Home » today » News » Strong feelings – (not) a taboo subject?

Strong feelings – (not) a taboo subject?

Whenever people interact with one another, feelings are involved. When the body of other people arouses desire or disgust, it is a challenge at work and in everyday life. There is a lot that is not talked about – the Bern University of Applied Sciences would like to change this with a conference.

Author: Sabrina Durante

Feelings shape our perception, our interpretation, our actions. As long as it is about sympathy or antipathy, we can usually handle it well. In some situations, however, the other person can trigger something that we feel is inappropriate, such as anger, disgust, shame. But this is usually not talked about – such reactions are taboo in our culture.

Idea from everyday social work

The Department of Social Work at the Bern University of Applied Sciences wants to get such feelings out of the realm of the unspeakable. To this end, a public conference will be organized on January 16, which will be devoted to the taboo topic “Strong feelings”. Where do we face it? “The idea for this was born out of everyday social work,” says Stefanie Duttweiler, lecturer at the Bern University of Applied Sciences. “There are always situations where such feelings arise and can overwhelm those affected. In youth work, carers can feel sexually attracted to young people – what do you do with these feelings? Or in care for the elderly: What does the treatment of “old” bodies trigger in the carers? Such feelings can be unsettling. It is all the more important to deal with it, because our actions are influenced by it. ”

Broad spectrum

The choice of speakers reflects the broad spectrum of the topic: For example, experts from the fields of youth work, work with people with intellectual disabilities and age research will take part in the conference. The conference is not only aimed at professionals in the field of social work. “The topic affects us all,” says Duttweiler. And so everyone is invited who is interested, regardless of age and professional field. After the conference, selected content can be deepened in a public seminar (see box). The focus is on dialogue and cooperation between social work students and people from the public: At this special encounter at the interface between science, practice and everyday life, everyone should inspire and advance each other.


Meeting: “Strong feelings”. Dealing with the physicality of others


  • The (professional) handling of strong feelings – transference, closeness, distance. With Prof. Dr. Margret Dörr, Catholic University of Mainz
  • Dealing with eroticism and sexuality. With Sandra Schäfer, youth worker, Mobile Youth Work Winterthur, and Prof. Dr. Stefanie Duttweiler
  • How to deal with disgust and shame. With Irène Signer, Nathalie Foundation, and Prof. Esther Abplanalp, BFH Social Work
  • How to deal with the old body. With Prof. Dr. François Höpflinger, em. Adjunct Professor of Sociology, Center for Gerontology, University of Zurich Conference Saturday, January 16, 9:15 am to 4:00 pm, Bern Generations House, Bahnhofplatz Bern.

The conference is free.
Information and registration by January 14th: www.bfh.ch/soziale-arbeit (Current section, specialist events) Advanced seminar Monday and Tuesday, January 18 and 19, 8:50 am to 3:50 pm, Bernese Generations House. Registration at the conference on January 16.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.