Theory and Methodology of Counselling

Prof. Dr. Heidi Möller

Dr. Silja Kotte,
Denise Elisabeth Hinn, M.Sc.,
Dr. Martin Seip,
Alessa Müller, M.Sc.,
Dr. Michael Scherf,
Isabell Diermann, M.Sc.,
Silke Wolter, M.A.

There is a growing need for counselling in organisations. This increased demand for counselling of individuals, teams, and entire organisations is attributable to several factors: the immensely growing complexity of organisations, multiple decision-making demands, acceleration and technological advancement, the blurring of the boundaries between professional and personal life and, finally, globalisation with all of its concomitant burdens, opportunities, and crises. At the same time, the boundaries between life/social environment-related and job-related counselling are becoming increasingly fluid ("life coaching").

Companies, public authorities, the health care system, and the psychosocial sector are seeking support in the area of team development, supervision, organisational consulting, and coaching as a special counselling service for executives helping them not only to increase productivity, but also to find solutions to work-life balance issues and ways of coping with the numerous contradictions, dilemmas and diversity of post-modern professional life. Increasing self-reflection and the capability to act through counseling is considered a basis for maintaining a functional organisation, restoring efficiency or stimulating growth. Moreover, in view of the increasing shortage of qualified professionals and staff diversity (demographic changes, cultural background, gender), counselling has moved to the fore as an individually scalable instrument for promoting employee loyalty and coping with complexity.

Many counselling services still leave much to be desired in terms of professional standards and reliable methodology. The Chair for Counselling Theory and Methodology implements systematic counselling research to raise the level of discourse about counselling above the level of self-help books, texts from practice for practice, and case descriptions.

Counselling research has a project-shaped structure because it must bring together knowledge from the disciplines of psychology, business management, sociology, educational theory, labor and technology management and philosophy.

Research and conceptual development are realised in cooperation with companies and expert counselling practitioners.


The subject area “Counselling Theory and Methodology” contributes to the conceptual and empirical foundations of counselling through the following main research focuses:

  • Outcome research in psychotherapy and counselling (supervision and coaching)
  • Personality development of counsellors and psychotherapists
  • Didactics of training psychotherapists and counsellors
  • Quality assurance in organisation- and person-related services
  • Change processes in post-modern work environments and the challenges that they present for counsellors
  • Gender equality in organisations
  • Demographic change in organisations
  • Leadership development in an international context