The services offered by the psychological-psychotherapeutic counselling, social counselling, counselling for barrier-free studies, and the writing centre for Berlin students, are listed here.

Psychological-Psychotherapeutic Counselling Service

Counselling Services

Our Range of Counselling Services

  • Difficulties relating to your studies (fear of speaking or of exams, procrastination, writing blocks, concentration problems, self-organisation)
  • Social and relationship difficulties (social isolation, problems with friends and flatmates, being single, etc.)
  • Current crisis situations (illness or loss of a significant person, thoughts of suicide, conflicts with your partner, dealing with separation)
  • Difficult family circumstances (conflicts with your parents, your parents separating)
  • Difficult financial situations (financial hardship, combining work and studies)
  • Psychological stress (depressive moods, anxiety, addiction, etc.)
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The Team is There for You

The Psychological-Psychotherapeutic Counselling Service offers One-on-one appointmentsGroups for students and Pregnancy conflict counselling in compliance with § 219.

We can help with problems related to your studies and with your personal conflicts. We are, of course, legally required to maintain confidentiality.

The Psychological-Psychotherapeutic Counselling Service at studierendenWERK BERLIN also offers various individual counselling services for students. These services include psychotherapeutic support during examination, short-term therapy and crisis intervention.

After you have arranged an appointment, the first session will take place within a few weeks.

During this first session, you will talk about your concerns and current difficulties. These can be study-related, or be rooted in entirely different problems that together may be negatively affecting you. The psychotherapy counsellor will discuss with you what further kind of help might be available. This could be, further individual meetings, or participation in a group. Sometimes, short-term crisis intervention in the form of just a few sessions provides sufficient support. 

We also advise you about outpatient psychotherapy, should this be necessary, as well as informing you about suitable kinds of therapy.

The session usually lasts 45 - 50 minutes. The number of counselling sessions will be agreed with your counsellor during the first few meetings.

Early consultation can prevent bigger problems arising later, thus avoiding the need for more complex treatment at a later date.

It is a sign of strength and independence to ask for the support you need to create wellbeing and to succeed in your ambitions.

The counselling session is free of charge and is, of course, subject to confidentiality.

Due to restricted capacity, our English language counselling might entail a wait.

 

The Psychological-Psychotherapeutic Counselling Service at studierendenWERK BERLIN also offers various group counselling services, available only in German.

Participation in any of these groups is only possible after prior consultation.

Group offers of the current semester are listed here.

Specially trained female colleagues perform comprehensive counseling on questions about pregnancy. When booking an appointment, please indicate that you wish to come to a pregnancy counselling session.

You have an unplanned pregnancy and don’t know what to do next? You had different plans and are wondering whether or not you would be able to raise a child in your current life situation? There are many things to consider: your studies, your relationship and family situation, your health, your financial situation, etc. In this difficult time, you can get some orientation and help making a clear decision by attending a counselling session.

If you are considering an abortion, there is a requirement to attend a recognised counselling centre. The Psychological and Psychotherapeutic Counselling Service Centre at studierendenWERK BERLIN has just such a service. It is legally recognised and has two specially trained counsellors. Even though the law intends that during counselling, you should be encouraged to continue with your pregnancy, you should have no fear that you will have to justify yourself, or that you will be pressured to change a decision you have already made. If you wish, you will receive the appropriate counselling certificate at the end of the interview and you will not have to look for any further counselling services.

The close partnership between the Social Counselling Centre, the studierendenWERK BERLIN and others provides further counselling on the support options open to you, should you decide to continue with your pregnancy.
The decision whether to terminate or to continue with your pregnancy belongs to you and you alone. Only you can make this decision.

Our counselling services are free and confidential. You don’t need to have confirmation of your pregnancy from a doctor to get an appointment for counselling.

If you wish, you can bring your partner or another person with you to the counselling session. It is possible to come to several sessions if you wish.

When booking an appointment, please indicate that you wish to come to a pregnancy counselling session and whether you need to have an English speaking counsellor.

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Locations

Locations

Our counselling services are available at these two locations (please click the links below):


(Charlottenburg)
 
Registration by Phone to arrange an appointment: 030 93 93 9 - 8401
(Hardenbergstraße) 030 93 93 9 - 8438
(Franz-Mehring-Platz) You can arrange an appointment at the following times: from Monday to Thursday
from 9 am to 4:30 pm Friday
from 9 am to 3 pm In acute crisis outside of our opening hours, we recommend to contact the Berliner Krisendienst.

 

Examples of student experiences

Philipp

Philipp has just started a second course of study after he dropped out of his BA. He imagined that “everything would be different this time”. But after a short while, he finds the new situation is just like before. His motivation is gone and he doesn’t find anything fun anymore. He has to write essays and prepare for exams. But at home, with friends or his girlfriend, he is seized by a kind of lulling “loneliness”. He puts everything off, until there is a mountain before him which seems to be insurmountable. The fact that he was sure this was the “right” course of study for him makes the mountain seem even bigger. 

Philipp was referred to us by the General Student Counselling Service. After looking closer at everything, it becomes clear that his current situation has “something or other” to do with his own life history. Dealing with these issues takes time. All the more important to him are short, achievable goals: making the first steps, finding out where his strengths lay, finding out what’s rather more difficult for him. When the first exam is done, the mountain is already smaller.

Nadine

Nadine has got on well with her bachelor’s degree so far, and her results are very good. Now, however, she has been working away at her final thesis for a long time, reading new literature and not being able to write. The high demands she makes on herself throw her ever deeper into her studies. She can’t set limits. 

By now, she feels unable to get to the end. She feels completely alone with her fear of not being able to cope with the MA she aspires to. She can’t confide in her parents, because they were sceptical about university from the beginning. They feel it is an unnecessary financial burden, because they themselves did apprenticeships. When we first spoke with Nadine, she told us that a lot had “fallen by the wayside” while she has been at university. She has few social relationships with other people and had not had a partner for several years. She became aware that her self-esteem quickly faded and that she doubted her abilities when she didn’t succeed at something. Her problems were not only due to lack of working techniques, writing problems or concentration problems. 

For this reason, she promised to join us in a student psychotherapy group. Being in regular contact with others gave her courage and helped her to face her problems. Since then, she has written the first chapters of her thesis, and she can see light at the end of the tunnel.

Annika

Annika was initially delighted with her university place in Berlin and with her room in the student residence. Since then, however, she’s become disillusioned. Her flatmates do their own thing and at university, she feels alienated and alone. Full of sadness and envy, she looks at the fellow students who are grouped together, and who seem to have found contacts and made friends. In seminars she finds it increasingly difficult to get involved, to ask questions, and to express her opinion. Her thoughts constantly circle around the fear of saying something wrong and being embarrassed. She fears rejection from others, can’t initiate conversations, and often feels “paralysed”. 



Each day she sleeps worse, thinking of the next day with fear before she falls asleep, awakening the next morning with anxiety. When she begins to avoid university and no longer participate in classes, Annika decides to contact the Psychological and Psychotherapeutic Counselling Service. The conversations she experiences there are hugely relieving for her. With the help of her therapist, she begins to analyse her thoughts and behaviours, to try out new ways of behaving, and to reflect on her situation. 

FAQ

No – when you first call (or send an email), you will initially reach the administrative office, where you will speak with someone who can make an appointment for you to see a counsellor.

You can make an appointment by speaking to the administrative office. Appointments can be made by phone or by emailing pbs@stw.berlin. Please let us know if you need counselling in English.

Please arrive 10-15 minutes before your first appointment.

You will usually receive a registration form then.
A counsellor will meet you in the waiting area.

This is the person who you will speak with about your concerns and the further course of action.

A counselling appointment usually lasts around 50 minutes. 

Please cancel at least 24 hours prior to your first appointment, or earlier if you can. If you do not let us know you cannot come, then we cannot make time available for other students. This increases waiting times for everyone.

The counselling is free of charge. PBS works on the solidarity principle and is financed by students' tuition fees.

All consultants have been trained in medically recognised psychotherapeutic treatment. This means that they are also professionally required to maintain confidentiality, just like doctors are.

With all universities that work alongside Studierendenwerk Berlin (link to list)

Maybe you are unsure if your concerns are important enough for counselling. Please get in touch anyway and come to speak with us – because that very uncertainty is a topic which can be discussed during counselling.
Come along even if you think your worries are fairly small. In these matters, people often think they can get by dealing with their problems on their own. Getting advice at this stage is often a good idea, because it prevents things getting worse. (Prevention is everything)
You can come to us with problems related to your studies and with personal conflict situations.
You can find examples here 

Not all of our advisors have an additional qualification for pregnancy conflict counselling. This is why you should tell us when you register that you need pregnancy conflict counselling, so that we can get you in touch with the right advisor without any delays.

 

External Counselling Services

If you are a student at one of the universities listed here, you can get in touch with the counselling services at your university.

Our range of tasks and our offer

<h3>Social counselling service<br></h3>
© studierendenWERK BERLIN

Social counselling service

A team of qualified social workers will gladly help and assist you in many personal, social and financial issues, such as:

How do I finance my studies and my degree?

Do my parents have to support me or would BAföG be an option for me?

What and who can help with hassles with the authorities?

Questions about health insurance, housing allowance, child benefit?

Pregnant - what now? Child (ren) and studying - how does that work?

Social rights - too complex, or you have specific questions?

Our offices are located in Friedrichshain, Charlottenburg and Dahlem.

<h3>Psychological-psychotherapeutic counselling service</h3>
© S. Hofschlaeger pixelio.de

Psychological-psychotherapeutic counselling service

The counselling services are aimed at all students studying at Berlin universities.

There are many different aspects to studying, and it makes demands on all parts of your daily life. Things don’t always run smoothly. Even if you can deal with many challenges on your own, there can still be issues for which might you need professional advice.

We are legally required to maintain confidentiality. You can find us in Charlottenburg and in Friedrichshain.

<h3>Writing Centre</h3>
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Writing Centre

Competently dealing with texts, as a reader and also as a writer, is indispensible for successful studies. Writing can also be a tool for learning and thinking, rather than a hurdle.

The counselling services are aimed at all students in bachelor-, master- and state exam degrees.

It is our guiding principle that one can learn academic and scientific writing and that this is a process in which we would like to guide and support you.

Our team of trained writing advisors offers personal advice on academic writing as well as workshops and groups at the Hardenbergstraße and Thielallee sites.

<h3>Counselling service for barrier-free studies</h3>
© shutterstock Inozemtsev Konstantin

Counselling service for barrier-free studies

Our services are aimed at students or prospective students with disabilities or chronic diseases. This includes, in addition to students with walking disabilities or hearing-impaired or visually-impaired students, also students with chronic diseases such as e.g. Morbus Crohn, cancer, HIV infection, rheumatism, diabetes, epilepsy or any other non-visual impairments. Of course, our consultations are confidential and, on request, also anonymous.

The counselling centre provides integration assistance in according with the Berlin Higher Education Act. This entails integration aids such as study assistance, text book allowances or other technical aids.

Our offices are in Friedrichshain, Charlottenburg and Dahlem.

Downloads [only German]

Downloads

Only in German available.

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