Prof. Dr. Phil C. Langer

Psychoanalytic Social Psychology and Social Psychiatry

IPU Berlin
Alt-Moabit 91a, 2nd floor
10555 Berlin
E-Mail: phil.langer(at)

Teaching Focus

At the centre of my teaching is the reflective mediation of the paradigmatic way of thinking and research of a critical social psychology and a social psychologically informed view of the discourses and professional practices of social psychiatry. As part of the social sciences, social psychology and social psychiatry derive their particular strength from their view of the social localisation and interconnectedness of subjects, their experiences and actions, their diverse social disciplining and experiences of suffering, but also their social agency and the opportunities for their emancipation. Understood in this way, it is about the development of a systematic inter- and transdisciplinary perspective on the always conflictual relationship between subject and society as a subject-related contribution to understanding the necessity and conditions for success as well as the critical-reflexive accompaniment of social and political change.


At the IPU, I am involved in teaching on several degree programmes, including:

  • In the Bachelor's degree programme in Psychology, I teach social and health psychology basics and qualitative methods of empirical research (modules 1A, 6B, 15).
  • In the Master's degree course in Psychology with a Clinical Focus, I have given seminars on social psychology and the theories and programmes of prevention and health promotion (modules 2 and 9) in recent semesters, particularly for the part-time groups.
  • Every winter semester, I offer the seminar ‘Social Psychological Perspectives on Society’ in the compulsory elective subject ‘Social and Cultural Science Perspectives’ (MOdul 10c) with different thematic focuses.
  • On the English-language Master's in Psychology focussing on Organisation course, which has been running since winter semester 2023/24, I teach qualitative methods (modules 7 and 8), environmental psychology (module 4) and work, health and prevention (module 5). 
  • In the Master's programme in Interdisciplinary Psychosis Therapy, I am involved in topics such as social psychiatry and health sciences, which deal with the significance of biographical, social and cultural factors for mental health, and participatory approaches (modules K2, K3 and K4).
  • In the Master's degree course in Leadership and Counselling, I am keen to teach qualitative methods of empirical organisational research and diagnostics and to develop their potential applications for Master's theses together with the students.

Through interactive formats, the invitation of guest speakers, excursions beyond the university framework and reference to my own research, I try to keep the teaching lively and contribute to what Klaus Heinrich (1987) once defined - as a necessity in light of a sharp diagnosis of its increasing weakening - as the eroticisation of the relationship between students and the institution of the university.

Research Focus


In recent years, I have mainly been involved in research into the psychosocial dynamics of collective violence. Among other things, this has involved externally funded research projects that have focussed on experiences of violence in conflict and war zones in an empirically qualitative manner:


Current research projects:


  • Psychosocial Needs of Former ISIS Child Soldiers in North Iraq (funded by the GIZ and as part of start-up funding from the IPU)
  • Vision 2022: Biographical Trajectories of Flight and Future Perspectives of Young Refugees in Germany (funded by the Foundation for Analytical Psychiatry)
  • So close to heaven: Discourse-analytical study on discrimination against women in ski flying and in the Catholic Church (in cooperation with Prof Claudius Wagemann, Goethe University Frankfurt)
  • ‘Come on a trip with us and we'll show you another world!’ Camp worlds as spaces of right-wing extremist communitisation (together with Sebastian Winter; funded by the Köhler Foundation)


Completed projects (selection):


  • What Helps the Helpers? Resonding to Staff Care Needs in Fragile Contexts (2018-2020)
  • The Afghan Youth Project: Wenn der Krieg im Kopf den Blick auf Frieden trübt. Eine empirische Untersuchung zu den Folgen traumatischer Erfahrungen kollektiver Gewalt für Identität, Gesellschaftsbilder und Agency von Jugendlichen in Afghanistan (2015-2019)
  • Was hilft im Nahen Osten? Selbstverständnisse, Hilfetheorien und Organisational Care-Instrumente im Bereich MHPSS in der Region Syrien (2016-2018)
  • 50 plus HIV. Älter werden mit HIV und Aids in Deutschland (2014-2015)
  • ISAF 2010: Einsatzwirklichkeiten in Afghanistan aus Sicht der Soldatinnen und Soldaten der Bundeswehr (2009-2011)
  • Spätdiagnose HIV. Psychosoziale Hintergründe und Ansätze für die Prävention (2010)
  • Positives Begehren. Psychosoziale Dynamiken des sexuellen Risikoverhaltens homosexuell lebender Männer in Deutschland (2005-2007)
  • Schulische Herausforderungen der Thematisierung von Nationalsozialismus und Holocaust (2005-2007)

Further Information


During the lecture period in the summer semester 2024, office hours take place in Alt-Moabit 91a on the 2nd floor on Tuesdays from 1 pm to 2 pm. My office can also be reached from 91b via the front terrace. Zoom meetings are also possible by appointment. Please book in advance. The following slots are still available in the upcoming office hours: July, 9 & July, 16 - in each case: 1-1.15 pm & 1.15-1.30 pm & 1.30-1.45 pm & 1.45-2 pm.


Unfortunately, I cannot accept any new theses for supervision in the current summer term. There is a colloquium again this semester to discuss work in progress. The last two sessions will take place on Monday, 1 July, and Monday, 15 July, from 10 am to 1 pm in Seminar Room 2 in House 2. 


I would like to draw your attention to a newly published article on our project with former child soldiers of the so-called Islamic State in northern Iraq: Langer, P. C. & Ahmad, A.-N. (2024). Translating Trauma into Testimony: Collaborative Story- telling with Former ISIS Child Soldiers in Northern Iraq. HARM - Journal of Hostility, Aggression, Repression, Malice, 3, 27-47, freely available online here. A further article entitled ‘Through Their Eyes: Contextualized Analyses of Drawings by Former ISIS Child Soldiers in Iraq’ will be published at the end of the year in the special issue ‘Perceptions, Reflections, and Conceptualisations of War and Peace in Children's Drawings’ of the journal Social Inclusion, edited by Nadja Thoma, Lisa Blasch and myself.


In July, the anthology Transgeschlechtlichkeit und Psychoanalyse. Perspektiven jenseits des Kulturkampfs, edited by Niclas O*Donnokoé and myself at transcript-Verlag, will be published. The book includes exciting contributions from former IPU students who have dealt with aspects of transgender as part of their Master's theses.


I would of course like to invite all interested parties to the lecture series organised in cooperation with AMCHA Deutschland e.V. entitled ‘Transgenerational Trauma begegnen’.  On 16 May 2024, the series opened with the lecture ‘Antisemitism as collective trauma’ by Marina Chernivsky, which will soon be available on Facebook. On 11 July 2024 at 6 pm, Amdrita Jakupi will speak on ‘Intersectional perspectives on transgenerational trauma’. Both talks will be in German. Further information on the lectures and recognition can be found on the event website.