Counselling themes We are here to support you Clarifying interpersonal conflicts Conflicts may occur and persist in both personal and professional relationships. Such conflicts may seriously impair your well-being and your ability to focus on your work. We can support you in managing stressful relationships by recognising negative patterns, working on alternative ways of communicating and developing a more precise position towards others. You are also welcome to contact us if you need help dealing with separation, lovesickness or losing a loved one. Overcoming roadblocks to studying or working Have you lost your motivation somewhere along the way? Do you feel you are likely to procrastinate? Do you doubt your ability to organise yourself efficiently and sustainably? If you are facing these kinds of challenges, we can support you by developing personalised strategies that are designed to activate your resources, break down obstacles into manageable parts and find alternative solutions. Balancing work-related stress Are you exhausted or restless? Is your to-do list growing longer and longer, even though you are already giving it all you have? Do you feel you are fighting several fires at the same time and thus can't attend adequately to any of the tasks at hand? Many students and working professionals experience such feelings. We will help you to prioritise your tasks, to use your abilities in a focused manner and to work out steps towards balanced and sustainable self-organisation. Easing stressful learning and examination situations Are you overwhelmed by the abundance of learning material during the semester? Are you tense and nervous during the learning phase? Have you ever experienced a blackout or felt paralysed during an exam, despite being well-prepared? If you have experienced or are experiencing severe learning stress or intense exam anxiety, we advise to contact us early on in the semester. We can support you in developing an adequate exam preparation schedule as well as provide techniques for more efficient learning. We always take your life situation and learning preferences into account when discussing realistic time planning, your learning techniques or ways of boosting your academic confidence. In case you suffer from severe exam anxiety, we are able to provide well-proven means to regulate your stress levels and to help you keep functioning before and during exams. Resolving difficult personal situations and decisions Studying is also a period of life in which we seek personal orientation, decide to try out new things or wish to find a suitable way of life. We may face questions about our identity: How do I want to live? What values do I want to embrace? What gives me meaning and satisfaction? What is my social and cultural background? What kind of identity do I want to work towards? Sometimes, it seems impossible to find the right path. Often, dealing with such questions may also create a sense of being lost. Counselling offers you a sheltered environment and the opportunity to reflect on your values and to actively look at and explore different options and their consequences. You are welcome to contact us with any questions or concerns related to your studies, professional and personal life. We will help you find new perspectives and take good decisions. Coping with critical life events Some events can make us feel fragmented and detached from everyday life. Losing a loved one, experiencing violence (especially sexual violence), accidents or severe illness may lead us to believe that nothing will ever be as it was. Such experiences can deeply shake our world view, sense of integrity and self-confidence. It is not uncommon in such situations to develop stress-related symptoms such as restlessness, nightmares, sleeping disorders or tormenting memories even weeks after a potentially traumatic event. We aim to support you in regaining control and a sense of coherence as fast as possible when you face such challenges. Seeking help in times of psychological crisis Do you feel alone, vulnerable and hopeless? Is your current life situation difficult to bear? Are you struggling to calm down? Do negative thoughts and emotions keep confronting you? Have you lost your sense of purpose? Are thoughts of just giving up and not wanting to live any longer swirling in your head? Do you feel as if your back is up against a wall and that you are unable to cope? We encourage you to seek immediate help, especially in acute psychological crises and if you feel suicidal. Let us support you — even if it may be hard for you to take the first step and seek professional help. Our free-of-charge and confidential professional services can help you activate your personal resources in order to overcome psychological symptoms, depression and anxiety. If you need immediate assistance outside our regular office hours or are facing an acute, life-threatening crisis, please contact: National helpline: Call 112. St.Gallen Psychiatric Emergency Centre (available 24/7): Call +41 (0)71 914 44 44 Dargebotene Hand (offers 24/7 anonymous and confidential crisis support): Call 143. Boundary violations What are boundary violations and what can they trigger? Boundary violations range from verbal harassment and inappropriate physical contact to physical assault or rape. People of any gender identity can be affected. An experience perceived as transgressive can trigger anger or rage and lead to crushing feelings of powerlessness or generate feelings of shame or guilt. It is often difficult to talk about these feelings and the associated event(s), and those affected sometimes doubt the accuracy of their feelings and reactions. What can you do when struggling with the effects of boundary violations? Have you experienced a behaviour, an attitude or a remark as transgressive? An essential first step in coping with a stressful boundary violation can be to name a boundary violation as such for yourself and acknowledge your reactions to the event as relevant. Communicating your boundaries early on, seeking professional support or working through the event may help you move forward. Our psychological counselling services can support you by confidential conversations. We aim to assist in coping with boundary violations in the best possible way and thus restore your boundaries and regain your sense of integrity. If you are in an acute and highly stressful situation, please let us know and we will offer you a consultation as soon as possible. Let others support you - we are here to help The following HSG services offer professional support: Psychological counselling services, the Diversity & Inclusion Office, the Ombudsman's Office and the Whistleblowing Office. Further information Have you witnessed the violation of a third person's boundaries? We can support you if you are unsure how to act. Have you possibly violated someone else's boundary? Contact us if you wish support in how to handle the situation constructively. We are here for you Contact at the Psychological Counselling Services of the University of St.Gallen: Katharina Woog. /// We are, of course, also available to all students during the start-up week// Katharina Woog Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org An additional point of contact for general information on protecting your boundaries and all students and staff integrity: Dr. Anna-Katrin Heydenreich, Diversity and Inclusion. Of course, our counselling services are subject to confidentiality. Regaining quality of life and inner balance Do you feel anxious, depressed, upset or uncomfortable in your skin? Would you like to be supported by a counsellor to better understand what is going on inside you, what you think and feel? Contact us! Together we can approach your situation in a resource- and solution-oriented manner to help you improve your quality of life and overcome psychological symptoms. We provide a sheltered space in which you can address feelings of ambivalence or doubts and discover how to restore harmony in your life. If necessary, we can also refer you to other specialists. Overcoming mental health issues Do you have trouble falling asleep? Do you lay awake for hours, unable to regain a normal sleeping rhythm? Do you find it hard to think straight? Do you struggle to enjoy ordinary things? Are you worried that you might be developing depression or some other mental illness? Perhaps you have already been diagnosed and are looking for suitable professional health services? We will be glad to help you cope with any of these issues. In a first session, we will take the time needed to understand your specific situation and what has caused your current symptoms. We can then provide you with helpful information on how mental health issues develop and how to overcome these. We can also refer you to a suitable specialist in and around St.Gallen. Find your bearings in new surroundings Are you new at the HSG or in Switzerland and are struggling to acclimatise? Are you suffering from culture shock or even from "reverse culture shock" after a stay abroad? Moving to new surroundings can be emotionally overwhelming. Everything feels new: the people, the norms and rules of conduct, not to mention getting organised in unfamiliar surroundings where things are handled differently. Sometimes, one feels lonely in such situations and misses one’s familiar surroundings, family and friends. If you wish to talk about your experiences, we will be happy to listen and to help you come to grips with your new environment.