Who uses the services of the PBS?
Students of all faculties and men and women, regardless of their age.
What can I come to the PBS for?
Basically for all kinds of problems. If a matter is percieved as a problem, this alone is a reason for doing something about it. It is always sensible to ask for help. Lack of self-confidence, having no partner, having difficulties with your partner, friends, professors, or family, depression, addiction, grief, phobias, panic are all reasons to seek treatment, and this list goes on. As stated before, if something becomes a problem, the PBS will try to help you, regardless of how small your problem may seem to be when compared to the problems of others. Our experience has shown that students’ problems differ in many aspects to everyday problems.
How many students use the services of the PBS per year?
Around 1000 students on average.
Is psychological counselling free of charge?
Psychological counselling is free of charge because the PBS is largely financed through social contributions.
Which universities does the PBS serve?
The PBS serves Karlsruhe University, the University of Education, the Universities of Applied Sciences (Karlsruhe and Pforzheim), the University of Design, and the University of Music.
What method does the PBS use?
As a counselling service, the PBS can adapt psychological and therapeutic methods to the wishes of the clients. Our staff is trained in different therapeutic fields: client-centred therapy (conversation therapy), behaviour therapy, psychodrama, creative therapy, and hypnotherapy.
What is the duration of a conversation?
A conversation usually takes 45-50 minutes. Groups and conversations for couples and families can take around 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Under special circumstances and if desired, the sessions might take longer; this will be arranged between you and our staff.
Are there alternatives to the PBS?
There are always alternatives. There are several counselling institutions and psychotherapists in Karlsruhe. The PBS, however, is adapted to the needs of students, free of charge, and, in contrast to other psychotherapists, has virtually no waiting time. The PBS can also provide you with information about other counselling institutions, therapy offers, etc.
I would prefer to talk to a man/woman. Is that possible?
Is there data privacy protection?
The PBS practices absolute data protection and psychologists are bound to professional discretion. Personal information is not given out to third parties – not even to relatives. All information is secured and locked. Only you can release us from professional discretion if necessary. There are, however, cases where psychologists have to abandon professional discretion: if they have to appear in court (psychologists do not have the right to refuse to give evidence) or in cases of immediate danger to your own life or the life of someone else.
Does a visit to the PBS mean a lot of paperwork?
Does a visit to the PBS mean a lot of paperwork? Not at all. You simply call and make an appointment with us. Appointments are normally available for a time within two weeks of your call. If it’s an emergency, we can usually offer an appointment immediately, depending on the workload at the office.
What is the difference between counselling and psychotherapy?
This question needs a longer discussion. In short: counselling does not last as long as therapy, is more based on problems and actions, and your own initiative is required. Counselling and therapy basically differ more in form than in content.
How often do I have to come to the PBS?
It depends on your request. Counselling appointments are set up in consultation with you, as needed, on a weekly, 14-day, monthly basis and, if necessary, even for longer intervals. How long a counselling session will last can´t be predicted; happiness, mood, behavior, personality development and satisfaction depend on too many factors that can´t be controlled.
Isn’t it better to solve one’s problems with the help of friends or relatives?
Of course, if it´s possible. Many people use their social connections very effectively when it comes to solving problems. Only when these resources are insufficient (or not present) is a consultation necessary.
Why Email counseling?
Email counseling cannot and does not seek to replace face-to-face counseling. Personal interaction allows for contact on levels beyond just words: body language, facial expressions, gestures, smell, sounds, etc. - there are many dimensions to a personal meeting between people. Email counseling, however, can only show us what is written.
Then why offer Email counseling?
Visiting the counseling center is a big hurdle for many people seeking counseling. Speaking about personal problems with a stranger in an unfamiliar situation can cause some students to feel insecure and anxious enough that they would rather quit than continue counseling. Other students may struggle to make appointments in the PBS due to time conflicts or distance.
If you cannot come to the counseling center due to personal or other reasons, we gladly offer counseling via Email.
How do I get started with Email counseling?
Send an Email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are no requirements or guidelines for Email counseling that say what topics are allowed or not. We are available for all problems that regarding your study and life situations.
We can only help you if you share essential information about your problem or concern. Try to describe your problem and any questions you have as clearly and honestly as possible.
Addressing incoming Emails can take a few days but you should receive a confirmation after two business days at the latest. Your Email will be answered by one of our therapists. If possible, we will ask further questions or give recommendations and tips. The length and frequency of your Email counseling depends on your wishes and concerns.
You are always welcome to come in and continue your counseling in person. Many students choose to do this after establishing contact with a counselor via Email.
Who can use Email counseling?
Email counseling is available to all students in the Karlsruhe/Pforzheim college-region. We do not have many ways to verify if you are a student in this region, so we ask, in the spirit of community, that you do not misuse this service.
How do I arrange an appointment for an initial consultation?
To avoid wait times, arrange an appointment either by telephone or in person. An initial consulting session is usually possible within two weeks but same-day meetings may be possible for emergencies. Requesting a particular therapist may result in longer wait times.
What does the initial appointment look like?
- Before the appointment, you will fill out a questionnaire that helps us get an overview of your situation. The PBS has used this questionnaire for years. It allows us to evaluate your concerns as professionally and comprehensively as possible, while still being quick. Furthermore, we use the questionnaires to quality-check our work and observe trends. Your effort in filling out the questionnaire also benefits future clients.
- The appointment itself lasts about 50-60 minutes and helps us better understand your living situation, your problem, and you as a person. At the end of the appointment, provided it is possible and desired, we will recommend how to advance. This may consist of information, advice, or recommendations of further psychotherapeutic support.
And after the initial appointment?
In some cases, the client’s problem is satisfactorily addressed in the first counseling session. There is often, however, a need for further counseling. Provided we do not see other support possibilities as more fitting, we gladly offer further sessions. In addition to individual sessions, we also offer couples, family, and group counseling.
Depending on the need, appointments can take place weekly, biweekly, monthly, or at other intervals. 90 percent of our counseling takes anywhere from 1 to 20 total hours. 10 percent of our clients require more appointments beyond this. Regardless of the number of appointments, counseling in the PBS is free of charge.
During the course of your counseling, we may get the impression that someone else would better address your concerns (a specialist, self-help group, clinic, doctor, etc.). If this happens, we will provide you with appropriate information and addresses.
Can you give some more information about the counselors and therapists?
If you want to learn more about us before a counseling session or therapy, read the following text or simply ask us.
There are numerous ways to promote the happiness of yourself and that of everyone: Religion, philosophy, economy, politics, art, love, and community life are all things that can all fulfill this purpose. Psychotherapeutic counseling, behavioral therapy, psychoanalysis, systemic therapy, gestalt therapy, etc. are all specific understandings and practices that help counsel individuals to live free, happy, and creative lives. There are many factors that influence the psychological conditions of our life’s relationships. Some of these factors are perception, imagination, dreams, thoughts, judgements, motivations, interests, feelings, attitude, demeanor, personality, interaction, communication, learning, and development.
Research from the last hundred years has shown that the success of counseling and therapy does not only depend on the methods used, but also on how well the therapist/counselor and client get along. Therefore, the counselors and therapists make considerable efforts during their work and education to be a good fit for as many clients as possible. Normally, both the client and counselor know within the first two or three meetings whether or not they will have a productive and helpful relationship. The client does not need to know anything about the therapist to have good feelings and a good experience with the situation. In some forms of psychoanalysis, the therapist will withhold as much information about themselves as possible. This keeps the discussion as open as possible to allow the thoughts, feelings, and fantasies of the client to flow freely. Other therapists wish to build a trustful relationship with clients so they share information about themselves.
Accordingly, there are some clients who find learning about their therapist distracts from their own issues. For others, it is helpful or even necessary to learn personal information about the therapist. The simplest way is just to ask.