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about myself



I was born in Munich as daughter of an American mother and a German father and grew up in the north of Germany. My main occupation is working as a psychologist, researcher and professor for developmental psychology at the Medical School Hamburg. In addition, I enjoy working as a mediator and systemic counselor/therapist (DGSF) with individuals, couples, (separated) parents and families.  In addition, I offer systemic counseling and mediation for groups and teams. In my free time I enjoy being with my family, friends, books and music. Whenever possible, I spend time at the sea.



dr Sonja Broning



mission, vision, values


For my work, I draw on my expertise from educational science and psychology. My qualifications in systemic counseling and mediation have provided me with specialized training that focuses on helping people resolve conflicts and improve their most important interpersonal relationships, and above all, their relationship with themselves.


Within the counseling process, I use a variety of creative methods. However, even more important than this is a basic attitude of acceptance, respect and openness for all individuals that seek counseling with various issues. I frequently work with unusual relationship formats.


I offer my clients new perspectives and custom-made support at eye level.





certified mediator

certified systemic counselor (DGSF)

bachelor's degree in business administration

masters degree in educational science

doctors degree in psychology

Certified systemic therapist (equals couple and family therapist) according to DGSF standards.

professorship for developmental psychology




... long-standing expertise in the area of developmental psychology, mediation and counseling


... several years as systemic counselor and family therapist at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Outpatient Treatment Center for Drug- and Alcohol-Abusing Adolescents, Young Adults and their Families


... four years as addiction and prevention researcher at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), project manager for the development and evaluation of group programs ("Trampoline" - for children from substance-affected families and "Strengthening Families Program" – a family-based prevention program)


... professional experience as Human Resources Manager in various areas such as recruiting, international delegations, HR development, consulting managers and staff, and moderating team meetings


... co-developer of the award-winning group program "Children in view - a group offer for parents in separation" (Looking out for our kids/LOOK - a group program for separated parents - prevention award of the German League for the Child )


... native speaker in German and English

... advanced Spanish and experience in Latin-American culture due to a year in Panama 

selected publications

Bröning S, Sack PM, Haevelmann A, Wartberg L, Moesgen D, Klein M, & Thomasius R (2019). A new preventive intervention for children of substance‐abusing parents: Results of a randomized controlled trial. Child & Family Social Work.

Wartberg, L., Kriston, L., Bröning, S., Kegel, K., & Thomasius, R. (2017). Adolescent problematic Internet use: Is a parental rating suitable to estimate prevalence and identify familial correlates?. Computers in Human Behavior, 67, 233-239.

Broning, S., Sack, P.-M. & Thomasius, R. (2017). Psychosocially more stressed children benefit from participation in "Strengthening Families!" - An exploratory long-term follow-up on differential effectiveness. SEEKS.

Ganzer, F., Bröning, S., Kraft, S., Sack, P.-M. & Thomasius, R. (2016). Weighing the Evidence: A Systematic Review on Long-Term Neurocognitive Effects of Cannabis Use in Abstinent Adolescents and Adults. Neuropsychology Review, 1-37.

Baldus, C., Thomsen, M., Sack, P.-M., Bröning, S.,Arnaud, N., Daubmann, A. & Thomasius, R. (2016). Evaluation of a German version of the Strengthening Families Program 10-14: a randomized controlled trial. European Journal of Public Health.


Schindler, A. & Broning, S. (2014). A Review on Attachment and Adolescent Substance Abuse: Empirical Evidence and Implications for Prevention and Treatment. Substance Abuse, Substance Abuse, 36:3, 304-313.


Bröning, S., Sack, PM, Thomsen, M., Stolle, M., Wendell, A., Stappenbeck, J. & Thomasius, R. (2014). Implementing and evaluating the German adaptation of the "Strengthening Families Program 10-14" - a randomized-controlled multicentre study. BMC public health, 14(1),  83

Thomasius, R. & Broning, S. (2014). Children of addicts - patients of tomorrow? Ways Out of Addiction: Recognizing – Treating – Coping with Addiction, 92, 12-13.

Klein, M., Moesgen, D., Broning, S. & Thomasius, R. (2013).  Trampoline: Children from families with addiction problems discover their strengths. Manual.  Goettingen: Hogrefe.


S. Bröning, K. Kumpfer, K. Kruse, P.-M. Sack, I. Schaunig-Busch, S. Ruths, D. Moesgen, E. Pflug, M. Klein & Thomasius, R. (2012). Selective prevention programs for children from substance-affected families: a comprehensive systematic review.  substance  Abuse, Treatment, Policy and Prevention,  7-23.


Bröning, S., Wiedow, A., Wartberg, L., Ruths, S., Haevelmann, A., Kindermann, S., Moesgen, D., Schaunig-Busch, I., Klein, M. & Thomasius, R (2012). Targeting children of substance-using parents with the community-based group intervention TRAMPOLINE: A randomized controlled trial – design, evaluation, recruitment issues. BMC Public Health, 12-223.


Broning (2012). Working with highly contentious families in separation - the example of children in mind. In Roesler C. (ed.)  Interprofessional cooperation, mediation and advice within the framework of the FamFG. Studies and practical concepts for working with highly contentious parents in custody and contact conflicts  (pp. 103-128). Frankfurt am Main: Metzner Verlag.


Bröning, S., Moesgen, D., Klein, M. & Thomasius, R. (2012). Resource-oriented work with children from addict families. The example "trampoline".  Psychotherapy in dialogue. Special issue “Addiction”, 13(4), 44-48.


Bröning, S., Krey, M., Normann, K. & Walper, S. (2012). Keeping an eye on children – a group offer for separated families. In K. Menne, Hermann Scheurer-English, A. Hundsalz,  Yearbook for Educational Counseling, Volume 9,222-242. Weinheim/Basel: Beltz Juventa.


Broning, S. (2011). Characteristics of high-conflict families. In S. Walper, J. Fichtner, K. Normann-Kossak (eds.),  Highly conflicted families separated. Research results, practical experience and help for divorced parents and their children.  Munich: Juventa.


Broning, S. (2009). children  in view. Theoretical and empirical foundations of a group offer for families in conflict-ridden separation situations. Munster: Waxman.


Bröning, S. (2009) Autonomy and connectedness in young couple relationships. In C. Beyer

(Ed.), Couple relationships - couple dynamics, Norderstedt: Books on Demand.


Walper, S. & Broning, S. (2008). Coping with separation and divorce. In F. Petermann & W. Schneider (eds.),  Applied Developmental Psychology (Encyclopedia Psychology, Series V: Development Volume 7). Goettingen: Hogrefe.


Broning, S. & Walper, S. (2007). Risk factors and causes of divorce. Family, Partnership, Law, 13(6), pp. 260-264.


Schäffer, H., Bröning, S. & Schönknecht, N. (2004). I  think you want my job! Mediation teaching DVD with practical case and method demos. Stephan's Bookstore, Würzburg.


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