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Early Counselling for Parents with Infants and Toddlers in the State Capital Potsdam

Problems in the developmental phase of early childhood experience and behaviour (approx. 0 - 3 years) bear special characteristics. Above all, a sharp delineation of individual behavioural and functional areas is not yet possible. In addition, there is the immense dependence of the infant on its caregivers. This is expressed by the British paediatrician and psychoanalyst D. W. Winnicott: "There is no such thing as a baby" (1965, p. 38). For the counselling work with infants and toddlers and their families, the great challenge is to look at the physical, psychological and parent-child relationship aspects together.

Zwei Erwachsene und ein Kind in einer Beratungssituation
© AdobeStock/andreaobzerova
Start date:
Transfer project
Cooperation project
Cooperation partners:
State capital Potsdam

This also means that in order to counter early childhood disorders, which often concern the regulation of eating, sleeping and crying, the early interaction of the child with its parents must be looked at more closely. This also applies to abnormalities that are related to relationship-relevant psychological crises of the caregivers, for example postpartum depression.

Funded by the state capital Potsdam, the team at the project location of the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam (Counselling Centre from Infant to Toddler) is responsible for the professional coordination and supervision of the early counselling services, which are realised jointly in practice with the Arbeiterwohlfahrt (AWO) and the Evangelisches Jugend- und Fürsorgewerk (EJF). The many years of professional expertise of the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam in the area of early childhood education and support for families in the early years will be sustainably anchored in this transfer project in the early support network of the city of Potsdam.

Parallel to the counselling practice based on high professional expertise of the participants in the sense of a research-inspired practice, a systematic accompanying research in the sense of practice-inspired research is established by the project management. Through the participation of students of the degree programmes Social Work (BASA), Education and Upbringing in Childhood (BABEK), Early Childhood Education Research (MAFB) in seminars, research internships and theses, the project establishes long-term impact and effectiveness research in the field of parent-infant counselling at the FH Potsdam.

Further information on counselling can be found here.

Current project publications

Kunze, A., Krauskopf, K., & Mühle, A. (2021). Und dann kommt Corona …. Erfahrungen mit Veränderungen in der Familienberatung nach Pandemiemaßnahmen im Frühjahr 2020. Psychoanalytische Familientherapie, 22(1), 85–100.


Project Manager

Project participants

  • Astrid Kunze
  • Anke Mühl
  • Bärbel Derksen
  • Dr Gabriele Koch