Mindset interventions

Mindset interventions are research-based group interventions that strengthen the students’ sense of belonging in the course of study.

A lot is at stake in the transition from being a student in secondary education to being a student in higher education. Even regular education situations, such as feedback from an educator, a critical discussion with a fellow student, or a lunch without company can be experienced as proof of not belonging. It leads to many students having thoughts like: Everyone else can figure it out, just not me, The others fit in better, The others are smarter than me, and Everyone else has made friends …. These misunderstandings are paradoxical and problematic because so many believe that they are in it alone. The misunderstandings lead to unsuitable strategies and the students become preoccupied with whether what they are doing is right or wrong instead of having a more process-oriented attitude to learning where they dare to make mistakes and receive criticism.

American educational research has developed very effective interventions for these misunderstandings and the experience of being alone with critical thoughts, and Student Counselling Service has adjusted the results to fit a Danish educational context.

Content in mindset interventions

  • The students are an active part of the intervention (the students are presented with typical challenges by older students and, then, reflect individually on the recognisable parts of the presentations. In the end, the students convey the recommendations to the future students).
  • The message must run under the radar and the intervention must be short – max one hour. You do not tell the student that they are exposed to an intervention that will lead to a higher level of well-being and professionalism because such approaches can be experienced as controlling and create resistance. In some cases, they can also lead to stigmatisation.
  • Saying-is-believing: the students pass on the message to the future students by writing to the future students about what they have just learned . Thereby, the students become active helpers instead of being those who need help


If you have any questions about the above or are interested in a tailormade solution for your education, please contact the department head


Jesper Madsen

+45 21 89 69 35



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