Psychological themes

Does any of the following topics affect you in any way or would you like to know more? Please find below a selection of various emotional calamities that may affect students. The list is not exhaustive, the topics are described briefly and solutations are shown. For further clarification, please contact us.

  • Social fears

    Does the thought of having to speak in front of several people cause you anxiety? Are you afraid of being exposed to other people’s criticism? Do you feel consequently incapable to participate in group work?

    When suffering from social anxiety, it is much more than simply a notion of shyness and introvertedness. Situations that are normal for others can cause panic. While specific phobias

    (such as spider phobia) are well known and equally understood in our community, social phobias are less known. People with social phobias are bound to experience panic-like anxiety in common situations, such as eating in front of other people, commuting in a bus, visiting a crowded lecture hall. As a result, such situations can increasingly be avoided, which subsequently will lead to great difficulties in social, professional and everyday life.

    What can I do? 

    A therapist can help you understand how social anxiety works and how to identify situations that trigger and sustain your fears. These terrifying situations will in future be imagined while, gradually guided and aided by your therapist, you will learn how to confront these situations in real life. In visualizing theses trigger moments your brain learns how these situations are in fact not dangerous. Gradually you will dissolve your own negative thought patterns until situations that triggered your anxiety earlier will be well managed.

    The psychological counseling for students offers workshops dealing with this topic on a regular basis.

    Usefull links: 
  • Eating disorders

    Do you constantly think about food? Are you afraid to lose control over your food intake? Are you counting calories? Are you not satisfied with your body at all? These may be signs that you have an eating disorder. Anorexic disorder is characterized by a compulsive anxiety to gain weight, despite having a BMI well below average. Food is systematically checked for caloric content, a lot of physical activity is performed in order to burn more calories. Bulimia on the other hand is characterized by recurrent episodes of binge eating, where huge amounts of food is absorbed in a short time, with a sense of lack of control, guilt and shame –subsequently plagued by compensatory behavior such as vomiting, intensive sports or the use of laxatives in order to prevent gain weight. The mind will constantly revolve around body shape and weight.

    What can I do?

    Guided and instructed by a therapist you learn how your eating disorder works, which situations trigger and sustain it. An important phase will rely on watching your eating habits closely (what and when did you eat, what did you think about then and how did you feel at that moment?). After that you will try to gradually introduce changes in your behaviour, aided by a therapist. The psychological counseling can be supplemented by a nutritional consultation.

    Please note: None of our therapists is specialised in the subject of eating disorders. It is highly recommended though, to have a longer-term accompaniment than our counselling centre can offer. We would therefore be pleased to refer you to the following service in Freiburg (please check with your health insurance company to find out to what extent the costs will be covered. Usually, the basic insurance will cover the costs provided the therapy has been prescribed by your family doctor).

    Medical practice Matrix Nutrition

    Network Ceptade


    Usefull links:
  • Depression

    Do you feel sad and depressed, do you have difficulties getting out of bed in the morning and are you brooding over sense or senselessness of the human experience? Do you feel weary and spiritless? Whether you suffer a short-term depression or even suicidal depression, it is utterly important to seek help. Talking to a psychologist can help you get back your zest for life.

    What can I do?

    Psychotherapy, with or without medication, can help you figure out your depression, will eventually make you feel better and, in the long run, will help you overcome the disease. With depression, it is very helpful and important to maintain and nurture social contacts, to structure your daily routine, to exercise regularly and to pursue achievable, realistic and positive goals in your daily life. In case you need immediate help or feel hopeless and despaired do not hesitate to call the Presented Hand (phone 143) or in case of emergency do call an ambulance (tel. 144).

    Usefull links
  • Sleeping disorders

    Do you have difficulties falling asleep at night? Are you lying awake, telling yourself how important it would to be asleep but fail to doze off? And when you finally succeed, is your sleep light and you wake up several times during the course of the night?

    Unfortunately it does not get better the next night even though you get up dead tired in the morning. You struggle to get through the day focused. Paradoxically, the more you think about it, the more difficult it will be to finally find rest and fall asleep.

    What can I do?

    In addition to psychotherapy, good sleeping hygiene helps to improve the quality of sleep. Note, e.g. the following points:

    • eat something light in the evening
    • do not exercise during 2 to 3 hours before bedtime
    • do not drink caffeinated / alcoholic drinks, alcohol and do not take drugs towards the end of the day
    • avoid screens (TV, mobile phone, tablet) at bedtime
    • maintain a short ritual at bedtime (for example, reading)
    • get up at the same time every morning
    • if you have an especially hard time falling asleep in the evening: do not stay restless in bed, but get up
    Usefull links: 
  • Procrastination

    We all postpone tasks we do not enjoy and consider less pressing. Being allowed to handle university studies mostly self-reliant, organizing your learning tasks at the university can prove to be challenging or even problematic for students. Do you make plans to start learning or writing a paper every single day only to postpone it to the following day again? Are you tormented by remorse or do you simply not know how to tackle your work or how and where to start? At some point, the only thing you can perceive will be this great, indomitable mountain of work and fast approaching deadlines ...

    What can I do ?

    There is a way to escape your vicious circle. Assisted by a therapist, you can learn how to structure your day, how to organize yourself and how to learn better. Starting step by step, gradually increasing the intensity of your learning sessions, you will finally be able to achieve your goals.

    The psychological counseling for students offers workshops dealing with this topic on a regular basis. For more information please click here. 

    Usefull links

Further topics

Links to the counselling services of other universities: 

The Psychological Student Advisory Service of the University of Freiburg can only accept students who are enrolled at the University of Freiburg. In case you are currently enrolled at another university, please contact the relevant service.