FAQ Frequently asked questions concerning our offers Who can consult us? (1) Who can come for a consultation? The counselling service is open to all HSG staff and students. (2) What concerns may I discuss with a counsellor? Different people have different concerns. Every concern is legitimate. The important thing is that you wish to share a problem and are looking for new perspectives. We deal with a broad spectrum of study-related, professional and personal issues. (3) May I also come for counselling if I am already in psychotherapy? Yes, sometimes an internal university perspective can help deal with specific problems and find solution strategies. It is important that you inform both your current therapist and us before you come for a consultation. (4) Are any concerns too burdensome or too personal for counselling? No! You can talk to us about anything that is troubling you. (5) I have never talked to anyone about my concerns before. Is the counselling service the right place for me? Yes, it is! Our team offers a safe and sheltered environment. (6) I am worried about a friend. Can I arrange an appointment for her/him? Our consultations are voluntary and based on the principle of autonomy. It is therefore important that your friend makes an appointment himself/herself. If you are worried about someone, we advise you to talk to them directly. Show them that you care and express your sympathy for their concerns. Share your observations, that you are worried and why you believe counselling might be a good idea. Keep your perspective, don’t patronise and avoid negative comments (e.g. “You are a mess”). We can help you if you can’t find the right words or are unsure about how to approach someone you feel needs help. How do consultations work? (1) How do I make an appointment? Appointments can be arranged by email or telephone. We are available Monday–Friday, 9:00–17:00. (2) Should I prepare for a consultation? If you wish to prepare, you may do so, but don’t have to. It does, however, help us to know in advance what steps you have already taken to address or even solve your problem. During the consultation, we will jointly identify your concerns and possible solutions. (3) How does counselling work? What can I expect? Our consultations usually last 50 minutes. They focus on discussing your concerns and developing solution strategies together. We consider an appreciative, resource-activating and solution-oriented attitude crucial to successful counselling. (4) Will others know that I am seeking advice? No! Consultations are strictly confidential. We will only pass on information to third parties if you release us from our confidentiality obligation in writing. (5) I have problems in my relationship, with my parents or fellow students. May I bring along those involved to facilitated conflict resolution? We suggest that your first consultation is one-to-one (you and a counsellor). We can then discuss the need for and the format of a possible couple, group or family session in detail. Possible questions: - I am afraid of exams. Whom can I contact? - I am constantly under pressure and feel stressed. What can I do? - How can I stay motivated during examination periods? - Which time management strategies can help me? - What alternatives are there to studying at the HSG? - How can I find out what interests me? - How does mindfulness work in my studies? - I feel suicidal. Can you help me? - I am seriously worried that my colleague of friend will take her/his life. What can I do? - I feel threatened or stalked. Whom can I contact?