Joseph Hamer

I have a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Duquesne University (Pittsburgh, USA) and am licensed as a Psychologist by the state of New York. Additionally, I have received approbation as a Psychologischer Psychotherapeut here in Germany and am registered with the Kassenärtliche Vereinigung in Berlin. I provide therapy in English.

I work with a range of problems, from longstanding difficulties to current adjustment issues, including depression, grief and loss, relationship difficulties, immigration-integration problems, new life phase / identity issues, anxiety, psychosomatic symptoms, and borderline conditions. I enjoy working with people of every age, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, class and background.


Some of my professional background and experience: I come from the United States and have also studied and done research in a number of countries throughout Central America, East Africa, and Eastern Europe. I did my doctoral internship at Rutgers among one of the most diverse student bodies in the U.S. And for two years I was a counselor at Chatham University, a women’s college in Pittsburgh. Also formative was the volunteer work I did in California State Prison, Sacramento. Of course all of my additional experience as a therapist, a teacher of Psychology, and a person in the world, have also influenced who I am and how I approach the craft of therapy. 

What you can hope to gain from psychotherapy depends on your problems and concerns. In addition to reducing symptoms and acute psychological distress, general benefits can include self-knowledge, increased sense of freedom or agency, more emotional access, greater discernment, new power to confront obstacles to life goals, self-acceptance, joy, and increased capacity for both intimacy and solitude.

My approach to psychotherapy is psychodynamic with special attention to cultural difference and individual uniqueness. The German term for psychodynamic psychotherapy is Tiefenpsychologisch fundierte Psychotherapie, the emphasis being on Tiefe or depth. Depth Psychology attends to the unconscious elements of human behavior and experience, those things about ourselves that, while perceivable to some extent by others, seem to escape our own self-awareness. Psychodynamic therapy affords you the opportunity to get to know yourself in a deeper way, to sort out conflicting desires, motivations, and feelings. By providing the space for the expression of feelings that may seem unacceptable or otherwise hard to face, I help you to access the wisdom of your emotions.

Our conversation will tack back and forth between the past, the present, and the future.

Another way of characterizing my work is as a kind of narrative psychology. I am highly attentive to the storied structure of experience, and find not only that the “devil is in the details” but that life’s meaning itself (in illness and in health) is in the details and the characters, the conflicts and the plot. One of my tasks is to make visible that plot.

With all that said, I really do primarily listen. I believe that to intervene in a way that is helpful to you for the long-haul (as opposed to providing a “quick-fix”) I need to really understand you. And I have found that for some people simply feeling understood can be healing in and of itself. But I also bring an expert knowledge of psychological conditions from my doctoral training in Clinical Psychology and will not hesitate to apply that knowledge from our first meeting onward. I will challenge you to take a good look at yourself, your story, your life and what you are doing with it.