FAQs on psycho-social counselling (PSB)

The most common form of counselling is the one-on-one conversation between the counsellor and the person seeking advice. It may take place directly in the counselling centre or during a walk, by phone or video.
We also offer counselling for couples, provided one of them is a student.
Those who still hesitate whether they would like to speak directly with someone in a personal contact or prefer to remain anonymous - for the time being - can choose an online writing-based counselling service.
We also offer regularly scheduled courses and workshops. Some of these group offers require a personal preliminary talk.

Please book here an appointment in advance to benefit from the counselling service. Should you have any questions, you can call us or contact us in person during the registration period or send us an e-mail.

The group addressed is students of all majors, no matter what life or study situation they are currently in, who are enrolled at one of these universities:

  • University of Applied Science Erfurt
  • University Erfurt
  • Cooperative University Gera-Eisenach
  • Ilmenau University of Technology
  • University of Applied Sciences "Ernst Abbe" Jena
  • Friedrich Schiller University Jena
  • University of Applied Sciences Nordhausen
  • University of Applied SciencesSchmalkalden
  • Bauhaus-Universität Weimar
  • University of Music FRANZ LISZT Weimar.

There is no reason why you should not come to us with any personal or study-related                difficulties. When an issue is perceived as stressful, it is already reason enough to approach it. Should your individual strengths not be sufficient, it is advisable to ask for help. Loneliness, being overwhelmed and anxious in your studies, lack of self-confidence, relationship problems, graduation difficulties, conflicts with close people, teachers or others, addiction, heartbreak, depression, panic... the list is long. As said before, when something turns into a problem, feel invited to contact us - no matter how small and trivial it may seem compared to the problems of others.
Please inform yourself in acute situations of crisis here.


Of course, we will advise you in this case. Make an appointment for counselling, then we can work out together how you may handle the situation, how you can support the persons concerned - without putting too much pressure on yourself.

Please cancel your appointment as early as possible. You will find a link to cancel your appointment in the confirmation e-mail for initial counselling sessions that you have booked online. Otherwise, e-mail the person advising you directly, you find the e-mail address in the confirmation e-mail or here.

When booking your initial counselling interview, you can choose the counsellor you would prefer to talk to. Please note that not all counsellors always offer all types of interviews.

You may ask for another counsellor at any time. If you want, bring it up in the meeting, maybe a solution is possible within the counselling process.

The distinction between "counselling" and "therapy" is based on legal rather than content-related aspects. A key characteristic of counselling is its temporal limitation. Counselling processes are usually shorter, and the counselling sessions take place at longer intervals.

Generally speaking, psycho-social counseling deals with issues related to handling stress and difficult situations in university and daily life, while social counseling focuses on the topics of financing options, studying with a child, studying with a chronic illness, etc.
You can contact us during our office hours/registration hours if you are not sure which of the two counselling services you should refer to (first), in order to describe your concerns and to ask for an our opinion.

No, you cannot do that. Psychotherapy is a treatment financed by a health insurance company (or privately).

You will find an overview on these pages:

You can find doctors' offices for psychotherapy using these search masks:

The initial counselling helps us to get to know each other and to talk about your concerns. Together we exchange ideas about the next steps to be taken.

In some cases, the concerns of those seeking advice can be satisfactorily addressed within the first counselling interview, but often there may be further talks needed. Unless we consider other support options to be more suitable, we are pleased to offer further talks, the scheduling of which we arrange at the end of a talk.
Should we have the impression after the initial counselling session or later in the in the counselling process that other support services (e.g. other specialized counselling centres, self-help groups, clinics, medical professionals, etc.) are better suited to meet your concerns than the PSB, we will provide you with appropriate information and addresses.

We plan about 50 minutes for a conversation in individual counselling.
We provide 50 minutes for the first meeting in couples counselling and 90 minutes for follow-up sessions.

Advisory talks are arranged by mutual agreement with you and their number is determined by your concerns and our capacities. How long a counselling process takes depends on various aspects and cannot be predicted.

Professional secrecy: All those working in the PSB are subject to professional secrecy. Without your written consent, no other person or institution will be informed that you have visited the PSB. The same applies to the contents of counselling sessions. You are also not obligated to reveal to third parties (e.g., an institution or health insurance company) that you have used our counselling services.
With your written consent, you can exempt us from the obligation to maintain professional secrecy. This is necessary, for example, when you want to present a certificate from PSB at your university. You can revoke the exemption from professional secrecy at any time and without giving reasons with effect for the future.
If there is an emergency that we cannot prevent, we must disregard our duty of professional secrecy and, if necessary, pass on information to the health authorities, the police, or the emergency services.
Communication by e-mail: E-mail inquiries and their contents are treated confidentially. They will not be passed on to unauthorized third parties. However, it can never be guaranteed that e-mails may not be read by third parties during transmission. Therefore, we keep communication by e-mail short and do not provide more detailed information about personal contents. When you contact us by e-mail, you agree that we may respond by e-mail.
Documentation of the counselling procedure: Handwritten records, counselling documentation, calendar entries, emails, or computer-stored personal data are either destroyed or deleted within twelve months after counselling is completed.
Team meeting and supervision: Regular case discussions take place in the counselling team to jointly review counselling processes in anonymous form. We also use external supervision to gain a broader perspective on counselling. The supervisor is bound to secrecy by contract.

The counselling process is subject to professional secrecy. This means that neither parents, girlfriends, friends, employees of the Studierendenwerk, the universities nor other authorities (such as the health insurance company) learn about your visit to us.
In special cases, where those seeking advice wish to provide information to third parties, this can be issued, but a written exemption from the obligation to maintain professional secrecy is required.

As a rule, people seeking advice book a meeting for themselves.

Counselling services are free of charge There may be a small fee for group offers (in German), which you can find in the respective offers.

The PSB has specialized in the needs of students, is free of charge, and there are usually only short waiting times. You can learn more about other counselling centres, support groups, and therapy options (see question " How can I find an offer for psychotherapy?") at the PSB.

No. You simply book an appointment for an initial interview with us. 

No, you don't.

Of course it is possible to be accompanied to the consultation. This is also possible for online appointments. In general, however, the counselor will then work towards the counsellor being alone in the counselling context in order to get the full attention and concentration.

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