David Becker is a trained psychologist, PhD and Professor of Psychology at the Sigmund Freud Private University (SFU) in Berlin. After having worked for many years with victims of political persecution in Latinamerica he returned to Germany in 1999 to work at the International Academy Berlin for Innovative Education, Psychology and Economy (INA). In 2002 within the Academy he was a co-founder of the Office for Psychosocial Issues (OPSI), which he directs to the present day and through which he works as a consultant for international organizations in reference to psychosocial projects in regions of conflict and war.
He has published extensively on the issues of trauma, human rights, and dealing with the past. His most recent book was published in Germany in 2006 and is titled “Die Erfindung des Traumas – Verflochtene Geschichten” (“The invention of Trauma – Entangled Histories”). Together with Barbara Weyermann he has authored the toolkit “Gender, Conflict Transformation and the Psychosocial Approach” in 2006 and has subsequently been working for SDC on the introduction and implementation of the psychosocial approach into Conflict Sensitive Programme Management (focus: Tajikistan, Grands Lacs, Nepal, Colombia).
He was furthermore engaged in institutional coaching and training in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Vive Zene/IAMANEH) and Palestine (WEP-GCMHP/CFD).
From 2008 till 2011 he lead the OPSI-team dedicated to a three-year evaluation and scientific coaching of a group of model projects operating within a program of the German Government, focusing on issues referring to Germany as an immigration country (34 projects). Since 2008 he was “Privatdozent” (German academic degree of professor) at the University of Hannover, Germany, where he tought Social/Political Psychology.
Since 2010 he is directing the OPSI project “Kicking the Ball and Taking Care – Psychosocial Help in the Gaza Strip and in the West Bank” which is financed by the humanitarian help of the Federal Foreign Office of Germany. The project combines sports activities with easy access to mental health for children in UNRWA schools. Furthermore it focuses on developing structures of professional coaching and supervision between mental health professionals.
From 2011 – 2013 he was engaged in a GIZ-financed project in the Gaza Strip focusing on the development of counseling services within UNRWA schools. Together with other colleagues in OPSI he has developed a new evaluation and self-evaluation tool entitled “Psychosocial conflict analysis”, which was published in 2013. Since 2014 he is engaged in a GIZ-financed project in Lebanon, that develops mental health and psychoscial support services in all UNRWA programmes. He accepted a professorship for Psychology at the SFU in Berlin in 2014.
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