Sonja Kracke studied rehabilitation psychology in Stendal and, as a self-employed psychologist and coach, helps people to cope with their mental problems.

Sonja Kracke studied rehabilitation psychology in Stendal. With the knowledge she gained and her interest in spiritual topics, she started her own business while still a student. What motivated her to make this decision and what advice she gives to current students is what she reveals to us in today's interview.

Ms. Kracke, why did you decide to study at the Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences and, in particular, the Rehabilitation Psychology program?

There are several reasons: the university is still relatively young with few students and a good exchange with professors, so there is good support. In addition, Stendal is a small town, the distances are short, everything can be reached quickly by bike or on foot, and I find it wonderful to study in the countryside.

What insights have you gained from your time at university? Did your studies also shape you as a person?

In addition to the theoretical studies, the practical work and the controversial exchange with fellow students, i.e. tangible experiences, are essential formative components that every student should have. Every interpersonal encounter is an experience that gives us the chance to experience ourselves, to explore anew, to reflect and ultimately possibly to adopt new perspectives. 

Do you still have contact with former fellow students or other active connections to the university?

I still maintain regular contact with fellow students today. 

Was there a particular moment in your studies that you remember most?

There are many moments that have remained in my memory. One particular moment was in my first thesis meeting. The meeting was about the choice of topic, which I was still unsure about. Until then, I was still thinking along the lines of clinical psychology. My supervising professor finally told me that he had looked at my website and suggested that I think of my topic in the direction of spirituality. I was so surprised that the professor took the time up front to look at my website and through that, me, my interests. This impulse was the beginning of me dealing academically with spiritual psychology. 

You already decided in your studies to become self-employed; how did this decision come about and what hurdles did you possibly have to overcome in the process?

I knew early on that I wanted to work independently. Since I was already asked to give seminars during my studies, it was only a small step to become self-employed. The hurdle I had to overcome was in my head: the fear of writing to the tax office and filling out something wrong in the applications. They always say that fear starts in the head - but so does courage. So just courage, just go for it. 

Your work covers topics such as spirituality and mindfulness; who are the people who come to your practice and what values do you impart to them?

They are people like you and me. Among other things, I meet people who are curious or spiritual, who want to have new experiences, or people who feel they have lost themselves in these hectic times. This often manifests itself in depression and addiction disorders, for example.

As a psychologist I keep myself value-free, nevertheless I question certain values of my clients or impart knowledge and stimulate reflection. 

Looking back, would you make different decisions today regarding your professional career?

Up to this point, I would probably hardly do anything differently. I am 100% happy with my job as a rehab psychologist.

Since it is basically your profession, the last question will certainly suit you: What advice would you like to give our future graduates, especially those who are also thinking about starting their own business?

Just do it. Feel inside yourself what feels good and go for it. Be brave, try things out as early as possible. If you make a mistake, don't be angry, but be happy about having learned something again. Because you have missed an experience. But make this mistake only once.

Look beyond what the university has to offer, gain experience in seminars at other schools/companies, both subject-related to your studies and subject-independent, e.g. from the business world.

For further suggestions, information or questions, please have a look at my website

(Photo: private)