Alumnus Professor Dr Manfred Cierpka receives Federal Cross of Merit first class

Dr. Manfred Cierpka and Minister Theresia Bauer (Photo: University Hospital Heidelberg)

Manfred Cierpka studied medicine at Ulm University between 1971 and 1976 as a scholarship recipient of the German Academic Scholarship Foundation. Following his practical training in Ulm in the areas of internal medicine, surgery and paediatrics, he wrote his medical state exam in 1977 and achieved his doctorate.

In the late 1990s, Cierpka established a project entitled “Faustlos” (“No Fists”) in Göttingen. This project fosters a training programme with the aim of teaching social-emotional skills, a key element in preventing violence. An intervention programme called “Keiner fällt durchs Netz” (“Nobody Slips through the Cracks”), which advocates children and their families, started in 2007. The aim of this programme is to ensure that all children have the opportunity for healthy development right from the beginning. At-risk families are approached at an early stage; parents-to-be and families with newborns or toddlers have access to support programmes.

Both programmes are now well established and hugely successful. “Nobody Slips through the Cracks” has been adopted in all of Saarland, in Hessen and in Heidelberg. “No Fists” has been established across Germany at over 10,000 facilities and is also a permanent feature of the educational approach at schools and pre-schools in Switzerland, Austria, Belgium and Luxemburg.
Since 1990, Prof Cierpka has been active as scientific director of the Lindau Psychotherapy Weeks. His focus during this conference is on providing continuing education for physicians and psychologists.

In addition, Prof Cierpka is an advisory member of the National Centre for Early Intervention (NZFH) as well as president of the scientific advisory council for psychotherapy with the German Medical Association and the German Psychotherapy Association.