MentEd Erasmus+
Project description (overview)

Mentalization training for students and educational professionals

CurrMentEd: An educational programme within the framework of the funding Erasmus+ Strategic Partnerships (2019-1-EN01-KA203-004968)

The international working group of scientists, previously funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), has set itself the task of implementing the practice-relevant aspects of the mentalization approach in a curriculum for the further training of educational professionals in social work (e.g. children and youth welfare), schools and childhood education, thus contributing to the professionalisation of educational professionals. Job-related self-awareness and reflection on the institutional environment promote the recognition and handling of stress and conflicts and contribute to inclusive education and participation of disadvantaged children and young people and to health promotion.

Since current research can demonstrate the success of mentalization training, a model curriculum has been developed. The curriculum is intended to be a European-wide pioneer for further training of educational professionals. In a 'train the trainer' seminar, interested professionals are supported to carry out the training themselves in their institutions. Likewise, interested university teachers will be informed about how the teaching contents and learning materials can be integrated into the university training of educational professionals.

Project duration: September 2019 - August 2022

Objectives: Development of a curriculum and implementation (summer semester April to September 2021)

  • Production of teaching and learning materials (intellectual output 1)
  • Publication of learning materials
  • Evaluation
  • Train the Trainer (intellectual output 2)


  • EHD - University of Applied Sciences Darmstadt (Coordinator: Prof. Dr. H. Kirsch, Dr. N. Behringer)
  • Ludwigsburg University of Education (Prof. Dr. S. Gingelmaier, Dr. N.-H. Schwarzer, Dr. T. Kreuzer)
  • University Klagenfurt (Prof. Dr. A. Turner, Prof. Dr. B. Hanfstingl)
  • University College London (T. Nolte MD, Prof. Dr. P. Fonagy)
  • De Viersprong Institute/Netherlands and Tilburg University (Prof. Dr. J. Hutsebaut, A. Laurenssen)
  • Associated partners: TH-Rosenheim (Prof. Dr. J. Huber), Uni-Koblenz-Landau (Prof. Dr. A. Dlugosch, M. Henter), University of Heidelberg (Prof. Dr. S. Taubner)

Goals I

  • Support for professionals and promotion of social and societal participation
  • Innovative pedagogical methods
  • Testing new forms of teaching and practical concepts
  • Further training of pedagogical staff for:
    • Social or school participation/inclusion
    • Youth and family support
    • Self-development, emotion regulation and dealing with stress
    • Mental health and well-being
    • Shaping helpful relationships
    • Promoting reflection in everyday professional life

Goals II

  • To inform and sensitise the (professional) public about the mentalization approach to improve learning conditions and participation opportunities.
  • To present the project itself, its intention and conception as an innovative response to the challenges of inclusion and dealing with diversity.
  • To arouse curiosity and interest in the project's content and results among the (professional) public at regional, national and European level.
  • Promote identification with the project, its goals and products among decision-makers and stakeholders in the above-mentioned pedagogical fields of work. Anchoring the curriculum in the curricula of the participating universities or in their further and continuing education programmes.
  • Strengthen the European idea, networking and cooperation (e.g. teacher exchange) and improve the public perception of European programmes and projects.

Target groups

  • Pedagogical professionals (e.g. teachers, social pedagogues, childhood pedagogues) and students
  • Children and young people and their families
  • Responsible persons and decision-makers in organisations (e.g. headmasters, education authorities, social service providers, local authorities, social welfare organisations, child and youth welfare institutions, etc.)
  • Decision-makers in education policy (trade unions, parents' and teachers' associations, ministries)
  • Professionals (academics) at local, regional, national and European level.


Phase I - Preparation

October 2019- February 2021

Project development, distribution of tasks, timetable, curriculum development, development of modules/learning units, creation of teaching and learning materials, review models for learning progress and evaluation possibilities, planning and public relations.

Project meetings: Kick-off meeting October 2019 PH-Ludwigsburg,

1st Transnational Project Meeting (TPM): January 2020 EH-Darmstadt,

2nd TPM September 2020 PH-Ludwigsburg/Uni-Landau,

1st interim report

Phase II - Implementation of the training

March 2021 - September 2021

Implementation and delivery of the mentalization training for pedagogical professionals, development of the website

Kick-off event (online), communication of theoretical basics, start of continuous case work and reflection on the field of work (regionally at three locations), deepening of theoretical basics,

Final seminar in presence (September 2021, University of Klagenfurt), continuation of work-related reflection as well as one's own role in the organisation and the organisation itself (identification of structures that promote or inhibit mentalizing), mentalizing in groups, mentalizing, research and current scientific discourses, evaluation and learning process support

3rd TPM March 2021: University of Klagenfurt (online meeting)

2nd interim report

Phase III - Evaluation and dissemination

October 2021-September 2022

Evaluation of the mentalization training for pedagogical professionals, preparation and implementation of an advanced course: Train the trainer - multiplier training (April 2022, University of Klagenfurt). Translation of teaching materials and the website into different languages, publications, publication of the Intellectual output and multiplier events.

4th TPM November 2021 Bergen op Zoom /NL,

5th TPM March 2022, Anna Freud Center London,

6th TPM July 2002 Mainz

Final report

Transnational project meetings

6th project meeting Mainz/Germany, Juli 2022

In the final meeting, we critically reflected on the current status of the project, distributed final tasks and discussed aspects of public relations and further cooperation.

5th project meeting London/GB, March 2022

The Anna Freud Center for Children and Families in London had made rooms available to us. In these venerable rooms it was easy to discuss and plan. Public relations events (multiplyer events) were prepared and a continuation of the cooperation was planned through the funding of the Swiss Foundation for the Promotion of Exchange and Mobility MOVETIA (duration: October 2022 - October 2024).

4th project meeting Bergen op Zoom /NL, November 2021

In addition to the current status of the project and further planning, changes due to the pandemic were discussed and incorporated into further planning. The promotion of young scientists took place through the presentation of doctoral projects in the context of the Ersamus+ project.

3rd project meeting Klagenfurt/Austria (online), March 2021,

Organisation and planning of the "learning and teaching activities" and distribution of tasks including the timetable were brought up to date. In addition to the project meeting, a lecture by Dr. Nicola Hans Schwarzer on mentalizing and mental health (online) was offered to the network 'Mented' and interested professional public and met with great interest.

Lecture from Dr. Nicola Hans Schwarzer zum Thema: Mentalization and mental health (german)

5.02 MB pdf

2nd project meeting PH-Ludwigsburg and Uni-Landau/Germany (hybrid), September 2020

The impact of the Covid 19 pandemic on the project had to be reconsidered again and again and the planning had to be adapted to the respective situation. In the second project meeting, an attempt was made to win the University of Koblenz-Landau as a cooperation partner and as a successor for the project partner that had left (LMU-Munich).

1st project meeting EH-Darmstadt/Germany, January 2020

After the organisation and task planning within the project group, the network Mented and the professional public was invited. The project was presented in several lectures and the needs of the practice were discussed with the participants.

Flyer zur Tagung soziales Lernen, Beziehung und Mentalisieren, PH-Ludwigsburg Oktober 2019

308.33 KB pdf
to the learning contents