Aufsuchende Jugendberatung (AJuB) [Outreach Youth Counseling]

Sensitive environment counseling for young people

The six-month exploratory project for the prevention of misanthropy, bullying, violent extremism and other developments that pose a threat to democracy builds on the insight that no one comes into close and continuous contact with young people as easily as young people themselves - namely in the fabric of their respective youth peer environment. Therefore, under favorable circumstances, young people can have very lasting interpersonal effects on each other in their environment. It is just that concrete adolescent social spaces are often affected by domination and intimidation scenarios or otherwise impaired by group dynamic division and blocking. Sensitive environmental counseling may be able to help. However, several questions arise in this regard:

  • How would low-threshold outreach youth (environment) counseling in the community have to be designed in order to be able to support young people within local youth living environments to have good and developmental effects on each other and to strengthen human rights, solidarity motives of togetherness?
  • How can offers of pedagogical youth cultural work contribute to this in a preparatory way? And how can - building on this - processes of personal further development in pro-democratic, social and human rights-oriented perspectives be supported in short-term counseling formats among young people?
  • In other words: How can young people who are affected by intimidation, bullying and misanthropy in their social space be supported in their ability to behave as favorably as possible towards each other, i.e. to turn away selectively, to confront in a measured way if necessary, but at the same time to enter into a relationship and to involve themselves and to seek appropriate assistance and advice in the process - in order to have an overall effect that is conducive to conversation, resolving and thus pro-democratic?
  • How can this be promoted, especially in structurally weak, difficult-to-access and high-risk social areas? How can we indirectly influence - in the sense of environmental counseling - those anti-socially and destructively minded young people who see no need for counseling, but who are regularly the operators of these intimidation dynamics - and whose attitudes are permeated by elements of misanthropy, bullying and violent extremism?

Along these questions, the six-month exploratory project funded by the Morgengrün Foundation basically wants to find out how the worlds of professional psychosocial counseling, be it in the form of approaches of systemic or client-centered counseling, can move closer to the youth life worlds from which they often seem very far away - especially in structurally weak areas and social hot spots.

The approaches developed at cultures interactive e.V. - youth cultural school project days and workshops, narrative discussion groups, intervision groups for professionals, distancing training for individuals, systemic counseling for those affected by conspiracy narratives, the action concept for working with right-wing youth - are helpful starting points in this regard. However, the implementation of low-threshold, community-embedded environmental counseling, especially in the prevention of right-wing extremism, is still pending.

Project duration