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Psychomotricity and Prevention

Background and aims

In the effort to avoid later development disorders and limit therapy costs, 'prevention' in childhood has become a significant topic - both in the education sector and in the health sector. Children who receive timely facilitation have a better chance of completing primary school education without the need for special support provisions. This call for prevention can be heard just as loud in the field of therapeutic pedagogy leads, however, to questions concerning target groups and the efficacy, implementation and coordination of these provisions.

In practical psychomotricity, there has been an increase of projects in the area of prevention carried out under the initiative of individual psychomotor therapists. In contrast, there has also been an increase with regard to regulations in the work assignment of preventative psychomotricity specialists (e.g. in canton Zurich). It is currently clear that the implementation of preventative psychomotricity stems from practice. The field of preventative psychomotricity is broad and there are to date no evaluated programmes, no empirical substantiations and no theoretical base – there is, therefore, a need for scientific action.

The aim of this research project is to ascertain the preventative methods used by psychomotor therapists and to investigate any underlying theoretical models. Subsequent questions posed within the context of prevention and psychomotricity in the early education system may provide results that could influence education reform.

The results shall present the actual situation of prevention in the field of psychomotricity and demonstrate those possibilities open to enable prevention in psychomotricity to become established in the early education system. The procedure tackles the following question: How do psychomotor therapists work in the area of prevention?


  1. What subjective specialist theories do psychomotor therapists have regarding prevention? Are there any reference theories that underlie their preventative work? The investigation shall reveal whether consistent notions with regard to the planning and implementation of preventative provisions exist, or whether subjective patterns of interpretation differ greatly.
  2. How will prevention be implemented in the working environment? This project shall highlight the design of the following areas: the main emphases with regard to specialist content (theme), the objectives, the rhythm and duration, the procedure in the preventative setting and collaboration with reference persons


22 guideline interviews with psychomotricity therapists from different cantons of German-speaking Switzerland were carried out with a subsequent quality analysis. The analysis comprised a qualitative content analysis (deductive as well as inductive category formation), based on Mayring and the typification formation.


The results on prevention implementation show that the preventive measures are mostly realized in school settings and in the cooperation with teachers. A further key aspect in prevention implementation is working with the carers (e.g. parents, teachers, other specialists), also in the following areas: specific counselling, further training and informative meetings. The results furthermore indicate that early recognition plays an important role in prevention. Overall it can be said that the prevention implementation is rather individual and versatile, however widely matches in the following aspects: The preventive measures are designed based on a needs analysis, target group definition and focus planning with respect to function and content. The implementation takes place within the bounds of possibility given in terms of cooperation, setting, time coordination etc., which is then followed by a reflexion or documentation that might be included in future projects.



Project Management

Prof.  Amft

Leiterin Institut für Verhalten, sozio-emotionale und psychomotorische Entwicklungsförderung


Forschung und Entwicklung
Tel: +41 44 317 11 81

zfe[at] zfe