What is psychological support? What does a psychologist do?

Every person needs being listened to without being judged. Instead of looking from where everyone else looks from, listening without being judgmental could be possible by a person who listens to us and what we have to say, and who devotes time to understand our feelings and thoughts.
  • What is psychological support?

We may sometimes experience things that we can’t even confess to ourselves, or we may have thoughts, feelings or memories that we don’t want anyone we know to find out about.

Other times, we may think that they won’t care even if they hear or find out about it.

Being listened to without being judged is a human need.

Everyone encounters good and bad incidents in their life. It is tremendously normal to encounter bad incidents as well as good incidents in life. We should embrace the emotions that emerge when we encounter such incidents. Failing to embrace our emotions in their normal flow in the face of such situations may lead to other disturbances in the following days. Sharing with someone can bring us comfort. We all need a space where we can objectively share all types of life experiences, which make us sad, upset, unhappy or happy, without being judged.

Psychological support is the name of the process in which a professional meets this very human need and which enables us to embrace our own emotions about challenging incidents.

  • Who is a psychologist, what does s/he do?

A psychologist carries out the psychological support process. A psychologist is a professional. S/he is someone who has received training on mental health problems and psychological interviewing techniques.

A psychologist works based on the principle of “unconditional acceptance”. Unconditional acceptance has to do with accepting all human beings as they are, regardless of their religion, sect, race, gender and sexual orientation. Respecting individual differences is essential in this principle. It carries the purpose of seeing all the positive and negative characteristics of persons, regardless of their beliefs, values and personal traits, and establishing empathetic communication with those persons.

  • Subject of psychological support

Any issue that a person may want to discuss could be the subject of psychological support. Sometimes, the only thing a person may need could be explaining something to someone. The subject of psychological support is not determined by the psychologist, but by the person coming in for support.

  • Purpose of psychological support

The purpose of psychological support is to provide an opportunity for the person to;

  • Better understand and evaluate themselves and those around them,
  • Develop ways to cope with problems,
  • Come up with solutions to problems and crises they face in their daily lives,
  • Reduce or eliminate stress factors,
  • Make more effective choices and improve their decision making efforts.

This way, psychological support aims to help the person feel better and to continue her/his daily life in a more functional way.

The space for receiving psychological support is not only a space where we could talk about conditions caused by the natural stress in our lives and that have a serious effect on how we sustain our daily lives, but also a place where we could discuss issues from our past that we have not been able to forget. At certain times, when we have no one to speak to, we may develop the need to talk to a person.

  • How long do psychological support sessions last? 

Routine sessions last around 50 minutes.

On the other hand, since the first session will also be a session for getting acquainted, it might last longer and take up to 1 or 1,5 hours.

  • How to make an appointment? 

An appointment will be arranged for everyone who calls or visits the office, indicating that they would like to see the psychologist. After conveying your request, the psychologist will contact you to book a convenient time.

  • Why does a psychologist work based on appointment?

Since psychological support sessions take time and are held based on the principle of confidentiality, it takes time to make arrangements accordingly. A program and planning must be made so that the psychological support process is carried out continuously on a regular basis.

Psychologists also conduct their sessions successively and according to the designated hours so that they could provide service to multiple persons.

Being able to carry out the sessions without any interruption is very important for every person attending the sessions. Therefore, having each person attend the session at the designated time that has been notified to her/him will contribute to the continuation of the process without being harmed.

For instance, a session booked for 14.00 means one hour that will begin at this specific time, which has been allocated for you. There is another appointment booked for 15.00. Coming to the session at 14.30 will mean that you only have 20 minutes left.

An appointment system enables all persons, who applied and are receiving psychological support, to benefit from the services equally and prevents any unfairness against them.

  • How long does the overall psychological support process take?

Everyone’s problems and their solutions to these problems are different. Thus, sessions concerning the problems of each individual take place through a unique process. While some psychological support processes could be resolved and completed after two or even one session, some could take years.

  • Why do we call it a process?

Even in cases when the same persons experience the same incident, the meaning of that specific incident could be different for each individual. Therefore, the emotions that people feel and their reactions to incidents are all different from each other.  

For this reason, the recovery process could also differ from person to person.

We must foresee that a certain incident or condition that has had such a deep effect on our lives cannot be resolved in an instant through a couple of words to be expressed by someone else.

When considering that psychological conditions consist of comprehensive problems that cannot be resolved or gotten rid of with the single touch of a magical wand, it becomes easier to understand that it will take time to recover, and a process will be required that involves a specific timeframe.

Just as it would take time for a wound to heal after being cleaned and treated, recovery from mental health problems also requires time and a certain process. 
  • Principle of confidentiality

Psychological support sessions are held based on the principle of confidentiality. The principle of confidentiality means that the topics to be discussed in the session room will stay there and will not be shared with any outside institution or person.

If a translator is present during the sessions, the principle of confidentiality will also apply to the translator.

  • Should I go see a psychologist?

No matter what the issue is that you would like to talk about, if you even slightly start thinking to yourself ‘Could a psychologist be a cure to my problem?’ you could visit the psychologist.

In short, it is even possible to go see a psychologist to ask the question, “Do you have the cure to my problem?” The psychologist will not judge you and will try to help you think about your problem and to come up with a solution.

WE ARE HERE FOR YOU  A psychologist is a professional who has received training on many problems related to human beings and on the resolution of these problems, such as various mental health problems, coping with intense anxiety and stress, adaptation problems experienced during childhood, bedwetting or urinary retention, psychological problems caused by severe/chronic illnesses, loss and grief process, parenthood issues, sleep or eating disorders, communication problems with people, accidents or negative life events that have deeply affected us and their impacts. Just as we go to the hospital for treatment when we have a heart attack and we try to comply with the treatment plan provided by the doctor, we could also consult with a relevant professional when we feel bad psychologically. Psychologists and Psychiatrists are the relevant professionals with regard to mental health problems.
    • Why does the psychologist refer a person to a doctor sometimes?

Our body is a whole. Some psychological problems affect us not only mentally but also physically. Sleeping, eating and being able to rest as much as needed are our basic needs. It is vital that these needs are met regularly and in a healthy way. In the event that some psychological conditions interrupt these needs, resorting to remedies suggested by psychiatrists for the purposes of making recovery possible can ensure the recovery.

When coping with some problems that deeply affect our body, such as distress and pain, uncontrollable thoughts, obsessions and depression, the treatment plans provided by psychiatrists might help us in the process of resolving such problems. On the other hand, some of the mental health problems necessarily require medical treatments as is the case with heart conditions and stomach disorders.

  • Is there anything important that I must keep in mind?

This is your life. If you don’t make an effort, no one can provide you support, let alone professionals like a psychologist or psychiatrist.

Psychologist support is a process that is carried out completely based on the person’s own will, determination and efforts, takes time, requires effort, and will only work out depending on your participation. When you decide to make an effort and to seek solutions to your grievances and problems, the psychologist is a guide who will be accompanying you throughout your efforts. Finding a solution to your problems will depend on your own efforts and determination.

  • Why does the psychologist ask so many questions?

Every person is different from one another. A psychologist asks questions to get to know you and to be able to examine the issue at hand better and in more detail.

Throughout the psychological support process, our intention is to understand the issues better and to come up with solutions that are realistic and appropriate to our own lives. For instance, we may think that remembering distressful or negative events could be difficult or painful. However, it is also possible to proceed step-by-step without rushing and being judgmental by remembering that this is a process that could take time. The aim in psychological support is not to remind you of your griefs and dig them out, but to proceed in a manner that would generate a solution and this way, to help in making the existing problem become something that will have less effect on our lives.






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ASAM Istanbul Representative Office Counseling Line operates from 09.00-12.30 on weekdays.