• 02/01/2018

Students help students

The Munich Nightline has an open ear

Lovesickness, test anxiety, conflicts in the flat share… typical problems in student life – and the Munich Nightline listens if there’s nobody else who can lend an open ear. The phone service is run by students of all universities and scientific disciplines. They listen to their fellow students’ worries – anonymously, free of charge, and confidentially.<br /><br />

An open ear for students in Munich: The Nightline is there for you on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 9 pm to 0:30 am. (Photo: Nightline Munich)
An open ear for students in Munich: The Nightline is there for you on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 9 pm to 0:30 am. (Photo: Nightline Munich)

The idea of a consulting phone line for students that is run by students first came up in the UK, where Nightlines are now an integral part of many colleges. Germany’s first Nightline was established in Heidelberg in 1994 – and today, there are 15 nightlines throughout Germany.

A concept by Carl Rogers

The “Münchener Zuhörtelefon”, which was founded in the winter semester 2010/11, is only run by students from Munich’s universities – as an honorary commitment. They are trained by experienced “Nightliners”, to ensure that they will be able to cope with especially demanding calls as well. Following a concept that was established by psychologist Carl Rogers (who coined the term “client-centered psychoanalysis”), the Nightliners offer no advice.

Rather, the focus is on active listening, as Nightliner Adrian emphasizes: “Our main task is simply to listen. If we can help to channel the caller’s thoughts a bit, we’ve already achieved a lot. We don’t want to give any advice that might not help the caller in the end.” The caller knows what the problem is – so it’s best if he/she works out the solution. The Nightliners merely offer support.

At eye level with the caller

The Nightliners benefit from the conversations – which can last for ten minutes or sometimes even one hour – as well. “You learn to listen, to put yourself in someone else’s position, and to take time to listen to your counterpart,” Adrian explains. “In addition, you learn to set your limits and to communicate them. As Nightliners, we wouldn’t be authentic if we weren’t allowed to say so if a certain problem is simply too much. We want to be at eye level with the caller, and it’s very important to show empathy and to be authentic.”

  • You can reach the Nightline on Tuesdays and Thursdaysfrom 9 pm to 0.30 am – by calling +49 (0)89 – 3571-3571.

More information:
Nightline München

Technical University of Munich

Corporate Communications Center

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