Clinical Psychologist Begüm Ceren Yüksel
A clinical psychologist, addiction consultant, and psychotherapist experienced in existential and psychodynamic psychotherapy, and addiction. She holds B.A in Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, and Psychology from Bahçeşehir University, and a Master's Degree in Clinical Psychology from the same university.
Through her education, she got experience in addiction, mindfulness, and psychodynamic psychotherapy, and took psychoanalytical and existential psychotherapy supervision. From 2019 to 2020, she worked in Moodist Psychiatry and Neurology Hospital in İstanbul as a psychologist. By 2021, she carries out her therapy sessions within Existential Academy of Istanbul.
Main areas of interest:
Loss and grief processes
Psychotherapy is a trip which is appropriate for all of us. Sometimes compelling, sometimes cheerful and sometimes surprising. Reason behind the need for psychotherapy differs from person to person. Sometimes insistent depressiveness, sometimes repeating events, sometimes being with similar people, and sometimes just wondering about yourself... Regardless of the reason, the experience is special for the person.
Due to human nature, people form relationships. And, psychotherapy is a kind of these relationship. However, it differs from others, and most importantly it belongs to the person him/herself. The therapist walks with the person in his/her trip, listens, and wonders him/her...
Basically, it is expected from the clients to tell their experiences as much as possible without interrupting or censoring theirselves. In the beginning, the role of therapist is to know the client and try to understand the world of client by supporting the client to describe his/her experiences. Afterwards, therapist integrates the clients' experiences to provide an interpretation.
She conducts her sessions through online platform or/and face to face in Kadıkoy/İstanbul.
Sessions are planned as once or more (dependent on the need of the client) a week, and last about 45 minutes.
Coronavirus and Psychology
Over 6 months, we are fighting against Coronavirus which has largely affected our psychology. To sum:
We have lost many things that we use to get away from ourselves. We are alone with ourselves, and we approach to our entity. Some of us have dealt with old issues, and some have strong feelings which could not be understood. These issues are already there, we do not only make time to see them.
Grief: We are in a grieving process. We have had many losses: our loving ones, freedom, sense of security, opportunities, and routines. And these losses have revealed anxiety, and lots of negative feelings. Maybe we have lost our closest due to the virus. We are away from our loving ones whether they have got the virus or not. We lost our freedom to go outside even we are not much liking this. The thought ‘The world is not a safe place’ comes to our minds. We delay our plans.
Deny, excessive anxiety, and humor: Some of us do not take precautions while some are busy with excessive cleaning. And some try to deal with this situation through humor. These strategies are not different, all are defenses to protect ourselves from the danger.
Burnout and anger: During the pandemic, especially the people who are actively working feel intense anger, and relatedly burnout. Healthcare workers are scared, anxious, sad, burned out, and angry. They are much close to the danger and have less contact with their surroundings.
Our defenses have been shattered. We have two main defenses to deal with our lives: Believing that we are the most powerful, competent, and invincible people or believing that there is a person who is powerful, and competent, and saves us. Now we are alone with ourselves, and our vulnerabilities, and do not know what to do.
Besides these negative situations, we might say that this situation could be an opportunity. Let’s ask to yourself: What do you want? What do not you want? Which opportunities have been missed or not seen? What could we do? Are we pleased with our lives? What do we insist? Answering all of these, and other questions regarding ourselves is an opportunity to close our true selves. We our out of control and are living within an ambiguous world but we have a chance to think about these and change if we want.
Last thing. Necessity to keep ourselves busy. ‘I have to do something while I have time’. If you do not want to do anything, don’t do. There is a quite good reason which you might not be aware of. Don’t push yourselves to do things. You might need a stop. Give yourselves time.
What is addiction?
Before starting to write about addiction, I searched on the internet for detecting the general perception, and I saw these descriptions: Addiction is ‘the inability to quit a substance, chemical or an activity even there are psychological and physical damages’, ‘a complicated brain disease in which the person is unable to stop himself or herself’, ‘a chronic disease which affect brain’s functions and structure’ and others..
When we look at these descriptions, we can say that addiction is a disease in which the person is out of control due to the deficits in the brain structure. Is it enough? We miss the key point while we are hiding behind these descriptions. What is the person’s experience? ‘It is bad to use substances. Don’t use’. Okay, the person is probably aware of the ‘badness’ of using substances. The reason why I am using quotation mark is that the person does not need to define using substance as bad. Using substances could be enjoying, pleasant, and well for the person. The question could be why this person is using.
Put the brain disease model aside, classical psychodynamic theories suggest that addiction develops for filling something empty which the person experiences and does not understand. This emptiness is too compelling that creates the feelings of hopelesness, powerlessness, and intense anger. Naturally, the person does not want to stay with these intense emotions, and try tor everse them. Acts out. Attaches to someone else so deeply, uses substances and alcohol or goes shopping.. Of course, these emotions are temporarily reversed, and create the faulty sense that ‘I can control my feelings’ which triggers the loop of addiction. From this perspective, it is best to define the emptiness, and accompany the person in his/her journey.