I never have any idea what to do with students who are going through some sort of difficulty outside of the classroom. I understand that bad things happen all of the time, and there's never a good time for it. But at the same time, I don't see how it helps for a student to tell me what they are going through, even just in broad terms. They don't have to tell me if there is some family issue, or relationships, or health, or... anything. There are outside circumstances, I understand, and that's all I really need to know about.
But I don't know how to actually interact with these students when they come to my office and want to tell me what is going on. Most of me wants to stop them from talking about what, in any general or specific terms, is going on. There's nothing I can do about it. But I don't want to come across as not caring. Of course I'm sorry that they are going through whatever difficulty it is.