The Idea

Psychoanalytical and Group analytical Spaces of Resonance and Treatment Options for Refugees

Triggered by political, social and ecological crises, migration and flight have become a central topic in Europe in the last few years. This also challenges the supply structure of psychosocial and psychiatric-psychotherapeutic care services. As a response to this issue, there is a growing call for further training, specialized treatment approaches and short-term interventions, that are supposed to prepare individuals for the treatment of “traumatized refugees” – a presumably homogenous group that is often seen with little differentiation. The contributions of (ethno-) psychoanalysis and group analysis take up very little space in this discussion so far. In the Charité Berlin’s Center for Intercultural Psychiatry and Psychotherapy (ZIPP) we have been working with this clientele for 16 years, using psychoanalytical and group analytical approaches.

The superordinate questions of the project are

  1. how psycho- and group-analytical treatment settings must be adjusted to the needs of refugees and
  2. in what way treatment concepts such as holding, containing, belonging and resonance can be utilized and made available in health care settings that are not primarily clinical.

Illustration // studio animanova


In the scope of the project which is supported by the Stiftung Freie Assoziation (Foundation for Free Association) we concentrate on the reflection of our practical clinical experience of the past few years and the theoretical foundations resulting from it. As a second step we will consolidate this process through an internal seminar with international experts and as a third step make it available to interested colleagues in the German speaking countries through the “Encounters beyond the Couch - Flight onto the Couch” conference.

Subsequently we plan to publish the results in scientific journals and document them in other formats.

Illustration // studio animanova

About us

The Center for Cross-Cultural Psychiatry and Psychotherapy (ZIPP) which was founded in 2002 consists of doctors and psychologists with psychoanalytic training, ethnologists, ethnopsychoanalysts, social scientists as well as language and cultural mediators. The multilingualism as well as sociocultural and professional diversity allow for the reflection of stereotypical and ethnicizing interpretations as well as a transcultural conflict culture.