Stefanie Stahl, a graduate psychologist, is Germany’s best-known psychotherapist. In addition to her therapeutic work in her practice, she has written many self-help guides, all of which are bestsellers in the German-speaking world. The Child in You has been consistently at the top of the Spiegel bestseller list since 2016 and has been translated into 30 languages. A popular keynote speaker, she is considered a leading expert on the topic of self-esteem and fear of commitment and is regularly invited to interviews and talk shows.
My story & Insights
I am often asked how I became involved in psychology and especially my work on the ‘inner child,’ The answer is that I can’t really imagine doing anything else. My profession is my vocation.
Already at an early age, I was fascinated by how people presented themselves, how they communicated and behaved in so many different ways. As a child I had plenty of opportunities at home to observe various kinds of people and personality traits. I was born December 27, 1963, in Hamburg. My father was the managing director of Atlantik Brücke, an international organization that promotes cooperation between Germany, Europe, and the USA. My parents often held social functions. Many well-known public figures, such as Chancellor Helmut Schmidt and US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, would attend these parties. Though only a child, I was allowed to take part in these evening events. I would go from guest to guest offering cigarettes – Child Protection Services would intervene today! – and chat a bit here and there.
Why do some people laugh so much more than others? Why do some talk loud, and some talk so little? It was simple observations that started it all. This led to my wanting to discover the basic structures underlying particular behaviors. This interest was further inspired by my mother’s profession: she was a successful therapist and life coach with her own practice. Being a psychotherapist became my life’s dream.
I studied psychology at the University of Trier. After graduating, I decided to remain in that city, and I presently head a large practice for psychotherapy in the middle of the historical old town. Analyzing psychological contexts has become an integral and rewarding part of my work. In 2003 I began writing self-help books on the subject, and I have since had twelve books published.
The child in you
The breakthrough million-copy international bestseller about how to befriend your inner child to find happiness
“The Child in You is like your own personal therapist that you can carry around with you.”
Lori Gottlieb | New York Times bestselling author
Along with my psychotherapeutic work, for the past twenty years I have been engaged as an expert witness for family courts. One of the lessons I learned from being an expert witness is that one always has an opportunity to hear both sides of the story. It often happened that one marriage partner would come to the initial interview and tell me an altogether convincing story. Then the other partner appeared and told a story equally credible – but utterly different. Sometimes I would never have thought that these two people were talking about the same marriage. My experiences as a psychological consultant have constantly shown me just how subjective perception can be and how often relationships founder only because two people perceive a situation so very differently.
How are self-esteem and perception of reality interrelated? How does this affect our ability to engage in relationships? How is our psyche structured according to our basic evolutionary needs? In my research and analyses I am fascinated by the extent to which perception is the gateway for consciousness. My aim as a psychotherapist and author is to explain these interconnections in the most uncomplicated way possible. The specialist literature from the USA in its clear and commonly comprehensible language has always been a model for me in this regard.
I am gratified that I get much feedback from readers about such immediacy and clarity. Apparently I am able to take away the fear many people have about engaging with their own psyche. This is far less complicated than most people imagine, and I am now able to convey my ideas through other media as well.
I currently have two podcasts in which I regularly discuss issues I’ve encountered in my therapeutic experience: ‘That’s just the way I am! The Psychology Podcast for the Normally Disturbed’ and ‘Stahl: Hard but Heartful – The Psychotherapy Podcast’ (English translations of the German titles).
For the past year I have also been publishing my own magazine in association with the women’s magazine Brigitte. In Brigitte Life: The Coaching Magazine with Stefanie Stahl I not only write articles, but also offer special coachings and psychotests for my readers. I give seminars and lectures as well. I promote the idea that it is possible in every phase of life and at every age to strengthen one’s self-esteem and to maintain healthy relationships.
It took me a long time to find the right man for me, by the way. My husband and I are a ‘Harry and Sally’ story. Holger, a computer scientist, was for quite a while my ‘best friend’ until we finally fell in love. We have been together for over ten years now. So I myself am a good example of delayed romantic success.
If you’d like to chat with me about my work, get more news or learn how to integrate the concepts into your life, get in touch HERE.
Keep in touch
If you’d like to chat about my work, get more news or learn how to integrate the concepts into your life, get in touch!