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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Life Sciences - Department of Psychology

Dipl.- Thomas Bergmann

Dipl.- Thomas Bergmann
research assistant
t.bergmann (at) keh-berlin.de

Lebenswissenschaftliche Fakultät → Institut für Psychologie → Klinische Psychologie Sozialer Interaktion
Function / Working Area
Berlin School of Mind and Brain
Visiting address
Luisenstraße 56 (Haus 1) , Room 419
Phone number
(030) 2093-6125
(030) 2093-89751


Curriculum vitae


since 2014 Member of editorial board Musiktherapeutische Umschau, trainer for music therapists (DMtG)
since 2011 ongoing PhD at Free University Berlin, Department of Psychology
since 2009 Supervisor in private Praxis
since 2006 Music therapist at Ev. Krankenhaus Königin Elisabeth Herzberge, Berlin
since 2005 Lecturer at the Music Therapy Institute of the University of Arts in Berlin
2000–2005 Music therapist at Charité, Berlin
1999 Degree in music therapy at the University of Arts in Berlin


freelance musician, composer and music educator
1988 1st State Examination music education and jazz studies at the University of Music and Performing Arts, Hamburg


Research interests

  • Embodied interventions in the treatment and support for people with autism spectrum disorders
  • autism diagnostics in adults with limited language skills
  • Assessments to determine the socio-emotional development levels to support planning for people on a low level of functioning
  • Causes and handling of challenging behaviors in adults with intellectual developmental disabilities




under review

Bergmann, T., Diefenbacher, A., Heinrich, M., & Sappok, T. (2014). Perspektivenverschränkung: Multiprofessionelle Autismusdiagnostik bei Erwachsenen mit Intelligenzminderung. Psychiatrische Praxis.

Bergmann, T., Sappok, T., Diefenbacher, A., & Dziobek, I. (2014). Music in diagnostics: Using musical interactional settings for diagnosing autism in adults with intellectual developmental disabilities. Nordic Journal of Music Therapy.


in press

Bergmann, T. (2014). Music therapy for people with autism. In J. Edwards (Ed.), Oxford Handbook of Music Therapy. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press.

Bergmann, T. (2014). Musik; Aussenseitermethoden; Son Rise; Tiergestützte Verfahren; Festhaltetherapie; Chelattherapie; Diäten. In G. Theunissen, W. Kulig, V. Leuchte, & H. Paetz (Eds.), Handlexikon Autismus-Spektrum. Schlüsselbegriffe aus der Autismus-Forschung. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer. ISBN: 3170234315


Sappok, T., Diefenbacher, A., & Bergmann, T. (2014). Comorbid intellectual disability. Deutsches Ärzteblatt international, 111(7), 117. DOI: 10.3238/arztebl.2014.0117a

Sappok, T., Gaul, I., Dziobek, I., Bölte, S., Diefenbacher, A., & Bergmann, T. (2014). Der Diagnostische Beobachtungsbogen für Autismus Spektrumstörungen (DiBAS). Psychiatrische Praxis. DOI: 10.1055/s-0033-1359970

Sappok, T., Gaul, I., Bergmann, T., Dziobek, I., Bölte, S., Diefenbacher, A., & Heinrich, M. (2014). The Diagnostic Behavioral Assessment for autism spectrum disorder—Revised: A screening instrument for adults with intellectual disability suspected of autism spectrum disorders. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 8(4), 362–375. DOI: 10.1016/j.rasd.2013.12.016


Sappok, T., Kienitz, L., & Bergmann, T. (2013). Autismus: Diagnostik, Therapie und Förderung. Bielefeld: Bethel-Verlag. ISBN: 978-3-935972-38-3. Online verfügbar unter: http://www.bethel.de/fileadmin/Bethel/downloads/e-book/20121218_KEH_Autismus.pdf

Sappok, T., Diefenbacher, A., Budczies, J., Schade, C., Grubich, C., Bergmann, T., . . . Dziobek, I. (2013). Diagnosing autism in a clinical sample of adults with intellectual disabilities: How useful are the ADOS and the ADI-R? Research in developmental disabilities, 34(5), 1642–1655. DOI: 10.1016/j.ridd.2013.01.028


Bergmann, T., Sappok, T., Diefenbacher, A., & Dziobek, I. (2012). Musikbasierte Autismusdiagnostik (MUSAD): Entwicklung eines Untersuchungsverfahrens für erwachsene Menschen mit Intelligenzminderung und Autismusverdacht. Musiktherapeutische Umschau, 33(2), 126–140. DOI: 10.13109/muum.2012.33.2.126

Sappok, T., Diefenbacher, A., Bergmann, T., Zepperitz, S., & Dosen, A. (2012). Emotionale Entwicklungsstörungen bei Menschen mit Intelligenzminderung: Eine Fall-Kontroll-Studie. Psychiatrische Praxis, 39(05), 228–238. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0074036


Bergmann, T., Dziobek, I., Reimer, S., Schumacher, K., Diefenbacher, A., & Sappok, T. (2011). Jenseits des Dialogs: Beziehungsqualität in der Musiktherapie bei Menschen mit Autismus und Intelligenzminderung. Medizin für Menschen mit geistiger oder mehrfacher Behinderung, 8(1), 14–20.


Sappok, T., Bergmann, T., Kaiser, H., & Diefenbacher, A. (2010). Autismus bei erwachsenen Menschen mit geistiger Behinderung. Der Nervenarzt, 81(11), 1333–1345. DOI: 10.1007/s00115-010-3098-1




MUSAD – development and validation of a music-based instrument for autism diagnostics.

  • Since 2009
  • Management: Thomas Bergmann, Prof. Dr. Isabel Dziobek
  • Project in the context of health service research, Ev. Krankenhaus Königin Eilsabeth Herzberge, Berlin
  • Supported by Stiftung Irene, Hamburg

Although autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are often associated with intellectual disability, it lacks of specific diagnostic procedures to assess individuals on a low level of functioning. In many cases ASD remain undiagnosed until adulthood, leading to misinterpretation of symptoms and behavioral problems and thus prevents a causal treatment. The newly developed Music-based Scale for Autism Diagnostics (MUSAD) is a structured investigation process, which uses the nonverbal communicative quality of musical interaction to detect autistic symptoms in adults with impaired language skills. A preliminary study (N = 91) yielded positive hints to objectivity, reliability and convergent / discriminant validity. The ongoing pilot study intends to calculate a diagnostic algorithm, with which the MUSAD would contribute to the improvement of medical and psychiatric care in this group.


AutKom - Development and evaluation of an educational program to support adults with autism and mild intellectual disability.

  • Since 2013
  • Management: Thomas Bergmann, Katrin Herberger
  • Project in the context of health service research, Ev. Krankenhaus Königin Eilsabeth Herzberge, Berlin


Autism spectrum disorders in adults are increasingly becoming the focus of public attention and research. There are several, mostly behavioral oriented group programs to promote social competence in people with high-functioning autism or Asperger syndrome. With participation of people from the autism spectrum this project aims to develop a comprehensive group manual of 20 sessions taking into account social skills, stress regulation, affectivity, and executive functions. In addition to educational methods (eg role playing) mindfulness and embodied interventions (music, dance, movement) in the center. The transformation of treatment effects into the private environment is intended including relatives and helpers in the planning and evaluation process. Evaluation is based on established measures for the detection of social skills, psychomotor tension / stress regulation, emotionality / mentalization and quality of life; the next group is used to control effects of the program.