ubica II

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Subproject 2: Parental Training

Mentalization-based parental training for mentally ill parents

Locations: Heidelberg, Berlin,


According to scientific and clinical reports, parents who suffer from mental illness or who have been exposed to serious stress and adverse experiences in their childhood often find it more difficult to respond adequately to their child's emotional needs compared to parents without such stress. The aim of this subproject 2 is therefore to investigate the effectiveness of two programs designed to strengthen parental relationship behavior. Both programs are offered at the Department of General Psychiatry of the Heidelberg University Hospital and at the Charité Psychiatric University Clinic at the St. Hedwig Hospital in Berlin. One program comprises a 12-hour mentalization-based parental counselling (MB-PC) in individual and group format, which takes about 6 weeks. Mentalization refers to the ability to understand the wishes, motives, feelings and intentions behind the behavior of others and oneself. The MB-PC program therefore aims to strengthen the parental mentalization with regard to the interaction with their child, e.g. to understand clues, to be able to better classify possible feelings and child's motives when it shows difficult behavior and to react to them adequately.  The second program that we investigate is an intensive course on parenting skills, which will be offered in a 90-minute psychoeducative workshop in the group format. The focus is to obtain information on favorable parenting behavior that can strengthen the relationship between parents and child, and on how to deal with parental stress. Participants will also be given the opportunity to exchange information and experiences with each other.

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