Information on the Social and Academic Counselling Services
Our understanding of consulting:
The individual needs of the student seeking advice are at the centre of the Study Guides’ attention. During counselling particular focus is placed on supporting the student in finding effective solutions for existing problematic situations. The objective is to assist advice-seeking persons in developing techniques that will enable them to independently organise and successfully complete their studies. Counselling sessions are inherently open-ended and unbiased in that the advice-seeking person is not obliged to make decisions during counselling or inform the Study Guide about decisions at a later point. Responsibility for organising personal as well as academic life remains with the student at all times.
In light of the fact that personal life can directly affect academic progression, counselling doesn’t exclude discussing topics beyond academic or subject-related issues. To this end the Study Guides are also prepared to offer their support with regard to personal matters. In addition, they will be able to help you find the right contact person or appropriate on- and off-campus support services if needed.
This way we can make sure that students are advised according to their personal needs, goals and competencies.
All counselling sessions with the Social and Academic Advisory will, of course, be treated strictly confidential.
Our approach to consulting:
With regard to methodology the Study Guides’ approach follows the principles of solution-focused counselling (according to Steve de Shazer). The focus is on developing suitable solutions rather than extensively analysing the causes of a problem. Encouraging students to actively assume and keep responsibility for their decisions represents an important characteristic of the approach.
The Study Guides help the students to successfully plan their course of studies, accomplish the identified study goals, reflect their study situation when difficulties occur and realistically assess it according to given individual strengths and weaknesses. The aim is to support the advice-seeking students in developing and applying effective strategies for tackling problems head-on.
Consequently, counselling sessions are inherently open-ended and unbiased in that the person seeking advice is not obliged to make decisions during counselling or inform the Study Guide about decisions later. All counselling services offered by the Social and Academic Advisory are voluntary and counselling sessions will be treated strictly confidential.
Types of consultations:
The Social and Academic Advisory distinguishes between consultations for the purpose of providing information and those for counselling.
Informational consultations serve to provide details about modules and examination regulations, provide answers to questions with regard to administrative procedures within the Faculty, help you find the proper contact person on campus or refer you to an off-campus specialist support service best suited to your needs. For these purposes you are free to use the Study Guides’ walk-in office hours. In addition, you can contact them by phone or email to ask your questions or arrange an individual appointment.
Consultations for informational purposes usually take less than 15 minutes.
Individual counselling offers you the opportunity to discuss issues in depth in order to find solutions and develop a new perspective.
These sessions are always initiated by the student and never obligatory. This also applies when you are invited to arrange individual counselling via the Reach-Out Initiative which you agree to by arranging an appointment with your responsible Study Guide.
These counselling sessions exclusively take place at a jointly scheduled date and time which can be arranged personally, by phone or by email.
An individual counselling session lasts between 45 and 60 minutes. Usually, one session is sufficient to help students resolve difficulties. If needed, you can arrange further appointments with your Study Guide or they can refer you to a support service prepared to help with your individual situation.