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Sevde is a Registered Member (MBACP) of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and the Turkish Psychological Counselling and Guidance Association (TPDR DER).


Sevde Barış Şahbudak is a psychological counselor and completed her PhD degree in Guidance and Psychological Counselling at the Middle East Technical University, Turkey. Her PhD thesis is about "An Interpretative Phenomenological Research on the Mothering Experiences of Migrant Women from Turkey in the UK".


Besides her own private practice face to face (W5, Ealing) and online serving  she also provides mental health services as a sessional counsellor at The MAYA Centre, which is a community-based charity in Islington providing free counselling service for women who have experienced mental health issues, trauma and gender-based violence, including domestic violence, physical abuse or childhood sexual abuse and harmful traditional practices.


She also provided services at Imece Women's Center, set up in 1982, in London by offering culturally gender sensitive therapy and by supporting women who are affected by various forms of Violence Against Women and Girls (VAW&G) including Harmful Practices such as Forced Marriage, Honour Based Violence.

During her PhD course, Sevde wrote a chapter of ‘Working with children in grief’ in a recently published book of Grief Counselling (published in 2017, edited by Özgür Erdur-Baker & İdil Aksöz-Efe.) Her interest on grief counselling and childhood trauma emerged from her working experience with children in a summer school in Soma, Turkey after the mine disaster in 2015. which left many of the children trying to cope with the loss of their fathers. This led Sevde to take specialized trauma training in “Somatic Experiencing”. 


Sevde has completed a three-year complementary education in Somatic Experiencing” which is a pyscho-biological approach for trauma resolution approved by SETI (Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute-USA) and EASE (European Association for Somatic Experiencing). Sevde is authorised to use the title "Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP)" and to perform Somatic Experiencing trauma work according to Peter Levine Ph.D.


Sevde graduated with high honors  from her Master degree in “Guidance and Psychological Counselling” from Bogaziçi University which is one of the most prestigious and well-established universities in Turkey. Sevde explored the rejection sensitivity of young people through the lens of adverse childhood experiences and perceived parental acceptance-rejection for her Master thesis. She also provided counselling services to university students at Bogaziçi University Guidance and Psychological Counselling Center (BÜREM) during her post-graduate training. 

During her Master education she became a certified Child Centered Play Therapist which is awarded by Family Enhancement & Play Therapy Center - Dr. Risë VanFleet.

She was also trained at Experiential Play Therapy Level I (by Nilüfer Devecigil) and Level II (by Dr. Bryon Norton).

In addition to all above while studying for her Master degree she also worked as a research assistant for the "Guidance and Psychological Counselling” programme at Bogaziçi University. During this time, she extended her knowledge and skills further by assisting both master and undergraduate courses such as  psychological assessment, advanced counselling skills, theories of personality. She also actively participated in many projects including;

  • Situation Analyses of “Education rights of children with disability and the quality of education they accessed in Turkey”, a project conducted by the Education Reform Initiative (ERI) & UNICEF Türkiye


  • Disability Rights in Education Project “Together in life, together at school”, member of academic board and trainer, the project was conducted in the collaboration of Sabancı Foundation, Tohum Autism Foundation & İstanbul Bilgi University -Center for Sociology and Education Studies 


  • The “From Peaceful School to Peaceful Community” projected by the Foundation for the Advancement of Counseling in Education (YÖRET) about European Union Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education

She is taking part of  “Önemsiyoruz” (We Care) Social Initiation and is working as a specialist volunteer for the projects in enhancing the psychological well-being of disadvantaged children.

In order to help families and children in a more profound manner she also benefited from the teachings of outstanding practitioners in the field including Dr. Peter Levine, Prof. Dr. Howard A. Liddle and Prof. Dr. Maurizio Andolfi.

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