Counseling center for victims of conspiracy narratives
Confidential and free counseling
veritas wants to support people who are exposed to acute stress by conspiracy believers in their environment to find an adequate way to deal with their suffering. Any counseling offered is confidential, free of charge and can be taken up via telephone, mail and online or in the veritas office.
Reaching out to family members, pedagogical professionals and affected persons
Especially for family members, but also professionals (teachers, youth workers, social workers, etc.) who live and work with conspiracy-believing people in their daily lives, veritas provides a direct point of contact in order to better cope with this life situation. Furthermore, we offer psycho-social counseling for victims of attacks by conspiracy-believing people and their milieus (such as through smear campaigns, physical attacks or the threat of attacks). Guided by the assumption that counseling victims and those affected by conspiracy narratives always has a positive effect also on the conspiracy believers themselves, the staff of veritas works systemically, as well as solution- and resource-oriented. In addition, the counselors are happy to help people who feel trapped in conspiracy narratives themselves, and who may have already lost contact with friends and family as a result, on their way back to the „old“ life.
Advice for youth welfare offices and youth welfare services
In addition, the members of our staff are 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 offers so-called counseling according to §8a SBG VII.
A threat to democratic values and cooperation
With veritas, the city of Berlin complements its already broadly positioned civil society counseling services for combating phenomena of group-related hostility and anti-democratic ideologies. The need for a counseling center which explicitly addresses those affected by conspiracy narratives arises in particular from the fact that conspiracy narratives cannot always be clearly attributed to extremist worldviews. Conspiracy narratives are widespread throughout society, but they always pose a threat to democratic convictions. Accordingly, this also results in special requirements for professional counseling. For example, people from the environment of conspiracy believers are reluctant to take advantage of counseling services that explicitly address those affected by right-wing extremism. In addition to providing direct counseling for victims, the veritas counseling center also aims to act 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 veritas is accompanied by a four-member advisory board consisting of various experts in the context of conspiracy narratives. The advisory board will meet twice a year and will be regularly informed about the work, challenges and needs of veritas.
13.01.2021 to 31.12.2022