United by a common vision
Spielzeit bases its work on a vision that is shared by all team members: “Not only persons with disabilities or psychological burdens are different, but also healthy persons. Impairment, like health, has its place in the diversity of human forms of being. We are committed to ensuring that otherness is researched, recognized and integrated.”
All our psychotherapists are recognized by the cantonal health authorities as service providers for psychotherapy.
Job and Therapy Management
Counseling and Supervision
Founder of the Spielzeit method
“It’s different to be normal.”
Counseling and Psychotherapy
Specialist psychologist for psychotherapy FSP
President of the MLFI Foundation
PD Dr. sc. nat. Mark Adams
40 years of Spielzeit
Psychology and counseling
For 40 years, we have dedicated our work to young and adolescent persons with illness, trauma and disabilities and their families. With new and specialized psychological approaches, we are committed to providing psychological support and psychotherapy for special concerns.
We support professionals in schools, socio-educational or medical institutions and other specialist departments with advice and presentations on psychological issues.
All members of the Spielzeit team accept physical and mental differences and allow them to coexist without judgment, because we are all different.
40 years of experience: 1984-2024
We will celebrate our 40th anniversary in 2024. Throughout our eventful history, we have repeatedly broken new ground with the development of innovative psychological treatments for people with illness and disabilities.
With four decades of experience in psychological work with people with disabilities and their families, we now provide advice and support to various professionals and institutions.
Our guiding principle
Whether sick, disabled, burdened, healthy, happy, other or normal: we are all unique and we are all a facet of a vibrant, colorful fabric called human diversity. With our guiding principle “It’s different to be normal”, we put otherness at the center.
Become a team member at Spielzeit
Our team is currently complete.
Effective therapeutic methods
Since 1984, we have been involved in psychotherapeutic follow-up research and long-term studies in order to gain a deeper understanding and investigate new ways of treating children and young people who are burdened by illness or disability.
In interdisciplinary cooperation, we share our knowledge in supervision sessions and show effective therapeutic approaches. We also work regularly with foreign specialist disability, psychology and social work centers in Italy, the USA and Israel. The focus is on questions of developmental psychopathology and clinical work with severely stressed children.
Person-centered aggression intervention program
In 2007, Spielzeit, in cooperation with experts from Israel, developed a non-violent person-centered aggression intervention program(AGGRIP®) for use in aggressive behavior in institutions for people with intellectual disabilities. We are also repeatedly given the opportunity to present the program for the treatment and de-escalation of aggression in German-speaking countries.
The German-language article published in 2008 in “punktum”, the journal of the Swiss Professional Association for Applied Psychology, provides an overview of the topic. Download PDF
On Thursday, September 12, 2024, at 5-7 p.m., our “Open House Evening” with Apéro-Riche for interested professionals and friends of Spielzeit will take place at the Therapiestelle at Spyristrasse 7 in 8044 Zurich.
At 5:30 p.m. we will tell you about our experiences and milestones in psychological work for people with illness and disabilities since 1984. You will then get to know our current team and find out more about what drives our employees today.
We are very much looking forward to the stimulating discussions and encounters!
We are happy to accept registrations until August 22, 2024 at firstname.lastname@example.org
Whether big or small, jogging, walking or hiking: anyone who wanted to do something good for their health could take part in the “Run4Kids” charity run and donate to the well-being of children at the same time. The proceeds also went to the Spielzeit.
Private individuals or company employees had the opportunity to run any distance during October, regardless of the location and date, and to register and pay for the distance run as well as a donation per kilometer or a fixed contribution. Those who preferred to do their laps together instead of alone took part in the running event on October 28, 2018 on the Zürichhorn. Of course, the Spielzeit team and its numerous supporters also showed their full commitment on this occasion!
Signed objects and prizes from well-known Swiss athletes and sponsors such as Ted Scapa, Roger Federer, Breel Embolo, Murat Yakin, Vreni Schneider, the Tschuggen Grandhotel and the Arosa Kulm Hotel could be purchased at auction on the charity evening on September 15, 2016 or, with a little luck, won as part of a raffle. The highlight of the event was the auction under the expert direction of Cyril Koller, Managing Director of Koller Auctions, where the bidding was enthusiastically participated in.
Thanks to the generous bids and the raffle tickets sold, the evening at the Neumünster parish hall in Zurich proved to be extremely successful, as a pleasing amount was raised for psychotherapy sponsorships for severely stressed children.
Radio 1: Interview about the charity auction with Robin Mindell, Tuesday, September 13, 2016.
As part of the 30th anniversary celebrations, a party was held with invited guests on June 2, 2014 at the Neumünster parish hall in Zurich. The charity concert on August 31, 2014 was the ultimate highlight of the anniversary year for children of all ages: around 300 guests sang and performed enthusiastically to the songs of the well-known musician and children’s songwriter Andrew Bond.
During his free performance, he presented rousing classics as well as new songs from his CD “Alli mached Mischt” (“Everyone messes up”). Thanks to the cooperation with the Sternschnuppe Foundation and the KVEB (self-help organization for parents of disabled children), numerous children were able to attend the concert free of charge. Many thanks to Andrew Bond, Ticketino, Wild Flavors GmbH and all the volunteers who contributed to the success of this event!
Impressions of an unforgettable afternoon with Andrew Bond.
In its anniversary year, Spielzeit published a book about its work since its foundation in 1984. Interested parties and professionals can find out more about therapy and the success of therapy for children and young people with serious illnesses, disabilities and trauma in a playful way. The publication was written, designed and published thanks to the financial support of the MBF Foundation and the Kohler-Friederich Foundation. Please use the contact form on our website for orders.
Thanks to the generous support of sponsors such as Schauspielhaus Zürich, hauserundhauser and Goldbach Media (Schweiz) AG, Spielzeit was able to produce and broadcast the TV commercial with the appeal for donations “Dänked Sie dra, helfed Sie mit” (“Remember to help”), to mark its 25th anniversary.
Who in Zurich has the best experience in designing stage sets? The Schauspielhaus Zürich (Zurich Theater), of course! The production and creative team for Spielzeit’s TV commercial has been given permission to enlist the help of the stage builders at the Schauspielhaus Zürich to realize the appeal for donations.
They should create a puzzle wall with the motif of a child’s drawing in which a puzzle piece can be folded out. read more
First, a wooden wall with a flap is made in the carpentry workshop of the Schauspielhaus. The motif of the children’s drawing is then applied to the wall in charcoal using a grid and painted. In the course of the preparations, a casting with young actors and actresses takes place on the premises of Spielzeit, where the idea and the script are discussed and the right wardrobe is selected. After setting up the stage and the technical equipment, the eagerly awaited performance on the stage of the Schiffbau in Zurich can begin. The film flap closes and the shooting begins – of course only after everyone present has tried out the ingenious flap in the puzzle wall for themselves.
A look behind the scenes: Making-of the Spielzeit TV commercial “Dänked Sie dra, helfed Sie mit”.
From pioneering project to established Spielzeit method
In the early 1980s, three young psychologists broke new therapeutic ground by treating children who were suffering not only from psychological problems but also from a physical illness.
In the course of decades of experience, the recognized Spielzeit method and new specialized forms of therapy such as the “therapy of three” have developed. Today, the Spielzeit team uses these methods to effectively support young persons with burdens, disabilities and physical illnesses and their families to develop new perspectives, build self-esteem and enjoy life.
1984 – 2024: Spielzeit celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2024. We continue to dedicate our work tirelessly to young and adolescent persons with illness, trauma and disabilities and their families. We do this today on the basis of four decades of accumulated experience, the recognized Spielzeit method and with new psychological approaches.
At the end of 2023, Spielzeit, which has grown up in many respects, has been given a fitting “dress” in the form of a new visual identity. Our new logo symbolizes the diversity that lives from otherness and the different human forms of being.
Spielzeit is recognized by the Canton of Zurich as a psychological psychotherapy organization and can bill services to the OKP (basic health insurance).
In a final research report for an anonymous German donor, the “Spielzeit method” is presented for the first time as a new psychotherapy method for the situated promotion of development.
Spielzeit is celebrating its 30th anniversary – including the publication of the anniversary book “It’s normal to be different”. The publication not only provides an overview of the development of the Spielzeit method, but also uses practical examples to illustrate the therapeutic processes and their effects in an impressive way.
In 2011, Spielzeit begins to train psychologists, delegated psychotherapists and psychotherapists under professional supervision in the specialist area of “Psychotherapy with families and people with disabilities”. By 2023, the number of trainees has reached around two dozen.
The unique practical activity of the Spielzeit team, which can now be called the Spielzeit method, is increasingly leading to commissions in the fields of consulting and teaching.
In addition to intensive therapy work, Spielzeit regularly publishes specialist articles on various child psychotherapy topics and carries out projects based on the team’s specialized knowledge and therapeutic experience. In 2007, the AGGRIP® aggression intervention program was created through international cooperation. The intervention program offers professionals new mindful and non-violent ways of dealing with aggressive behavior.
The expansion of services presents the Spielzeit team with a number of new challenges. In the EDG research project, which is being carried out until 2003 with the support of the Cerebral Switzerland Foundation, Spielzeit is therefore investigating the question of how young people in special emergency situations can be effectively supported.
More and more children with physical and mental disabilities, birth defects and learning disabilities are receiving specialized psychotherapeutic treatment by the Spielzeit team. Their needs correspond to the central concern of Spielzeit: children with disabilities, birth defects and chronic illnesses have just as much right to psychotherapeutic treatment as children with cancer and trauma. Treatment is carried out partly free of charge and partly financed by donations or insurance.
The sponsorship of the Marie Meierhofer Institute for the Child is replaced by a non-profit Swiss foundation “The Marie-Louise von Franz Institute for Studies in Synchronicity” (MLFI), which is established specifically for the work of Spielzeit. Since then, Spielzeit has been an MLFI project.
It becomes clear that not only children with cancer can benefit enormously from play-oriented psychotherapy. Using dolls, sand play, collages, conversations and much more, young people in psychological distress can express intense emotions and draw new self-worth and joie de vivre from them. Spielzeit is therefore moving into permanent therapy rooms at Spyristrasse 7 in Zurich, where it is setting up one of the most extensive playrooms in Switzerland for the specialized treatment of children.
Spielzeit is commissioned by the Swiss Cancer League to run a pilot project for children with cancer and is subsequently able to present its practical work to a broad public.
Under the auspices of the Marie Meierhofer Institute for the Child, several studies and presentations develop from the practical work in the outpatient clinic of the Children’s Hospital. The specialist publications and three self-produced films entitled “Chrank sii … da kännt de Michi au (Michael knows what it’s like to be ill)”, which are given to children with cancer in Swiss hospitals, are a milestone in Swiss psycho-oncology.
Birth of our psychotherapy service: In cooperation with the Zurich Children’s Hospital, psychotherapists are offering free care to children suffering from a life-threatening illness – especially cancer – for the first time. The unique playtime psychotherapy is created.
In Zurich, three young psychologists come together with a pioneering idea: They want to work with children and young people who not only suffer from psychological problems, but also from a physical illness. In doing so, they are breaking new ground, as no corresponding therapeutic offer exists yet.