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Cultivating relationship competencies in prevention >>
 

Preventive measures are to be aligned with the provision and cultivation of relationship resources. Children and the families they live in are to be supported in crisis situations in order to conserve mental health and prevent illnesses. There can be development crises in partnerships, in families and among individuals in all threshold situations in the family lifecycle.

Violence Prevention
A long-term objective of these measures is the prevention of violence in childhood, which is also the aim of the http://www.buendnis-fuer-kinder.de Bündnis für Kinder gegen Gewalt [Alliance for Children against Violence], which must be seen as a risk factor for developing psychological and psychosomatic illness in the form of abuse or sexual abuse in families. In the department’s violence research until the present, it has been possible to show that by providing teaching materials for primary school and by instructing and supervising teachers, violence and the general willingness to use force recede.
The objective of the institute is to further develop such materials, expand them to other groups – e.g., nursery schools – and make these materials available together with instruction and supervision in German-speaking countries. The development of mental illness is to be prevented across a broad front.

The parent infant consultation unit

Another focus of the preventive orientation of the department involves the early parent / child relationship. The strains on young families are often underestimated by those affected and also not adequately recognised by society. For example, a so-called “excessively crying baby” frequently represents the product of a vicious cycle between a difficulty in self-regulation on the baby’s part and the parent’s inadequate reaction to the crying baby. In such constellations the well-being of mother and child – and as a rule also the relationship between the couple – is negatively impacted. The symptoms presented of babies at the "http://www.klinikum.uni-heidelberg.de/index.php?id=2264"parent / baby consultation are: excessively crying babies, sleep disorders, eating disorders, oppositional behaviour. Studies show that these constellations lay the foundation for later physical and psychological disorders caused by relationships. There is an urgent need to develop further preventive concepts. The concept of the “parents’ seminars” or advanced training of paediatricians in this area is complemented by early intervention for highly stressed families in the project “No one slips through the net” (www.keinerfaelltdurchsnetz.de).