Sunday 29 June
An earthquake having magnitude of 7.2 on Richter Scale occurred in Van, Turkey on October 23, 2011. It resulted in physical and psychological harm escalated by low socio-economic status and adverse weather conditions. Both material and psychological help were given to those affected by the earthquake. However, for recovery, a long-term after-trauma service was necessary as well as acute interventions.
The aim of Van Project was providing long-term psychological help for traumatic effects of the earthquake. In collaboration with PAYE (Psychological Trauma and Crisis Intervention, Research and Training Association), ACEV (Mother Child Education Foundation) and Turkey Family and Social Policies Ministry, Van Post Trauma Family Counseling Center was established in Van. Project coordinators and supervisors in this project were those therapists working in INDA Center for Solution Focused Therapy and Training: Aysegul Ertal, MSc, Ceyda Yilmazcetin Eke, MA, Ersin Bayramkaya, MSc, Hakan Yuksek, MA, Ibrahim Eke, MA, Serkan Ozgun, PhD. Psychologists who worked in this center were given 120-hours training containing psychotraumatology, counseling skills, child and adolescent development, psychopathology, solution-focused therapy, strategic family therapy, field traumatology by INDA team. They also had EMDR Level I training. They provided psychotherapy, psychoeducation, group therapy with earthquake victims under supervision. Pre and post-testing tools were Externalizing Behaviours Scale, Brief Symptom Inventory, Post-traumatic Stress Diagnostic Scale for child and adolescents; Brief Symptom Inventory and Post-traumatic Stress Diagnostic Scale for adults. The data analysis of both pre-and post testing and EMDR therapy results are still in process.The project was held from April, 2012 to June, 2013. Then, psychologists from Van 100.Yıl University Counseling Center have continued giving mental health service in Van Post Trauma Family Counseling Center.
Serkan Ozgun completed his clinical psychology PhD at Middle East Technical University in 2010 with his thesis on ‘The predictors of the traumatic effects of extramarital infidelity on married women: Coping strategies, resource, and forgiveness’. He graduated from Istanbul University Psychology department in 1998. Between 2000 and 2002 he completed his master’s degree at the same department as a research assistant. His thesis here was on communication efficiency and Expressed Emotions with families who have Schizophrenia diagnosed children. Ozgun spent 2002-2004 in New York and completed Family Therapy training at the Ackerman Institute and International Trauma Studies Post-graduate Programme at New York University. In the mean time he worked as a voluntary researcher in the psycho-educational trauma intervention project (HOPE-NY) and the schizophrenia research department at the New York State Psychiatry Institute. Ozgun aimed to enhance his psychotherapy practice, which he started at the post-earthquake field in 2000 with national and international trainings. Amongst various seminars and supervisions he participated, EMDR Level I and II and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy are the certified trainings he completed. Ozgun is also an EMDREA Accredited Practitioner and an EMDREA Accredited Consultant. Ozgun participated in the Trauma Intervention Programme within the Turkish Psychologists’ Association on many occasions. He was also in the board of the association between 2001 and 2002. Ozgun worked at the Institute of Behavioural Sciences as a psychotherapist between 2004 and 2009. Within the same institute he worked on projects on pre-marital counselling and performance enhancement, as well as giving trainings on strategic family therapy, solution focused therapy and for the professional training programme. Ozgun is one of the founders of INDA Centre for Solution Focused Therapy and Training where he continues his practice on firstly trauma and other anxiety problems, depression, relationship/couple problems, and infidelity within the flexibility he gains from family studies. Ozgun also does therapy in English with foreigners living in Turkey.