Logo Kanton Bern / Canton de BerneUniversities of Bern Counselling Centre

Conflicts and bullying

Are you affected by interpersonal tensions and conflicts? At the counselling centre you can find support for bullying and other conflicts in your environment – free of charge and confidentially.


It is normal for conflicts to arise in our interpersonal lives. Many can be resolved relatively quickly by addressing them directly (I-messages).

  • I-messages are useful for addressing conflicts directly.
  • Formula I + what happened + my concerns and feelings + my appeal.

Conflicts become problematic when they remain subliminal and unspoken over a longer period of time. And/or if they continue to escalate without both parties striving to resolve the conflict. A prolonged and/or escalating conflict can have considerable effects on psychological well-being as well as on performance in studies or at work.

Friedrich Glasl's model of the 9 escalation stages is a suitable way to illustrate a classic conflict escalation. You can find an explanation of the stages according to Glasl in this video (4.5 min.):


Sometimes it is not that easy to distinguish bullying from conflicts. After all, not every argument or criticism conceals targeted bullying. Even though it can usually be very humiliating for those affected, we recommend confiding in someone and seeking professional help as soon as possible if bullying occurs or is suspected.

Counselling and support

  • We provide counselling to students and employees of the Universities of Bern in the event of conflicts in their private and professional lives. If necessary, we also offer mediation with both parties to the conflict or with entire teams. 
  • You will find help and support from us if you yourself have been the victim of bullying. Or if you suspect that you or someone else in your social circle has been the victim of bullying. 
  • Counselling services (overview)

  • Mediation and conflict resolution

  • Equal opportunities + diversity (overview)

Further information

You can also find further information on bullying and the relevant specialised agencies here:

Linked video (in German)

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