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Empowering refugees - Peer-to-peer psychosocial care

A project from Ipso gGmbH
in Berlin, Germany

Ipso trains suitable refugees in Germany to become certified psychosocial counsellors in a special training course. Our counsellors can offer culturally sensitive support in their mother tongue and help newcomers cope and thrive.

Daniel Gerloff
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Supporting the training of refugees as psychosocial counselors for refugees

We want to offer a culturally sensitive, resilience- and resource-oriented psychosocial counseling for refugees in their own language to cope better with the transition to their new situation. We want to train qualified refugees to become psychosocial counselors in Value Based Counseling.

After finishing the training, they support people from their own cultural area through psychosocial counseling face-to-face at one of our Ipso Care Centers in Berlin, Hamburg and Erfurt or online via our platform Value Based Counseling is a short-term psychodynamic intervention, the effectiveness of the method has been proven in studies.

Our training creates perspectives for both our counselors and their clients. We have trained more than 150 migrants since 2016 and can now offer our counseling in more than 15 languages. More than 40 graduates of our advanced training counsel clients at our Ipso Care Centers and on our confidential video platform, while other counselors work for other institutions.

Our psychosocial counselors also do outreach work in various accommodations for refugees in Berlin in a project financed by the Berlin State Office for Refugee Affairs. Thanks to our online platform, we have always been able to offer our counseling online during the social distancing measures of the Corona pandemic. In another project in cooperation with Malteser Werke, our counselors offer psychosocial online counseling to people in accommodations in North Rhine-Westphalia.

The training consists of a three-month theoretical phase, which we will move step by step to an eLearning platform developed by us, so we can offer the training independent of location. In the subsequent nine-month practical phase, the trainees take on initial counseling cases and are closely supported and supervised by our experienced team of psychologists and psychotherapists.