a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling. I also spent several years working in student affairs in the College of Arts and Sciences here at Syracuse and at Nazareth College in Rochester, NY. All my professional roles have focused on supporting college students and helping them navigate challenges that may arise throughout their experience. As a first-generation college graduate, I have a deep appreciation for my experiences and connections at Syracuse and take great pride in being a resource for students in need of support.

DEIA Trainings: Disability, Gender Identity, Indigenous/First Nation Students, International Students, Racial/Ethnic Identity, Sexual Identity and Socioeconomic Status.

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers