Children and Youth

The Children and Youth Department at the Center ÜBERLEBEN

The Children and Youth Department at the Center ÜBERLEBEN has been working with traumatized children and adolescents since 2000. Our goal is to support these young people in coping with their everyday life in exile. We are trying to reduce the painful effects of war-related trauma in fostering appropriate development for children and adolescents. There are currently 15 therapy places available and each year between 40 and 70 individuals are treated. These young people come mostly from Czechnya, African Countries, the Middle East, Afghanistan, Iraq and Caucasus.

Children and Young People on the run

More than half of all refugees throughout the world are children and adolescents. According to the estimations of refugee organizations this amounts to more than 16 million minors. They are escaping war, violence, forced recruitment as well as political, religious and gender-specific persecution. Many thousands of children and adolescents refugees live in Berlin, and many of these have suffered severe psychological damage through their experiences of war and escape.

The target group of the Children and Youth Department are children from refugee families and unaccompanied refugee minors, who have been traumatized by such events as those mentioned above. They have symptoms that indicate the presence of a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or other psychological disorders.

Our Services

  • Out-patient based psychotherapy (14 places)
  • Psychosocial counseling
  • Counseling for parents and other related persons
  • Counseling and treatment, interpreter-supported if necessary
  • Expert advice for colleagues and resource persons
  • Referral to other specialists or therapists
  • Training in the field of working with traumatized child refugees
  • Observation of the Child Protection Act (SGB VIII)

Our Team

We are two Child and Adolescent Psychotherapists, working in cooperation with our organization's social workers. We consider and respect the social, legal as well as psychological situation of individuals in counseling and therapy.


Questions and Registration

Wednesday 12am to 1pm
Tel: +49 (30) 30 39 06 -0
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Projects in the Children and Youth Department

From autumn of 2008 till autumn of 2011, the Child and Youth Department conducted a project for psychosocial assistance for traumatized and unaccompanied refugee children financed by Aktion Mensch. Currently 65% of patients in the Children and Youth Department are unaccompanied minors. This project offered these young people a pedagogical group activities as well as assistance on an individual basis in the form of:

Social Competence Training with Free-time Activities

Traumatized young people have, due to their socialization during war and conflict, often been denied the opportunity to complete age-appropriate developmental stages, which are crucial in the formation of social competences. Every two weeks young people met to train in aspects of self-esteem, dealing with conflicts, praise and criticism or communication and body language. In addition to this training, these young people took part in free-time activities where they could practice what they learned in a real-life situation.

Follow-up care

Due to the particular situation that young unaccompanied refugees find themselves in, sometimes group-therapy or learning is not enough. Particularly with those who have reached their 18th birthday, at which point the youth support and with it the therapeutic treatment comes to an end, there is the need for additional individual support. This support can range from assistance in residency rights matters, advice on developing daily routines and structure in life, coordination of further medicinal or therapeutic treatments, assistance in administrative and official matters, and finding trainings as well as employment.