What concerns do psychological counseling services address?
We help students overcome challenges in both their personal and daily lives and study-related or psychological problems. Some of the typical concerns we handle include:
- an inability to study or work, procrastination
- managing stress and burnout
- test anxiety
- educational doubts
- questions regarding identity and orientation
- relationship, partner, and family problems
- loneliness and isolation
- depression and anxiety
- Tips on finding a therapist
Is counseling free?
The psychological services, workshops, and coaching provided by the Center for Academic Advising and Psychological Counseling (ZSPB) is free for students and doctoral researchers of Universität Hamburg, the Hamburg University of Music and Drama, the Hamburg University of Fine Arts, and HafenCity University. Due to limited resources, we cannot provide services to people from other universities or institutions.
Will my instructor, family, academic office, family, partner, etc. find out that I have used psychological counseling services?
All counselors are bound by confidentiality obligations pursuant to Section 203 subsection 1 of the German Criminal Code (Strafgesetzbuch, StGB) and may not provide information about your counseling to third parties. It is possible to exchange information with contacts within the University (e.g., examinations office, academic office) or outside the University (e.g., doctors) only if you explicitly release us, in writing, from our statutory confidentiality obligations. There are 2 exceptions to these confidentiality obligations: (1) Necessity as justification (pursuant to Section 34 StGB): If the protected interest (e.g., the life of the person seeking counseling in case of suicidal tendencies) substantially outweighs the one interfered with, the confidentiality obligation does not apply (e.g., vis-à-vis the police or doctors) provided that these measures are adequate to avert the danger. (2) Failure to report planned offenses (pursuant to Section 138 StGB): Counselors have a disclosure obligation if they learn about specific planned offenses (e.g., robbery, bribery, etc.) and can prevent them.
Whom should I contact if I am having an acute crisis?
In principle, psychiatric care in crisis situations must be provided by registered doctors. If you cannot reach one, you can also seek psychiatric outpatient services at hospitals or a psychosocial counseling office. See the German-language therapy directory from the Ministry of Health and Consumer Protection to find a location that suits you.
Outside normal office hours, help is available for acute psychiatric crises at the emergency rooms of large hospitals or from the Hamburg medical emergency service (Ärztlicher Notfalldienst Hamburg) on 116 117. More information
Do you also provide services to people who are not from Universität Hamburg, the Hamburg University of Music and Drama, the University of Fine Arts, or HafenCity University?
Due to limited resources, we only advise students enrolled at those institutions. The only exception is HOPES, which serves students at all public higher education institutions in Hamburg.
How can I find a therapist?
View our German-language PowerPoint presentation for information on finding a therapist in Hamburg.
I have financial worries. Whom should I contact?
For questions about financing your studies, contact the Counselling Centre for Study Financing (BeSt) run by Studienwerk Hamburg. For information about other matters—such as health insurance, studying with a disability, studying as a parent, etc.—contact the Counselling Centre for Social and International Affairs (BeSI).