|From:||Flat 7 Artisan Apartments, 16 Montford Place London, Greater London, United Kingdom (UK)|
|Type of session:||Via Skype, Secure Video Call, Via Phone|
|Specialty:||Abuse, Affairs, Anxiety, Depression, Grief, HIV / AIDS, Identity, LGBTQ, Mood, Obsessive compulsive disorders, Paraphilias, Personality disorders, Relationships, Self - Esteem, Stress, Trauma|
|Target Age Group:||Teenager, Adult, Me and my partner|
Hello there dear reader, my name is Hal, short for Haldun Hüseyin Musazlioglu (just call me Hal, everyone does).
When people ask me how I got into psychotherapy, I usually say it got to me first:
I was 12 years old when I first had to see a therapist. People near me (ironically not my parents) noted already back then my permanent gloomy and melancholic outlook on life – even this in Germany where I was born, by all means not a country known for its ‘cheerio!’ attitude. Years later, I was diagnosed with dysthymic depression and finally had to be put on anti-depressants aged 30 after a preceding psychotic episode (my way of a mid-life crisis: not blowing a lot of money, but instead losing gradually touch with reality). It was also around this time when my aunt in Turkey shared that the entire matrilineal side of our family had prolonged battles with depression. Thanks, mum.
On top of this, our Muslim upbringing didn’t aid much to my family’s mental health. It also doesn’t do much for you if you realise you’re gay, and you eventually need to come out. As I had to. And did. My mum cried for three months, realised eventually her son will never be the imagined prim solicitor/doctor with wife and kids, so reverted instead to hate my tattoos.
By age 19, I had properly felt sick and tired of that kind of constrained upbringing, also of the Germans, so moved to London (though frankly, now I feel like that with the English, but this is for a different forum…)
After several more years bumbling through various underpaid customer service jobs, I studied Art & Design/more or less useful degrees (Furniture Design. Yes, seriously.) and tried myself out among other things as a film extra and a Stand-up comedian (memorably, I died in a North-London pub in front of an audience that consisted of my ex-boyfriend and Russell Brand), I looked finally into how I could use my own experiences with depression, inter-cultural clashes, emerging kink-sexualities, an HIV+ status and a fanatical liking for Heavy Metal, so I eventually studied counselling.
By 2012 I started my counselling studies and after around 5 years, including one failed year of CBT (blowing finally a lot of money after all), I decided to stick with the humanistic school of therapy of Person-Centred counselling, developed by Carl Rogers. From the 1940ies on, already being a bit of a hippie and believing that everyone is innately ‘good’, he decided to emphasise the non-hierarchical alliance between client and therapist, while maintaining an “unconditional positive regard”.
And I soon found it worked for me – and for my other job, which is in mental health rehabilitation.
Then in August 2019, I also started my MSc degree in Psychology with Arden University. My plan after I finish in around three years’ time, is to fall into a very relaxing coma.
Until then, I genuinely find a lot of fulfilment through my work, so please don’t hesitate to ask me questions about whatever life has thrown at you.
Das alles übrigens gerne auch auf deutsch! ; )
Over the years, I have spotted that specific working areas have emerged in my therapy work:
1. Depression/anxiety/PTSD: these are, sadly, not only as ever key areas within mental health, but on the sharp incline, for a whole raft of reasons; be it the current political or economic climate, many people’s dependency of food banks, 0-hour contract work, general rise in hate crimes… the list is sadly long
2. HIV and disability: sadly these all are still central issues to many people. There are sadly ongoing reports of people with various health conditions and disabilities being treated in an ostracising manner from their community or the work environment or are blatantly discriminated, not to mention the grieve suffered by many who applied for PiP/Universal Credit and hence struggle to make a living
3. members of the LGBTQ+ community, especially recently in the news of having been targeted for hate crimes, leaving its victims at a higher risk of suffering from depression or indeed feeling suicidal. I of course also welcome anyone else who would like to explore LGBT+ related issues (e.g. parents, teachers, employers, etc.)
4. BDSM/Fetishism/Kink: I’m an active member of the Kink-community, highly affirmative in my work, open to explore any aspect of BDSM-practises of my client and take a very firm stand towards anyone being pathologized unfoundedly because of their sexual preferences
5. Social/musical subcultures: I have a particular closeness to subcultures, be it those who identify as Mods, Rockers, Punks, Goths, or Metalheads etc. as a high percentage of members within these groupings have to face either being ostracised by society or indeed are victims of hate crime (such as the tragic death of Sophie Lancaster), resulting feelings of isolation and depression; many face major obstacles in the job market due to their chosen looks or struggle sustaining themselves as artists/musicians; issues of substance misuse, alcohol addiction, gambling, self-harm, pressures within the music industry, financial exploitation and sadly too many cases of resulting suicides (e.g. Keith Flint, Amy Winehouse, Chris Cornell, Chester Bennington, these being merely the famous cases)
6. Intercultural/interreligious therapy: I had several clients assigned to me as they, similar to me, also had a Muslim background. Those in one way or another, struggled bringing together their likes/preferences (be it regarding e.g. their sexuality, culture or politics) with their more conservative parental cultural or religious upbringing. So I have helped e.g. Muslim members of the LGBT+ community to come out, aided in dealing with issues like arranged marriage and honour crimes, or women in danger of having FGM imposed on them.
Obviously, these working areas seem to have gravitated towards me, as I am a member of all of these areas myself, meaning I will always speak from within, never as an uninvolved-seeming ‘onlooker’.
As many of our clients at my therapy room in Stratford either cannot afford to travel to me or cannot leave their flats due to mobility issues or high anxiety levels, I also conduct in these cases remote counselling sessions via telephone, Skype, FaceTime, VSee.com or WhatsApp, whatever my client feels more comfortable with.
I can further do my work in German and Turkish, with a good smattering of French.
I am a BACP-registered, Person-Centred/humanistic therapist, who works relationally. In practise this means that you, my client and whatever you currently feel and go through, are central. No theories, hypothesises, pathologizing or quick-drawn conclusions but abiding by strict codes of ethics and confidentiality throughout.
Speaking from experience, the more there is a bond, an awareness of what’s emerging in the relationship of client and therapist, the sooner the healing starts. My recognition and unconditional acceptance of you and your feelings, eventually will aid in you recognizing and accepting your own true person, who you are and where you currently are in your life.
I never judge, never pathologize but focus on the helpful, the constructive, the affirmative. I’ll mirror and share my thoughts and feelings with you transparently, I’ll invite you from first session onwards to do so too. I’ll guide you through this personal and emotional trajectory until you feel safe and confident enough to cope with whatever life continues to throw at you.
I focus on the obstructions that stand between you and a happier/more fulfilled you and will explore ways with you to tackle these. We’re likely to explore if/how personal boundaries have been set, how they are maintained and ways of defending and standing up to them – meaning yourself.
Indeed a huge part my work is allowing my client to ‘just be’. No matter their cultural, religious, sexual or gender background. I acknowledge and validate emphatically my clients and their humanity while I feedback how I experience them, through reading and listening especially between their lines they chose to share with me.
Hence why a running theme is bringing attention to acceptance and empathy: me towards my clients, then them towards themselves. As soon as they learn to accept and to forgive themselves say, whenever they feel they fell short of their own standards or expectations, the sooner they ‘ease into’ themselves. Eventually they shift into a mindset that enables them much easier to change the things they feel that need to.
I puzzle my clients when I tell them I officially give them the permission to f*** up. It’s ok. That’s how we learn. Then, when looking back, we all call it experience. And find, it somehow is all good.
I’m very happy to work with adults, couples, families, groups, senior citizens and young people.