Burcu Uysal: “IPAM Has Provided 4826 Hours of Psychotherapy to 719 People Until Today”

Ibn Haldun University Psychotherapy Application and Research Center (IPAM), located at Başakşehir, offers Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) to the public. IPAM, providing Psychotherapy and Psychological Counseling Services in English and German Beside the Turkish language, plans to provide services in Arabic as well.

IPAM fills an important gap in Turkey with the opportunities it offers to the graduate students of Ibn Haldun University (IHU) who are trained in the relevant field, as well as the projects carried out under its roof and the services that directly respond to the needs of the public.

We talked to Dr. Burcu Uysal, the Director of IPAM and faculty member of the Department of Psychology at Ibn Haldun University, about the services that IPAM provides for its founding objectives, the projects it conducts and the activities it performs.

Dr. Uysal, could you tell briefly when and for what purpose was Ibn Haldun University Psychotherapy Application and Research Center (IPAM) established?

IPAM has been officially established in October 2018 to provide psychotherapy, psycho-education, group therapy, group education, clinical assessment and evaluation services to clients who apply to our center for support and services in the field of mental health. Our center offers its services in Başakşehir 1.Etap, Başakşehir Mah. Cemiyet Sok. Hayrettin Atmaca Mosque Apt. No: 5/1.

In which areas does IPAM offer services?

We can briefly summarize the activity areas of the center as follows:

  • Supporting clients to cope with situations that affect the quality of their daily lives, such as communication, relationship problems or life difficulties.
  • Providing psychoeducation, if needed, in accordance with the applicant’s sociocultural infrastructure.
  • To determine the appropriate diagnosis and treatment protocol to provide psychotherapy, psychological counseling and play therapy services to individuals, couples, families, children and adolescents or to
  • To make test applications that may be needed for diagnosis or reporting.
  • To direct the clients to the relevant institutions in cases where we cannot provide services to them.
  • To ensure that undergraduate or graduate students studying at the Psychology Department of our university perform their internships under the supervision of their teachers.
  • To organize scientific events, open to public participation, such as educations, seminars, symposiums that will support individual and intellectual development related to psychology.

Psychotherapists working in IPAM center have professional experience of many years and expertise in different psychology subdisciplines

In the center, we see that many specialists work as well as the faculty members of the Psychology Department of IHU. Could you inform us about your team carrying out these services? How many people work in the center? What are their specialties?

Our faculty members provide psychotherapy services on certain days and hours. 8 psychotherapists working in our center, they have expertise in different fields such as children and adolescents, family, couples, individual psychotherapy and many years of professional experience.

Are only the people of Başakşehir benefiting from the services provided within the center? Also, can you give information about how many people have benefited from the services provided to date?

All people can benefit from all the services provided in the center. However, due to our cooperation with Başakşehir Municipality, there are special discounts for Başakşehir residents.

So far, 719 people have received 4826 hours of psychotherapy at IPAM.

In addition, İPAM does not shape its services only in line with demands. By taking initiative in the events we live as a country, it carries out some activities in accordance with the founding objectives. For example, due to the earthquake we experienced in Elazığ in the past days, an expert group from İPAM is planned to go to the earthquake region in order to provide psychological support to our citizens affected by the earthquake. On this occasion, I would like to wish Allah’s mercy upon those who lost their lives in the earthquake, patience to their families and a speedy recovery to all who were wounded.

Could you mention the scientific projects that are being carried out within IPAM or by members of IPAM?

By cooperation with the Ministry of the Interior we have organized “The Intervention Programs to Overcome the Language Problems and Antisocial Behaviors of Syrian Students.” Under the consultancy of IPAM, a six-session program has been completed in each of a primary and a high school in Başakşehir. Similarly, “Anger Management” program for young people from different immigrant groups is planned to be implemented in a high school in Başakşehir.

In addition, we have another project in which we are working on developing the psychological resilience of orphan children, that we have reached through an association. This project, in which I serve as a counselor, has started the last week and it is going to be completed within a month.

Together with Ayşenur Bayraktar, an Expert Clinical Psychologist, we have completed in the recent weeks an intervention group therapy program which was organized for the employees of the Başakşehir Municipality.

There are also many other researches that are being conducted by IPAM members. However, this is for now the main projects to be announced.

In Europe, I have never encountered a similar center, providing the services that the public needs in the field of mental health and supporting personal and social development in the responsibility of the Psychology Departments of the universities.

Dr. Uysal, you have been abroad for many years, you have completed your undergraduate, graduate and doctorate abroad. We are curious about your overseas observations in the context of the university-neighborhood relationship. What would you like to say about the bridges established by universities in Europe with people living in their surroundings and the social support provided to them?

It was interesting to me that anybody in Europe could work in the library, attend any course, any program at any university, without any control or additional prerequisites. This is an indication that the university’s faculty offers an opportunity for self-improvement and made it accessible to the people around them. In Turkey, the possibilities for supporting the intellectual and personal development addresses much more the staff and the students of the university. In this sense, a center such as IPAM acts as an important bridge between the university and its surroundings.

In Europe, universities have agreements with large hospitals where students can pursue their trainings there. However, in IPAM we invest in both the students’ training and the civil community development as well, I have not seen such a model.

Currently, we offer English and German Psychotherapy Services, and providing Arabic Psychotherapy and Psychological Counseling Service is among our plans.

Finally, what are IPAM’S plans in the future?

We are planning to increase our service areas and diversity while maintaining our basic objectives. For example, we want to organize new trainings and workshops aimed at increasing knowledge and skills in the field of mental health for our people or colleagues, and to raise awareness on certain issues. Whenever possible, we aim to be able to serve immigrants from different nationalities, as we serve our local people. We currently offer English and German psychotherapy. As a next step, we plan to provide the most in demand Arabic psychotherapy and psychological counseling services.

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