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EMU-PDRAM’S Statement on 10 May Psychologists Day

President of the Eastern Mediterranean University Psychological Counseling, Guidance and Research Center (EMU-PDRAM) Dr. Ps. Fatoş Özeylem made a statement on the occasion of 10 May Psychologists Day. Dr. Ps. Özeylem included the following in her statement:

“10 MayPsychologists Day, first observed in 2008, is not a universally recognised day, but is celebrated every year by psychologists and professional organizations of psychologists in Turkey and Northern Cyprus (eg: Turkish Psychologists Association, Cyprus Turkish Psychologists Association). However, 10 May, Psychologists Day, is more than a day of celebration; It is a day when the problems caused by the correct definition of the science of psychology, psychologists fields of work, and especially the lack of a professional law for psychologists in Turkey and Northern Cyprus are revealed.

Psychology can be defined as a field of science and practice that examines the human mind and the thoughts, feelings and behaviors generated by cognitive/mental processes with scientific methods. The Turkish Psychological Association Definitions Commission Report (2011) defines the basic study subjects of psychology as the relationship between brain and behavior, perception, cognition, attention, memory, personality, emotions, behavior, attitude, interpersonal/group processes and culture. The science of psychology is a discipline that makes significant contributions to the protection of human health in individual and social contexts with the theoretical and applied study subjects in these fields. The definition of health by the World Health Organization draws attention to the role of psychology in the field of health and expresses health as "not only the absence of diseases but also a holistic state of physical, mental and social well-being". While the definition emphasizes that mental health is a fundamental and integral part of health, it states that physiological health cannot be evaluated independently of mental health. In this context, psychology is an independent field of science and profession with proven impact on both in the treatment of mental health disorders, in preventive / preventive intervention programs (eg, around 50 psychotherapy approaches, in the prevention and intervention programs of mental health disorders or psychological crises), as well as in human and public health with its wide spectrum of theories and scientific research. 

Amerikan Psikoloji Birliği (APA), bugün psikolojinin 54 farklı alanda (örn: travma psikolojisi, barış psikolojisi, kadın psikolojisi, bağımlılık psikolojisi) çalışma topluluğu olduğunu belirtmektedir. Bu veriler, psikoloji bilgilerinin ve psikolojik hizmetlerin günümüzde yaşamın birçok yerinde olduğunu göstermektedir. 

In addition to the field of health, psychology is a science with sub-fields divided into theoretical and applied fields such as education, environment, politics, family, industry, law, sports and many more. The theoretical sub-fields of psychology include cognitive psychology, experimental psychology, developmental psychology, personality psychology, psychometry and social psychology, while its applied subfields include clinical psychology, counseling psychology, neuropsychology, health psychology, psychopharmacology, forensic psychology, industry and organization. psychology, traffic psychology, school psychology and sports psychology. The economic, political, social and cultural changes that have occurred throughout the world over the years have inevitably reflected on the cognitive and social processes of human development, increasing the need for information that will shed light on understanding people / groups of people in areas other than health, and in line with these needs, the study areas of psychology have diversified over the years. The American Psychological Association (APA) states that psychology today has 54 different fields of study (e.g. trauma psychology, peace psychology, women's psychology, addiction psychology). The aforesaid data shows that information on psychology and psychological services are observed in many parts of life today. 

The diversification of the fields of psychological services has increased the tendency to pursue university studies in the field of psychology in many countries. Psychology is one of the most popular higher education fields in the world today in the fields of undergraduate, postgraduate and doctorate studies. According to the 2021 data of the Council of Higher Education (YÖK) Atlas, 12,000 students are admitted to psychology departments at universities every year. Both in Turkey and Northern Cyprus, an increasing number of psychology graduates step into the field every year and start to serve in academic and / or applied fields after their postgraduate studies. However, in both countries a legal structure that protects or controls these services is not available. Studies on the professional law of psychologists in Turkey have been carried out since the 1970s and in Northern Cyprus since 2000, but the legal processes are constantly interrupted. 

Despite the increasing popularity of psychology throughout the world, the increasing need for psychological services, and the diversified service areas of psychology, the lack of a professional law for psychologists not only make psychologists but also individuals who receive psychological services open to all kinds of abuse. In this context, I wish you all a happy 10 May, and hope that we can celebrate the provision of psychological services under a professional law that will cover all areas of expertise of psychology, protecting not only the professional rights of psychologists, but also the rights of psychology students and individuals receiving psychological services. ”