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Inspiration Board: Psychologist İrem Oturaklıoğlu

September 11, 2020
“Today, our guest is Senior Clinical Psychologist İrem Oturaklıoğlu. She is a young and strong woman devoted to her profession. How would you like to get to know her closely?"

1- Following you on social media and tv programs, we can clearly see that you love your job. How did you decide to be a psychologist? What would you suggest to young people who want to become psychologists?

I’m so proud to be able to express my love for my job to you, this is so pleasing to hear… I wanted to be a psychologist since the first year of high school. Today, I am trying to do my job with ever-growing passion and love. When it comes to the question of how I decided, I can say that I’m very curious about people’s lives. This curiosity is almost like a habit for me for a long time. I sit on benches at parks and observe people. Parent-child relationships, reactions to stray animals, happy faces, resentful faces with no expression… I’ve studied psychology to be able to tell people that “you are not alone”, in the hope of helping them, when they are struggling to know themselves and cope with their problems. I’m so glad about my decision. I love my job very much; I like getting positive results more. I don’t want to say “work hard” to my siblings who want to be psychologists in a classical way… I’m sure they already know this.
My advice is read a lot, be very curious. Keep your communication strong and believe in yourself if you really want it. This job is difficult, it is difficult to study this department, but it is equally enjoyable… Always keep in mind that you’re not the only one who has ever experienced this difficulty. I’ve been there too, and I’ve survived, that’s how life is… Remember, Very enjoyable despite all the difficulties! Let me finish my words as I have always shared on my Instagram account: P.S: I LOVE MY JOB!

2-Because of the pandemic, we’ve been staying at home for 3 months, we can’t even enjoy these sunny days. We are now getting used to a new order and no one knows when this uncertainty will end. How can we deal with this process? What are your recommendations as a psychologist?

When we experience a new, unexpected event in our lives, we always have difficulty in understanding and interpreting it. Especially if this problem is a health issue, if it is uncertain when it will end and its treatment is unknown, this will be more difficult for us. As we quarantined ourselves at home during the pandemic process, we’ve continued to work online and most of our clients’ problems are about relationships and health concerns. When the curfew was declared, this uncertainty triggered our past traumas. One of the biggest reasons for our underlying anxiety is uncertainty, and the other one is loss of control. We could not control the coronavirus. We must remember that we are never alone, all the people around the world facing this problem. If this situation worries our readers, I recommend that they follow the news from a single medium. Infollution can increase our anxiety. First, let’s notice what happens in our body when we worry, how our emotions change, and what thought passes through our minds. Here’s how we can do that: We should avoid using sentences that start with “What if it happens, again, always, oh no” because it affects you, your thoughts, and your body. This way, we will be able to know and control the sentences that worry us… Then, please ask yourselves the following questions when you are concerned …

  1. You’re worried, what would be the worst thing that can happen?
  2. What is the use and harm of the thought that worries you?
  3. Do you have any evidence that the thought that worries you will come true? Is there any proof that it will not happen?
  4. What would someone else think if she/he were in your shoes?
  5. Who would you want to think like actually? What do you need to be like her/him?

If that negative thought that makes you worry has the power to affect you, then your logical thought to replace it has the power to affect you positively. Let’s keep this in mind…

3-Along with this period that causes sudden changes in our lives, we have learned how to be happy with the little things and settle for less. So, as a psychologist, how were you affected by the pandemic? Could you share your “little happiness” with us?

During this period, with the suspension of classes, I’ve paused my clinical sessions until June and continued to work from home with online sessions. At first, being at home was incredibly pleasing for someone like me who often works 7 days a week. I thought, this is an opportunity for me. I realized that I missed myself. Of course, I miss my friends, my workplace very much. I really miss going out, shopping, talking to people, but I must say, I’m also very thankful. It was incredible for me to notice all of this. I’ve made serious decisions in my life. For example, I no longer work for 7 days in this new normal period. I spend more time with my friends. I spent a lot of time with myself. It was a time for me to read lots of books and watch lots of TV series. It was very enjoyable to organize a lot of live streams on Instagram and reach out to my followers. In fact, we’ve also organized a live stream with Modanisa. Thank you for your invitation again…

4-Let’s talk a little bit about your style. You are loved and followed not only for your professional posts but also for your style. Do you like shopping? What do you pay attention to when choosing clothes? What are your wardrobe must-haves?

I’m sure this will make me sound like a workaholic but, back then, I didn’t like shopping. I thought it was a waste of time. But lately I love it very much… When I think about it, in the past, we were not able to find such beautiful pieces for us, hijabi women. I used to have more tailor-made dresses, but today it is much easier to find the styles I like. I don’t wear casual styles so often. I prefer classic clothes. It is both because of my job and I think they suit me well. Oh, and after trying out an outfit, I look in the mirror, and if I liked it, I would complement myself. How can I expect someone else to like me if I don’t tell myself that? As a psychologist, I advise all the readers that; compliment your style with flattering words. For example, go ahead, tell yourself that “I look beautiful!”, “The dress suits me just great!”, don’t wait to hear these words from others. Believe me it will make you feel very good… 

5-You have been to Bodrum this summer. What would you recommend our followers to get from Modanisa before going on summer vacation?

I went on vacation with my friend, and we prepared a quick schedule and a to-do list suitable for both of us. I love how easy it is to shop online and reach out to Modanisa. I bought some elegant evening dresses and of course a few beachwear pieces.

6-It has been a very boring and long summer for those who cannot go on vacation and work from home. What would you recommend keeping our mental state healthy and boost our morale?

Let’s prepare a list of what makes us happy. Let’s even share this list on Instagram. If you post this list by tagging me, I will share it in my story. This way, maybe we can find out something we have forgotten that we didn’t realize would make us happy. We can also help each other out. Let’s prepare this list based on the possibilities we currently have. Sometimes, even listening to music and watching the sky cool our hearts. Or let’s sit down with coffee on one hand and a book on the other or let us pour our troubles into the waves of the sea on a beach. And I have one more suggestion. Let’s all get a notebook for ourselves. Let’s write what we think, what we feel, our dreams, our prayers. Let’s whisper to ourselves that “I am not alone.”. And let’s not forget this… There have been global pandemics like this before in our history. We will get through this situation with solidarity. Let’s believe in this together…

Everything You Need to Know About İrem

Name-Surname: İrem Oturaklıoğlu
Instagram username: @psikologiremoturaklioglu
Age: 28
Job: Senior Clinical Psychologist
Where do you live: Istanbul
Marital Status: Single
Horoscope: Leo
Weight/Height: 1.68cm / 55kg
Hobbies-Phobias: My hobbies are swimming and reading. I don’t have any phobias.
Favorite Color: Dark Blue
Favorite dishes/desserts: Stuffed meatballs, laz böreği

Last Book You’ve Read: Peoplemaking – Virginia Satir
Movie Suggestion: Anne  With An E and Selfmade
Favorite song: Songs by Ezginin Günlüğü, Yeni Türkü and İncesaz
Favorite photo-editing app: Sometimes I use “storyart”.
Favorite makeup product: Mascara, I love eyelashes!
Tell us about your daily routine: I usually wake up early, if my session won’t start early I read a book, have a breakfast and go to the clinic. I go outside with my friends on some evenings.
You skin care routine: In the mornings, I clean my face with natural rose water, it makes my skin look brighter and it is also anti-wrinkle.
Your Style Must-Have: I love dresses and kimonos!
Where would you like to travel: I’d love to go to Italy and take on a tour to Europe.
What did you get from Modanisa recently: I bought a pareo for the vacation.

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