Fears, anxieties or mental blocks – who could complete a course of studies without? Coaching can help self-help. Bettina Hafner and Kirsten Alexander, professional coaches at the Carl von Linde Akademie, train TUM students to cope with these demands. What does that mean exactly? An interview with Bettina Hafner:
Coaching for students, what should I understand by that?
The coachings we offer – me and my colleague Kirsten Alexander – have a clear goal: We try to preserve or restore the students' ability to work and learn. It's all about making the most of one's energy in a course of studies and about strengthening self-competencies.
What exactly does self-competency mean?
A course of studies involves a lot of demands. But how best to cope with them? A person is "self competent" if he or she is willing to accept the demands, to handle the problems in a composed manner and to be open to discover own talents.
Who can contact you?
Anyone can get stuck in a course of studies. Mostly, it's the highly motivated and performance-oriented students who want to stay in control of their studies who contact us. We are here for anyone who feels there is something he or she can't cope with – anyone who experiences fears or concerns that start to get in the way of learning or that even limit the quality of life. Anyone who can't sleep at night because of thoughts going round in circles should seek help.
What happens during a coaching session?
We talk about the course of studies a lot, but also about the personal environment and the current situation in life. Often, there are difficult circumstances that lead to mental blocks – and sometimes the affected don't even know what the problem is themselves, so we try to get to the bottom of that together.
But coaching is not a form of therapy, right?
Definitely not. Coachings are short-term measures. We don't look back to work up any situations from the past, we clearly focus on today and on the future. Often, that doesn't even take very long. Usually, we are able to find ideas or solutions to improve the situation quite fast.
Can international students benefit from the coaching offer too?
We offer individual coaching sessions in English and French. Our international students often have existential problems – whether they will have enough money for example, or how long they will be allowed to stay in Germany. Some of them are under pressure because their families back home pinned all their hopes on them.
In addition to individual coaching, there are also a lot of interesting workshops.
Different types of people prefer either group meetings or individual conversations. We offer full-day workshops at all three locations, which are very well received. For example: "Self-confidence: mission possible", "First aid for procrastinators" or "Perfectionism – it's the dose that matters”.
(Interview: Verena Meinecke)
Bettina Hafner has been working as a coach and a trainer in adult education for more than 15 years and has now coordinated the strengthening self-competencies project at TUM for two years. She also offers seminars and coachings for students herself.
If you would like to make a coaching-appointment, simply send an email to coaching(at)cvl-a.tum.de. Please add your contact information, the team will get back to you.