Methodenlehrbuch Beratung

Textbook for advisors of the environment and distancing work in religiously based extremism

In 2021, there were more than 50 projects offering environmental or distancing counseling in the phenomenon area of religiously based extremism in Germany. Many of these projects employ not only social workers, educators and psychologists, but also social scientists. Due to the temporary nature of the projects, there are also many young professionals in this field, most of whom lack training and/or professional experience, especially in the context of counseling.

Even if the supporting organizations make every effort to prepare their employees well for their work, young colleagues in particular repeatedly encounter challenges and questions in counseling sessions. This can concern the relationship with the clients, the question of how to address certain topics, or how to work through possible reasons for radicalization. In order to support (prospective) counselors and thus professionalize the entire field of work, cultures interactive developed in 2021 and 20222 a methodological textbook for environmental and distancing counseling in religiously based extremism.

Practice-oriented support for (prospective) counselors

The textbook contains about 30 counseling methods and techniques, which are presented in a clear, concise and practical way. The focus lies on counseling clients who are directly involved with religious extremism as dropouts or indirectly as parents or professionals. This is intended to strengthen counselors in dealing with different challenges and objectives, and the textbook can also be used as a reference for specific questions. In this way, prospective counselors can be comprehensively prepared and qualified for their activities and experienced counselors can receive new ideas for working with clients. The majority of the methods presented are based on approaches from systemic counseling, which are supplemented by additional techniques from other counseling and therapy schools.

Enabling diversity-sensitive counseling

Challenges and opportunities in working with clients of different backgrounds, religions, or genders have not been sufficiently addressed by most counseling works to date. However, these individual backgrounds must definitely be taken into account in the context of religiously based extremism in building trust and further counseling. Therefore, the methods textbook also sensitize for a reflective handling of diversity and address possible linguistic challenges in counseling.

Quality assurance

An eight-member expert advisory board has reviewed and discussed the structure and content of the methods textbook. In addition, there was a regular exchange on the content of the methods presented with various counseling centers and research institutions.


1.1.2021 until 31.12.2022


Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge