veritas – Beratungsstelle in Berlin
Counseling center for people affected by conspiracy narratives in Berlin
Confidential and free consultation
In 2021 and 2022, cultures interactive e.V. used the veritas counseling center to help Berliners who were acutely stressed by people in their environment who believed in conspiracies to find an adequate way to deal with this pressure of suffering. The counseling was confidential, free of charge and could be used as telephone, mail and online counseling or in the premises of the counseling center in Berlin. Since January 2023, the veritas counseling center in Berlin has been run by the Interdisziplinäres Zentrum für Radikalisierungsprävention und Demokratieförderung.
Contact point for family members, pedagogical professionals and affected persons
Above all, family members, but also professionals (teachers, youth workers, social workers, etc.) who live and work with conspiracy-believing people in their daily interactions were thus given a direct point of contact in Berlin for the first time in order to better cope with this life situation. Guided by the assumption that counseling those affected always has a positive effect on the conspiracy believers themselves, the veritas staff worked systemically, solution- and resource-oriented.
Consulting for Youth Welfare Offices and Youth Welfare Services
In addition, the employees of the counseling center were able to support youth welfare offices as well as youth welfare in general in assessing questions of child welfare endangerment in the context of conspiracy-believing families. For this purpose, the counseling center offered so-called Insofern Erfahrene Fachkräfteberatung according to §8a SBG VII. In addition to counseling families and the environment of conspiracy believers, veritas also offered support as well as training and workshops for schools and for professionals in child and youth welfare in whose everyday life - whether clients or colleagues - conspiracy narratives play a role. This is because conspiracy narratives often pose a threat to democratic coexistence.
Advice center for Berlin
With veritas, the city of Berlin supplemented its already broad-based civil society advisory service for combating phenomena of group-based misanthropy and anti-democratic ideologies. The need for a counseling center that explicitly addresses those affected by and victims of conspiracy narratives arose in particular from the fact that conspiracy narratives cannot always be clearly attributed to extremist worldviews. Accordingly, this also resulted in special requirements for professional counseling. In addition to direct counseling for victims, the veritas counseling center also pursued the goal of acting as a referral counseling service in order to complement the existing system of Berlin's counseling network and to initiate appropriate cooperation.
The work of the counseling center was accompanied by an advisory board consisting of various professional experts in the context of conspiracy narratives. This committee met twice a year and was regularly informed about the work, challenges and needs of veritas.
13.01.2021 until 31.12.2022