About me

Originally from the Netherlands, I have been married to my German husband for more than 15 years now, and have lived in 5 different countries across 4 different continents. I personally understand the challenges of living in a country that is not your own, of living in an intercultural relationship and trying to raise my two multilingual kids the best I can. There have been many sacrifices I had to make along the way, 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 enjoyed working with individuals, couples and families in my private practice in Berlin. The 7 years prior to that, I worked as a psychologist in a range of settings and cultural contexts, such as at a German psychiatric clinic for adults with depression and anxiety (Vivantes Humboldt Klinikum), as a family therapist at NGOs in Vancouver (Canada) and London (UK) and as a therapist with children in Guatemala.

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 teach systemic counselling at the Medical School Berlin, and facilitate training to other mental health professionals in the area of culture, race, migration and mental health.

Psychologist Bertine de Jongh, Berlin Counselling
Bertine helped my wife and I with our marriage beyond words can convey. She was able to fully grasp almost immediately from our first session the inner-dynamics and workings of our relationship, how we each were feeling, the challenges we each faced, the issues we needed to each address. Bertine is a rare find – both an expert in relationships, and an expert at being human. We are grateful to all she has done for our marriage. We strongly encourage other couples seeking help to turn Bertine.

Qualifications

2021 – Systemic Supervisor (SG)

2015 – Systemic Therapist (SG)

2014 – Heilpraktiker für Psychotherapie (HeilprG)

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 psychology, Utrecht University, the Netherlands

Memberships

I am a member of the Berufsverband der Deutschen Psychologen (BDP), the Systemische Gesellschaft (SG), The Milton Erickson Gesellschaft für Klinische Hypnose (MEG) and abide by their code of ethics. I also am a member of the Association for Counselors and Therapists in Berlin (ACT Berlin).

Language

I mainly work in English, but can have our sessions in German and Dutch 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. 

Publications

de Jongh, B. (2021) Zwischen Freiheit und Zugehörigkeit – wo bin ich? (Engl: Between freedom and belonging where am I?), Systeme 35 (1), p. 5-17  Download

Bhui, K., Dinos, S., Galant-Miecznikowska, M, de Jongh, B, Stansfeld, S (2016). Perceptions of work stress causes and effective interventions in employees working in public, private and non-governmental organisations: a qualitative study. BJPsych Bull, 40(6), p. 318-325 Link

Owiti, J., Palinski, A., Ajaz, A., Ascoli, M., de Jongh, B.& Bhui, K. (2015). Explanations of illness experiences among community mental health patients: An argument for the use of an ethnographic interview method in routine clinical care, International Review of Psychiatry, 27

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