Free University of Berlin
In the sub-project at Freie Universität Berlin, we are investigating the interplay between traumatic experiences, the regulation of the psychobiological stress system (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, HHNA), and the mental health of women after an unwanted pregnancy. We are particularly interested in whether traumatic experiences increase the risk of developing mental illness after a biographical event, such as an unintended pregnancy. Clinical-psychological diagnostics are performed through questionnaires and standardized clinical interviews conducted by trained psychologists. To investigate the biological processes we use the method of hair cortisol analysis, which gives us information about the HHNA activity during and after the unwanted pregnancy.
For more information on the ELSA@FUBerlin study, click HERE.
Prof. Dr. Christine Knaevelsrud has headed the Department of Clinical Psychological Intervention at Freie Universität Berlin since 2010 and is a licensed psychological psychotherapist for behavioral therapy. She researches the efficacy and effective factors of digital psychotherapeutic interventions, especially for post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.
Prof. Dr. Sarah Schumacher was a research associate at the Department of Clinical Psychological Intervention at Freie Universität Berlin until October 2020 and has taken over the professorship for Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy at the Health and Medical University Potsdam for the winter semester 2020/21. Sarah Schumacher is a licensed psychological psychotherapist (specialized in behavioral therapy). She conducts research on psychobiological indicators and predictors of successful cognitive-behavioral therapy interventions. Another focus of her research lays in the area of women's health. Within that area, she leads research projects on the experience of stress and the development of psychological symptoms during phases of hormonal change in women.
Meike Blecker, M.Sc. Psychology, has been working at the Department of Clinical Psychological Intervention at Freie Universität Berlin since 2021. In her research, she focuses on women-specific aspects of mental health, especially hormonal processes, and on experiences women have during and after childbirth.
Dr. Sinha Engel has been working at the Department of Clinical Psychological Intervention at Freie Universität Berlin since 2016 and has been training as a psychological psychotherapist at the Institute for Behavior Therapy Berlin since 2019. She researches hormonal systems and gender differences in the development and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Hannah Klusmann, M.Sc. Psychology, has been working at the Department of Clinical Psychological Interventions at Freie Universität Berlin since 2015. She is doing her doctorate and research on women-specific aspects of stress and depression, especially in the context of hormonal changes, such as the menstrual cycle.
Stephanie Häring, M.Sc. Psychology, has been working on her doctorate at the Department of Clinical Psychological Intervention at Freie Universität Berlin since 2021 and has been working in research and teaching at the Institute for Gender Research in Medicine at Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin since 2019. Her work focuses on gender-sensitive prevention and intervention research.
Elisabeth Conrad has been working as a student assistant in the ELSA project at Freie Universität Berlin since January 2022. She is studying psychology at the FU Berlin.
Jule Käselau, B.Sc. Psychology, has been working as a student assistant in the ELSA project at Freie Universität Berlin since February 2021. She is studying psychology at the FU Berlin in the Master's program with a focus on: clinical psychology and health psychology.