About me


I am from the Netherlands originally, am married to my German husband for more than 10 years now, and have lived in 5 different countries across 4 different continents. I personally know the challenges of living in a country that is not your own (not sure which one is my own anymore!), of living in an intercultural relationship and trying to raise my daughter as well as I can (or good enough), also multilingually. I definitely feel like I made sacrifices (coming to Germany for one!), but I also feel these experiences have given me so many opportunities. Understanding the importance of relationships and feeling connected to others around me, and truly appreciating differences in strengths and values, are among the most important ones for me.

Over the last 10 years, I have worked as a psychologist with families, couples, (adult) individuals and children in a range of settings and cultural contexts, incl. family therapy at not for profit organisations in Vancouver (Canada) and London (UK), play and creative therapy with children in Guatemala, and, in Germany apart from my private practice at the moment, I have also worked as a psychologist at a German psychiatric clinic for adults with mood disorders (Vivantes Humboldt Klinikum).

Through my personal experiences as well as working with people from so many different cultural backgrounds within different cultural contexts, connecting and valuing difference have become central to my therapeutic approach: not to persuade one another to comply with our own values, but to become more curious again about our differences and your specific personal journey in life, distinguishing between what you would like to change and what others would like you to change into. My work is heavily influenced by the systemic psychotherapy approach, mindfulness-based approaches and emotion-focussed therapy by Susan Johnson.

In addition to my therapeutic work, I also facilitate training to other mental health professionals in the area of culture, race, migration and mental health.

 

Qualifications

 

2012  – Postgraduate certificate in systemic psychotherapy for families and couples, Institute of Family Therapy & Birkbeck University of London

2011  – Graduate certificate in systemic psychotherapy for families and couples, Institute of Family Therapy & Birkbeck University of London

2006  – Qualification in clinical psychological assessment, Dutch Association of Psychologists (NIP)

2005  – Master of Science in Psychology, with specialisation in intercultural and clinical child psychology, Utrecht University, the Netherlands

 

Memberships

 

I am a member of the Berufsverband der Deutschen Psychologen and the Association of Family Therapy and abide by their ethics. I also am a member of the Association for Counselors and Therapists in Berlin (ACT Berlin).

 

Recent publications

 

Owiti, J.A., Ajaz, A. Ascoli, M., de Jongh, B., Palinski, A., Bhui, K.S. (2013) Cultural consultation as a model for training multidisciplinary mental healthcare professionals in cultural competence skills: preliminary results. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing 2013 – link

Ascoli, M., Palinski, A., Owiti, J.A., de Jongh, B., Bhui, K.S. (2012) The culture of care within psychiatric services: tackling inequalities and improving clinical and organisational capabilities. Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine 2012, 7:12 Free Download

De Jongh, B. Cultural consultation: a narrative approach to holistic care. Open Mind, March 2012

De Jongh, B. Putting culture first: the benefits of engaging with culture in care. Mental Health Today, April 2012

 

Languages

 

I mainly work in English, but can include German, Dutch and Spanish in the session as well, depending on whatever languages you speak. Especially in the case of past traumatic or particularly stressful experiences, it can help to work through these issues in your mother tongue alongside the language you speak together as a couple and/or family. Also, many German/English couples choose to use both languages in the sessions to enable both partners to express their emotions easily. Please note my level of Spanish does unfortunately not allow me to conduct a full session in Spanish, but I could assist in translating some things to your partner or help you work through a traumatic experience in Spanish.