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I was born in Munich, grew up in Northern Germany and am German-American by birth. My main job is a psychologist, scientist and professor for developmental psychology at the Medical School Hamburg. I also work with great enthusiasm as a mediator and systemic therapist (DGSF) with individuals, couples, (separated) parents and families.  I also offer systemic counseling and conflict moderation for groups and teams. I spend my free time with my family, friends, books and music, and I'm often drawn to the sea.



dr Sonja Broning



How I understand my task


In  my deliberations  I professionally use well-founded specialist knowledge of pedagogy and psychology. As a trained mediator and systemic consultant, I specialize in helping people to resolve their conflicts and improve important interpersonal relationships. This also applies to the most important relationship – namely the one with yourself.


I work with diverse, tailor-made methods.

But most important to me is a basic attitude

Acceptance, respect and openness towards everyone

People who come to counseling with their concerns. So
I often advise people who live in unusual forms of relationships.


I offer new perspectives and individual support at eye level - also for your concerns.





Mediator (BM)

systemic consultant (DGSF)

Diploma in Business Administration (BA)

Pedagogy MA

dr phil. (Psychology)

systemic  Therapist (DGSF)

Professorship for Development




... many years of experience as a scientist in applied developmental psychology, as a mediator and systemic consultant


... several years than  Systemic therapist/ family therapist at the drug and alcohol outpatient clinic for adolescents, young adults and their families (DAA) at the UKE


... four years as a researcher in the field of addiction research and addiction prevention at the University Hospital Hamburg Eppendorf (UKE), where project management for the development and research of the group offer "Trampoline" for children of addicted parents and project management for the research of the family-based prevention program "Family Strengthening"


... professional experience in the human resources department of a large corporation, e.g. recruiting, personnel development, advising managers and employees, moderating 360-degree assessments, most recently working in the field of "international employee assignments"


... Co-developer of the award-winning program "Children in sight - a group offer for parents in separation" (German League Prevention Prize 2009 for children)


... native speaker in German and English

... advanced knowledge of Spanish and knowledge of the Latin American culture through a year's stay 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: Waxmann.


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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