Counseling and psychotherapy in turkey: Western theories and culturally inclusive methods

Şenel Poyrazli, Süleyman Doğan, Mehmet Eskin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

13 Scopus citations


Turkey is a republic that was founded in 1923, following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. It is strategically situated to the east of Europe and north of the Middle East. Countries that surround Turkey by land are Greece, Bulgaria, Georgia, Armenia, Iran, Iraq, and Syria. The population is 72.5 million, with 50% being below the age of 29 (Central Intelligence Agency; CIA, 2011). The largest ethnic group in Turkey is the Turks (70-75%), followed by Kurds (18%). Other minority groups such as Armenians, Arabs, and Jews make up 7-12% of the population (CIA, 2011). The majority of the people are Muslims; however, Jews and Christians also live in Turkey. The official language is Turkish, while Kurdish, Arabic, Greek, Armenian, and Circassian are among other minority languages that are spoken by different groups (CIA, 2011) Currently, counseling and psychotherapy in Turkey are practiced by psychiatrists, psychologists, and counselors. While there were practices to treat mental disorders in older Turkic States, the modern treatments of mental disorders started at the end of the 1800s by the efforts of psychiatrists during the late years of the Ottoman Empire. Later, the science of psychology was introduced to Turkey at the beginning of the 1900s (Dogan, 2000). The historical development of counseling in Turkey, on the other hand, is closely related to the history of educational practice and problems in schools and dates back to the 1950s (Dogan, 2000). It may be contended that although psychiatrists conduct psychotherapy, they mainly tend to use pharmacotherapy in treating mental disorders. Thus, counseling and psychotherapy are usually practiced by counselors and psychologists in Turkey. In this chapter, we provide a summary of the history of psychology and counseling in Turkey. While describing the development of counseling and psychotherapy, we will also assess the current state of the field, and discuss opportunities (e.g., inclusion of multiculturalism) and challenges (e.g., supervision and consultation) that the field faces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Counseling and Psychotherapy in an International Context
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781135262730
ISBN (Print)9780415872522
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Psychology


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