Psychosoziales Zentrum Pfalz Wartebereich
Foto: Psychosoziales Zentrum Pfalz

Interview with "Psychosoziales Zentrum Pfalz"

We spoke with Daniela Dannert last week. She works as a psychologist at the "Psychosoziales Zentrum Pfalz" in Ludwigshafen. The Psychosocial Center offers counseling for refugees with mental illnesses.

We talked to her about how the center works, who gets help there and what she particularly loves about her work.

When did the Psychosozialisches Zentrum Pfalz start and why was it founded?

The Psychosozialisches Zentrum Pfalz (PSZ) was founded in summer 2015 to support traumatized refugees and victims of torture in the region of Palatinate("Pfalz").
What are the focal points of your work?

The work has three main focuses:

    Psychosocial counselling
    medical-psychological advice for legal proceedings concerning residence
    Process consulting.

In addition, 4 volunteer therapists work in the PSZ and offer psychotherapy.

In addition, there are groups for women and in the initial admission facility there are other group offers. These services are free of charge and are subject to confidentiality. This means that the things that people tell may not be told anyone else. They remain secret.

Can you describe the PSZ team? Do mainly psychologists work there?

The team of the PSZ consists of 15 people. Some of them work there full-time. Others work there voluntarily.

In addition to the headquarters in Ludwigshafen, there is also the state primary care facility in Speyer. And a branch office in the Germersheim district.

People from the PSZ also work there. Additionally, there are about 40 language mediators who help with translations.

Can you also be contacted by people who do not live in the region? Or are there other centers in other regions?

You may contact us if you live in the cities of Ludwigshafen, Frankenthal, Bad Dürkheim, Speyer, Landau, the district of Germersheim, the Rhine-Palatinate district, the district of Bad Dürkheim or the district of südliche Weinstraße.

An overview of the responsibilities of the psychosocial centers in Rhineland-Palatinate can be found here.

Who may contact you? Do any requirements have to be met?

The PSZ is responsible for refugees who do not have a secure residence status.

The target group are refugees with mental illnesses. Among them are especially those who have experienced bad things in their country of origin or on their way to Germany, which have led to psychological problems.

People with insecure residence status and psychological problems, such as sleep disorders, nightmares, depressed mood, anxiety and panic can contact us.

The offer is rather for adults. However, we can also offer a few therapy places for children and adolescents.

Do I need a referral from my doctor if I want to contact you for a consultation?

You do not need a document from a doctor if you need a consultation. However, you should make an appointment by telephone beforehand. The consultation hour for this is on Tuesdays from 14.00 - 16.00 o'clock.

Is there a high demand for the PSZ? Is there enough time to take care of everyone who registers?

Approximately 300 people seeking advice come to the PSZ every year.

When we were founded in 2015, we were responsible for the entire Palatinate and were understaffed. In the meantime, however, this has been better divided and we now have many more employees*. So we can usually arrange a first appointment for an interview after 3-4 weeks.

Do you have to speak German well to get help in the PSZ? Are there translators?

No, if it is necessary, we work with language mediators.

Do I have to pay for the consultation?

No, our offer is free of charge.

How exactly do you get advice at the PSZ? Is there a concrete procedure?

First of all, there is an initial interview, during which an overview of the person's situation is gained. The course of the subsequent sessions is very flexible and depends on the needs of the person who comes to us. We work together with other specialized counseling centers. If necessary, we also work together with medical specialists and psychotherapists.

As a rule, the consultation takes place in a one-on-one interview. We also have group offers.

Can I bring my child to the consultation?

Due to the Corona regulations, this is not possible at the moment. Before the corona pandemic, we were able to provide childcare in some cases. We hope that this will be possible again in the future.

The Diakonie belongs to the Protestant Church. Does religion play a role in counseling?  

No, religion plays no role in counseling. We provide counseling to those affected regardless of nationality, sexual orientation, political, ethnic or religious affiliation.

What do you personally like about your work? Are there special moments that you remember especially?

It is especially nice to see that over time people feel better psychologically. Or it is also nice when it becomes possible for them to build up a secure perspective for themselves. It is impressive to experience the power and strength with which people cope with adverse life circumstances. It is often a long process and at the beginning the situation often seems hopeless. If there are successes then, that is especially nice.

Is it possible to volunteer with you or support the center in any way?

We would like to invite trained therapists who are either retired or working part-time to volunteer with us at PSZ Pfalz.

We are also always looking for translators and language mediators with a good knowledge of German for many different languages. We can put them on the list of language mediators and they will receive a small payment.

Do you have any other words that you would like to address to people who may not (yet) dare to contact the PSZ or a psychological counseling center?

There are such serious events in life that cause psychological problems or stress for almost everyone. With us, nobody is labeled "crazy". Every person can get into a life situation where he or she needs professional help. In a first conversation we look together to see which support could be helpful for you. Our advice is of course subject to confidentiality.

How and when can you be reached?

You can reach us by e-mail: and by telephone: 0621 49 07 77 10. Appointments can be made during our telephone consultation hours on Tuesdays from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Are there currently any changes due to Corona? Can I still come for a consultation?

Since the middle of May you can come to our consultation again. During the consultation, the rules of hygiene (distance, ventilation, disinfection, mouth and nose protection) are of course followed.

On the homepage of the Coordination Office for the Intercultural Opening of the Health Care System in RLP you will also find information on the topic of mental health, partly in several languages:

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