ORGANIZING THE CRISIS – when we came up with this title in the run-up to the 2020 Summer School, which we postponed by a year, we could not have suspected that the term „crisis“ would make everyone think of the Covid 19 pandemic. We’re thinking: The title is now even more appropriate!

Back then, we had in mind the susceptibility of academic psychology to crises, which was last shown in 2015 in the form of the replication crisis [1]. Numerous classical experiments and findings from psychology could not be replicated. However, this was not followed by a debate that called into question the fundamental methodological orientation of psychology.

This is not (only) a problem of a limited understanding of science: A psychology that understands the individual as passive, as being under biological, social or cognitive influences, without however having any influence on the structures in which he or she lives, is a psychology that bypasses human nature. Critical psychology must therefore be a critique of such a psychology. We organize the Summer School in order to understand the crisis of such a psychology and to contribute to it.

The economization of research, which forces scientists to publish as much as possible, quickly and with high impact, has also contributed to this crisis. We organize the Summer School to discuss how social developments are related to scientific trends.

Critical psychology emphasizes the „social nature of man“: An example is the Covid-19 pandemic, which makes us aware that we are both natural beings, who can become seriously ill from a virus, and also social beings as it shows us that it’s the way society deals with the pandemic, which in the worst case decides between life and death. We organize the Summer School in order to move from the isolation of the lockdown to networking, be it digital or analog.

Current psychological studies on the Covid-19 pandemic do not treat it as a societal crisis to be overcome, but rather as something to which each individual can react with a limited repertoire of behaviors. Critical psychology, on the other hand, wants to do justice to the fact that what is specifically human, is life in man-made societies. We can only understand human action in its entirety if we understand it not only as adaptation, but also as resistant and productive. In this sense, critical psychology pursues an emancipatory concern and focuses on overcoming relationships of domination and oppression. The Summer School should be a place where we organize and network in order to acquire new knowledge and to exchange ideas, because the best knowledge is useless if it is only in books and we only learn and research sporadically.

We invite interested students, researchers and practitioners from psychology, social work and other disciplines to exchange ideas with us about the basic concepts of critical psychology, to discuss current issues and studies, to network and to train.

The Summer School will take place from September 7th to 11th, 2021. Participation in the Critical Psychology Summer School is free.

Due to the unforeseeable pandemic situation, we have decided that the participants of the Summer School can register for fixed groups with a limited number of participants, each with their own program. Depending on the future development of the pandemic, these groups which can either take place online, in a hybrid format or in attendance at the Alice Salomon University in Berlin. Registration for these groups will be possible from the beginning of July on our website.

There will be groups on the following topics: Introduction to Critical Psychology (two groups), Social Movements, Psychosocial Practice, Cultural-Historical Activity Theory and German Critical Psychology (English), Exploring the World: Relationships between Learning and Research (English) .

In addition, this year we are organizing larger events that take place online and have no limited number of participants. More information about this soon.

Out of the crisis – organizing the crisis!

[1] Open Science Collaboration (2015). Estimating the reproducibility of psychological science. Science, 349 (6251), aac4716.


7th to 11th September 2021

Critical Psychology Summer School is a congress to introduce the main theories and discuss current developments within critical psychology / „Kritische Psychologie“ (sometimes referred to as German critical psychology or Berlin school; see here).

Mode: Fixed groups with a limited number of participants, each with their own program – either online, in a hybrid format or in attendance at the Alice Salomon University in Berlin.

Participation at our summer school is is free of charge. However: We are preparing it self-organized and are therefore dependent on donations – either in advance by bank transfer (also possible with donation receipt) or during the summer school itself.

Participation is accredited as »Bildungsurlaub« (paid educational leave for employees in Germany) (via the Alice Salomon University as recognized educational institution) – contact us here: k……

Location: Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences, Alice-Salomon-Platz 5, 12627 Berlin-Hellersdorf

The rooms of Alice Salomon University of Applied Science are barrier-free / accessible for wheelchairs.

If you have any further questions, contact us here: k……

Sign-up to Critical Psychology Summer School here (soon).
The parts of our programme in English will soon be available here.