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Psychotherapy & Couples counselling in Istanbul

Our team. Melike-Kayhan

Melike Kayhan

Melike KAYHAN, Psychoanalyst (CP-UK), Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist (UKCP, PA), Couples Therapist, Psychosexual Therapist, Counselling and family therapist (MSc), EMDR practitioner

About me:
I was born and raised in Istanbul. I moved to Britain in 1992 and was based there for the next 20 years. I completed all my psychoanalytic training in London, and practised as a therapist in Hampstead for many years.

I set up Face to Face Therapia after returning to Istanbul in 2013. Psychoanalytic psychotherapy is not easily accessible in Istanbul, and I wanted to create a welcoming centre offering this valuable form of psychotherapy. Prior to this I worked as a Couples and Family Therapist at Istanbul's Marital Therapy institute.

I have a special interest in relationship difficulties and issues concerning sex and sexuality. I also have extensive experience helping adults and teenagers suffering from depression, anxiety, panic attacks, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and schizophrenia. In addition, I am qualified in EMDR, a groundbreaking technique used to treat trauma and other anxiety-related conditions.

For me, psychotherapy is a way of freeing us from self-destructive patterns of thought and behaviour. These behaviours would have been adopted in response to situations that were physically or emotionally threatening, and are usually formed in childhood. Unfortunately, if we carry them into later life, they can hamper our growth, our creativity, and our capacity to form emotionally fulfilling relationships.

As a therapist I help people become aware of these behaviours, and to understand that they no longer need to be shackled by them. When we understand what's harming us, and why, we're no longer 'stuck'. We become free to change, and to pursue the things that make us truly happy.


I completed my training in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis at the Philadelphia Association (www.philadelphia-association.org.uk) in Hampstead, London. Founded by R.D. Laing and others in the 1960s, the association questioned orthodox views on the causes and treatment of mental illness. The Philadelphia Association continues to teach and work in this tradition.

Qualifications & Memberships include:
College of Psychoanalysts-UK (CP-UK), Registered Psychoanalyst
UKCP accredited training in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, Philadelphia Association
Member of Council for Psychoanalysis and Jungian Analysis College
Member of United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP)

For more information, or to make an appointment with Melike, please get in touch.

Our team. Vincent two

Vincent Sienkiewicz

Vincent SIENKIEWICZ, Clinical Psychologist, Psychotherapist

About me:

I specialise in existential-humanistic psychotherapy. This form of therapy places the individual, and his or her needs, at the centre of the therapeutic process.

My role as a counsellor is to help my clients gain a greater understanding of who they are, and the person they truly want to be. Existential-humanistic psychotherapy is collaborative, and many insights are gained through the therapeutic relationship itself. Using the client's goals as a guide, we explore emotional issues in the context of the human condition, and the individual's sense of his of her place in the world.

Background and training:

I earned my doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the American School of Professional Psychology, and have worked with adults, adolescents and children suffering from problems including: depression , , panic attacks, substance abuse, relationship difficulties, and issues triggered by new life circumstances.

For more information, or to make an appointment with Vincent, please get in touch.

Our team. Ozen-Bagbaslioglu

Özen Bagbaslioglu

Özen BAGBASLIOGLU, Psychologist, Psychotherapist, Post-graduate student in Clinical Psychology

About me:

I offer psychoanalytic therapy to adults suffering from depression, anxiety, and many other forms of mental distress. My goal is to help clients become more aware of their inner life, and the unconscious struggles that may be causing or adding to their difficulties.

Emotional distress is often grounded in past events and experiences. Looking back at these experiences, and understanding the ways in which they've affected us, can be very freeing. Very often it also causes a shift in perspective, giving people the confidence to make changes and move forward with their lives. As a therapist I feel privileged to be able to help people reach this point.

Background and training:

I have an honours degree in Psychology from Boğaziçi University. After graduating, I began working with children with special needs, and their families, at a private rehabilitation centre. I have completed a Master’s in Clinical Psychology at Bahçeşehir University.

For more information, or to make an appointment with Özen, please get in touch.

Our team. zeynepkocaoglu

Ayşe Zeynep Kocaoğlu

Ayşe Zeynep Kocaoğlu, Clinical Psychologist, Psychotherapist

I studied psychology and dance at Franklin and Marshall College, having graduated with a double major diploma. I later completed my masters degree at Columbia University Teachers College, studying Motor Learning and Control. During this time I worked with children with autism and cerebral palsy.

After relocating to Turkey in 2011, I participated in the Art Therapy and Rehabilitation program within İstanbul University Çapa Hospital Psychiatry Department. During this time, I worked as a volunteer therapist with adult psychotic patients and ran dance therapy groups. I also attended supervision meetings in the program.

In 2016 I graduated from İstanbul Bilgi University Clinical Psychology masters program with Child/Adolescent Therapy specialization.
My final project is ‘Creative Movement as a Therapeutic Approach for Social Skills Development: The Case of Autism’. In 2016 I also finished the Creative Movement and Dance Movement Therapy program at İstanbul Bilgi University, under the guidance of Doç. Dr. Zeynep Çatay Çalışkan.

I am working with children and adolescents in individual and group therapy settings, using play therapy and verbal therapy, as well as art therapy and dance therapy techniques. I am following the psychodynamic approach, but I believe in a more holistic approach to child development and therefore emphasize the role of parents and caregivers within the family system. I am doing therapy in both English and Turkish. She is a member of the Arts Psychotherapies Association and has taken on several roles within the board from 2012-2017.

For more information or to make an appointment with Zeynep, please get in touch.

Our team. oğuzhannacak.png

Oğuzhan Nacak

Oğuzhan Nacak, Psychologist, Psychotherapist

About me:
I was introduced to Psychoanalysis while studying economics at METU ( Middle East Technical University). My growing interest in psychoanalysis led me to pursue a career in mental health, and got a full scholarship to study psychology at Bilgi University. Following my graduation in 2016, I worked both in the public sector and private practice as a psychotherapist. My public work involved working as a psychologist in prison under the Ministry of Justice. This is followed by working as a psychologist in a training and research hospital in Istanbul. My public work enabled him to work with adults from different sections of society. I gained valuable clinical experience with people from all walks of life during this time. I am in the final year of a Master’s program in Clinical Psychology at Istanbul Aydın University.

I am a founding member of the Psychoanalysis Research Association. I teach at the association and give lessons on Lacanian psychoanalysis. I translated Luis Izcovich's book "Love, Desire and Jouissance in Perversion" into Turkish. I published an article titled “Psychoanalysis and Sexual Identity” in the 4th issue of Psychoanalysis Notebooks, which was on the theme of Child and Adolescent Sexuality. I am currently working as a psychotherapist at the Face to Face Therapia Psychotherapy centre in Levent, İstanbul. My therapeutic approach is psychoanalytic psychotherapy.

Psychoanalytic psychotherapy is an approach based on psychoanalysis. Sigmund Freud was the founder of psychoanalysis, a clinical method for treating people in psychological distress through talking therapy. There have been other important psychoanalysts such as Jacques Lacan who contributed to the development of psychoanalysis. This technique suggest that problems of individuals (in other words, symptoms) originate from various conflicts that occur at the unconscious level. Rather than trying to quickly eliminate these problems, the psychoanalytic technique aims to create a deep understanding of problems and more fundamental change and transformation in the individual by trying to understand the causes of these problems. Psychoanalysis claims that there are various reasons behind the visible problems that the individual is not yet aware of, and these problems can only be eliminated as a consequence of work of analysis, which will make it possible to reveal these origins. In psychoanalysis, individuals are encouraged to talk about their childhood memories and free associations, speak about their dreams and establish some cause-effect relationships. In a sense, the individual's personal history is rewritten, and the gaps in the person's story are filled. In this process, clients also have the chance to identify and change behavioral patterns that are constantly recurring in their lives.

For more information, or to make an appointment with Oğuzhan, please get in touch.

Our team. tuba

Tuba Alkan

Tuba Alkan, Psychologist, Psychotherapist

About me:
I am introduced to Psychoanalysis after studying Manufacturing Engineering at ITU (Istanbul Technical University). My interest in psychoanalysis led me to pursue a career in mental health, and got a full scholarship to study psychology at Nisantasi University. Following my carrier as a white-collar engineer, I then graduated from Psychology. Since completing my psychology degree, I have been working as a psychotherapist at the Face to Face Therapia Psychotherapy centre in Levent, İstanbul. My therapeutic approach is psychoanalytic psychotherapy.

Psychoanalytic psychotherapy is an approach based on talking about childhood experiences and dreams and making free associations. According to the psychoanalytical approach, the unconscious influences thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Psychoanalytic psychotherapy helps you to become aware of unconscious/hidden meanings or patterns in what you do or say that might contribute to your psychological problems. Rather than offering temporary quick solutions, this technique aims at a deeper study of mental health problems to understand the underlying causes of the difficulties and create a deep understanding of psychological conflicts, and offers fundamental change and transformation.

I am a founding member of the Psychoanalysis Research Association. I teach at the association and give seminars on Lacanian psychoanalysis. I am one of the translators of Sigmund Freud's book "Papers on Technique" from English to Turkish. I have also contributed to some books such as; Love, Desire and Jouissance in Perversion, La cité et ses maîtres fous, Fundamentals of Psychoanalytic Technique.

For more information, or to make an appointment with Tuba, please get in touch.

Our team. gokce

Gökçe Yücel Akyol

Gökçe Yücel Akyol, Clinical Psychologist, Psychotherapist, Couple Therapist

About me:
I graduated from Koç University with a double major in psychology and sociology. I completed my clinical psychology master's degree at İstanbul Bilgi University. My thesis was about examining the role of projective identification, conflict resolution styles, gender roles, and marital satisfaction between couples. I also completed İstanbul Bilgi University Couple and Family Therapy Certificate Program accredited by the International Family Association (IFTA).

I have got an internship at the Bakırköy Mental Health Hospital, Yedikule Surp Pırgiç Armenian Hospital, and İstanbul Bilgi University Psychological Counselling Unit. I took part in different projects at some companies. I worked at the Women and Family Unit in Fatih Municipality and also at different private psychological counseling centers as a clinical psychologist. I gave psychotherapy and psychological counseling to couples, families, adolescents, and adults.

I provide psychodynamic psychotherapy to adults and adolescents. My approach when working with couples is both psychodynamic and systematic. I am especially interested in anxiety problems and relationship problems: domestic violence, anger management, and negative problem solving.

For more information, or to make an appointment with Gökçe, please get in touch.

Naciye Ersözlü Çitil

Naciye Ersözlü Çitil, Clinical Psychologist, Psychotherapist

I have finished my M.A. in Clinical Psychology in California, U.S.A. The graduate program I have attended was focused on Marriage and Family Therapy as well as individual therapy. During my internship, I had an opportunity to work with couples, families, and individuals at New Beginnings Counseling Center and with substance and alcohol misuse at Prototypes Women’s Center. I have been seeing a similar client profile for more than a decade.

In recent years, Polyvagal Theory has been embraced by psychotherapists. This theory provides a better understanding of the vortex of trauma and addiction. Using Polyvagal theory’s therapeutic applications in my practice has been becoming one of the greatest tools that I have.

While I was working on clients with addiction problems, I saw that marriage and family counseling increases the effectiveness of addiction therapy. Between 2012 and 2013, I served as a Clinical Psychologist at Balıklı Rum Hospital Anatolia 1 Addiction Service and had an opportunity to include the families and spouses in the therapy process. The positive consequences I have obtained in almost all cases confirmed my observation. In 2015-2016 I was a clinical director in Avcılar Belediye Baskanlıgı C4 Recovery Solutions Counseling and Follow-up Center.

Even though I prefer the Psychodynamic Approach generally, I should admit that I am quite impressed by the methods of Latin American psychotherapist Salvador Minuchin in the case of family counseling. The communalities between Latin American and Turkish families have a part in my positive impression.

I believe that the discovery of the distressful points of a family structure and the problems these points seem to cause is a very special journey for both the therapist and the family.

For me, replacing whatever is not functioning in the systemwith a new and functioning element and witnessing how a family tries this new element and gets satisfactory consequences forms the climax of this journey.

In the case of couples therapy I generally adopt an Emotionally Focused Therapy. I find it very efficient and meaningful to support each member of a couple in the process of admitting and understanding their own feelings and getting ready to share them.

I have developed an interest in helping LGBTT individuals as an intern, and I continue providing counseling services to them as a volunteer. I am quite concerned with the problems they encounter in Turkey, and I feel lucky to get to know some members of the LGBTT community at Kadın Kapısı.

Qualifications as a Psychotherapist

A good command of Psychodynamic Approach
A good command of Polyvagal Theory and its implications in therapy.
A good command of Marriage and Family Therapy Methods
Experience in Substance and Alcohol Addiction Therapy
Trauma Informed Therapy
Experience in Group Therapy
Experience in helping adults with sexual identity issues
Sensitivity to issues concerning diversity
Experience in Somatic Therapy (from the viewpoints of Hakomi, Gestalt and Mindfulness)

Our team. deniz

Deniz Arslan

Deniz Arslan, Clinical Psychologist, Psychotherapist

About me:

I completed my degree education at the department of Psychology at Bilgi University with a full scholarship in English and with an honors degree. During my undergraduate education, I did internships in several institutions, and at the same time, I participated in various projects within the country and abroad as a volunteer. Owing to this process, I have gained extensive experiences in multicultural environments in my professional life.
I completed my master's degree at Bahçeşehir University in the department of Clinical Psychology. My thesis was 'Living with Contamination Obsessions and Cleaning Compulsions in the Covid-19 Pandemic: A Qualitative Study. I studied how patients diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) experience Covid-19, how their symptoms influence them, and how they make sense of this process. I have reached the conclusion that being understood and listened to without any judgment has a psychologically healing effect on the person. In addition, I also had the opportunity to discover that every person is unique in their own way, even though they experience the same psychological state. During my clinical internship at the French Lape Hospital, I had the opportunity to communicate with patients with various experiences and witness their clinical processes.

Currently, I provide online and face-to-face individual therapy to adults at the Face to Face Therapy Center. My psychotherapeutic approach is psychodynamic, which focuses on the client's unconscious materials and how they make sense of their experiences in order to analyze the issues brought to the therapy in more depth. Through this authentic relationship between the client and the therapist, the person is able to process and restructure various patterns and conflicts in their life rather than trying to get rid of the symptoms.

For more information, or to make an appointment with Deniz, please get in touch.

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