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Petra Kottsieper

Petra Kottsieper, PhD, MEd

Associate Teaching Professor
Director of the Drexel Psychological Services Center
Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences
Office: Stratton Hall, 272
3141 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: 215.553.7127

Additional Sites:



  • PhD, Clinical Psychology, Drexel University, 2006
  • MEd, Educational Psychology, Temple University, 2000
  • BS, Major Psychology Minor Sociology, Birkbeck College University of London, 1990

Curriculum Vitae:

Download (PDF)

Research Interests:

  • Treatment adherence and engagement
  • Mental health service implementation and evaluation
  • Hope and meaning-making
  • Self-disclosure
  • “Wounded” healers
  • Personal growth and related topics


Petra Kottsieper, PhD, MEd, is the Drexel Psychological Services Center director and an Associate Research Professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences.

Following her move to the US in ’91 and an early career as a direct services worker, supervisor, and case manager supervisor in intellectual disabilities services, Dr. Kottsieper became senior research coordinator at the University of Pennsylvania, Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research. She also completed a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology at Temple University before returning to college. She obtained her PhD in clinical psychology from Drexel University with an emphasis on serious mental illness (SMI) and forensic psychology. She has completed two post-doctoral fellowships in forensic clinical psychology and a NIDDR-funded research fellowship at UMDNJ in psychiatric rehabilitation. Dr. Kottsieper published several co-authored peer-reviewed articles, has presented at a conference, and has given invited talks to state psychological associations, medical professionals and conferences.

For seven years, Dr. Kottsieper was a full-time assistant professor of psychology at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, where she taught several classes, mentored dissertation students, and had a research lab focused on developing a hope and meaning-making intervention for individuals with SMI.

Her research interests are treatment adherence and engagement, mental health service implementation and evaluation, hope and meaning-making, self-disclosure, “wounded” healers, personal growth and related topics. She maintains research affiliations with the RRTC on Community Living and Participation for People with SMI, a Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) funded by the National Institute on Disability, directed by Mark Salzer, PhD and located at Temple University.

Dr. Kottspier has also worked as the assistant and interim Director of Psychology at Friend Hospital, where she coordinated the APA-approved internship and externship programs and provided clinical supervision to students. At Horizon House, a Philadelphia Community Mental Health, Intellectual DisAbilities and Homeless Services agency, she was the Director for Clinical Services. Also, she oversaw the agency’s Mental Health outpatient clinic, which had a practicum student program. Most recently, she was the Senior Director of Complex Care & Integrated Care, Cross Systems, Psychology and the Evidence-based Practice & Innovation Center (EPIC) at Community Behavioral Health (CBH), Philadelphia’s Medicaid behavioral health insurance provider.

Over her professional career, Dr. Kottsieper has taught Statistics, Research Methods, History and Systems of Psychology, Counseling Theories, Personality Theories, and an introduction to Dialectic Behavior Therapy classes, predominantly to doctoral and master’s students. Dr. Kottsieper volunteers for and works with a non-profit community agency run by a survivor of suicide, Ishan Haines, called My Brothers Keeper (MBK). MBK addresses various mental health issues and suicide prevention, mostly in unreserved Philadelphia communities, with different events that generally feature a panel discussion in which she participates as a speaker.