About Us

  • What services does Sanus Psychology Practice offer?

    Sanus Psychology Practice offers therapy and psychological counselling in English and Turkish.

  • Who is behind Sanus Psychology Practice?

    Sanus Psychology Practice is led by Drs. Cevdet Acarsoy, a clinical psychologist and therapist with extensive experience in various evidence-based therapeutic approaches. His educational background includes a B.Sc. in Psychology, along with two M.Sc. degrees in Clinical Psychology (cum laude) and Epidemiology. Dedicated to staying at the forefront of scientific research while bridging it with practical application, he is on the verge of completing a Ph.D.

    Drs. Acarsoy is a certified Schema Therapist, NIP Psychologist and advanced EMDR practitioner, enabling the provision of evidence-based therapies. Having experienced life as an expat, he possesses a deep understanding of the unique challenges faced by those living in a foreign country.

    His therapeutic approach revolves around creating a secure and collaborative environment for clients to explore emotions and challenges. With a commitment to applying the latest psychological insights in a practical and compassionate manner, his primary goal is to assist clients in achieving personal growth and navigating life’s complexities with enhanced resilience. More information

  • How confidential will the therapy sessions be?

    Sanus Psychology Practice strictly adheres to the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). We ensure the protection of personal data, necessary record-keeping, and secure access protocols. For more information about security and privacy please see our privacy statement.

    Your therapist has a duty of confidentiality towards third parties and can only provide information to third parties with your permission. Your therapist is only permitted to breach this duty of confidentiality in emergencies (in case of past or future possibility of self-harm, harm to other or a minor). Your consent is not required if consultation with colleagues is necessary, as long as those colleagues are also bound by a duty of confidentiality.

  • Is there a complaints procedure?

    Sanus Psychology has a complaints procedure, if there are complaints about the care offered within the practice, you can make this known to your psychologist. He will do his best to solve the issue to accommodate your satisfaction. 
    If you are still dissatisfied, you are eligible to file a complaint to the governmental organization “De Geschillencommissie Zorg” which is in charge of settling disputes if clients and psychologists can not come to a solution themselves. You can file a complaint on the internet site of the organisation: https://www.degeschillencommissiezorg.nl

Practical Information

  • Do I need a referral letter?

    No, you do not need a referral letter from a GP (huisarts) to access the services provided. However, it’s recommended to check with your insurance company about possible reimbursement options.

  • Is reimbursement available for the services offered?

    Please be aware that because of Dutch language prerequisites for specific certifications, our services are categorised as privately paid care.

    Clients are accountable for the expenses associated with our services. Although certain international health insurance plans might cover a portion of therapy expenses, it’s crucial to verify the coverage details with your insurance provider.

  • What are the costs?

    15-minute phone consultation: €25 (for new clients to discuss questions and planning)
    50-minute session: €110

  • Where is the practice?

    Our in-person sessions on Saturdays take place in the beautiful city of Leiden.
    Address: Middelstegracht 131, 2312 TV Leiden
    Google Maps

  • How do I pay for a session?

    Payment for each session will need to be made in advance by online bank transfer or iDeal link. An invoice (factuur) will be sent to you within 30 days after the service. You can use this invoice to seek reimbursement from your health insurance provider, as per your policy, for services not covered by the basic package.

  • What happens if I need to reschedule or cancel an appointment?

    If you are unable to attend an appointment then you should let your therapist know at least 24 hours in advance, in that case there would be no cancellation fee and therapy sessions can resume the following week (or as otherwise agreed). Appointments that are cancelled or rescheduled with less than 24 hours before the session time will result you being charged the full session fee for the reserved time.

  • How long does a therapy/counselling session last? 

    The duration of a session is 50 minutes.
    Sessions (sometimes even in the middle of a topic) must be completed on time. This is important so that your psychologist starts the session on time for each client.

  • How many sessions will I need?

    The number of sessions you’ll need can vary depending on your specific situation, the type of therapy, and your progress. While some individuals might see improvements in just a few sessions, others may require more sessions to address their concerns comprehensively. Your therapist will work with you to determine an appropriate treatment plan and can provide a better estimate of the number of sessions needed based on your goals and progress.

  • ⭐️ How do I book a session?
    1. Suitability for therapy will be determined following an initial assessment. If you would like to book an initial assessment please contact us via email or contact form in the website mentioning briefly what brought you to therapy.
    2. We aim to respond to you as soon as possible to schedule the first session via booking link, and to give you the opportunity to ask any questions.
  • What software do I need to use for online therapy?

    All video calls are conducted using Google Meet. Google Meet is encrypted in transit by default between you, your therapist and Google for video meetings on a web browser, and on Meet Android and iOS® apps.​ Google Meet adheres to Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) security standards for Datagram Transport Layer Security (DTLS) and Secure Real-time Transport Protocol (SRTP).

    I recommend using Google Meet from a laptop or desktop computer, in which case there is no need to have a Gmail or Google account. If you are accessing Google Meet from a mobile device or tablet you will need to download the Google Meet app and have a Google account (but there is no need to have a Gmail account).

Therapy & Counselling

  • What is therapy and how can it help?

    Psychotherapy is a collaborative treatment based on the relationship between an individual and a psychologist. Grounded in dialogue, it provides a supportive environment that allows you to talk openly with someone who’s objective, neutral, and nonjudgmental. We will work together to identify and change the thought and behavior patterns that are keeping you from feeling your best. More information

  • When should I consider therapy?

    Well, only you can answer this question. However, there are some signs that can tell you that you might benefit from therapy. 
    Signs that you could benefit from therapy include:
    – Your problems don’t seem to get better despite your efforts and help from family and friends
    – Your problems negatively affect your work/school or everyday activities
    – You are experiencing changes or disruptions in sleep or appetite
    – You are still feeling the effect of a trauma or grieving
    – You want to understand the roots of your patterns and feelings but don’t know where to start

  • How does psychotherapy differ from talking to family and friends?

    Psychotherapy is different from talking to family and friends in important ways. Therapists are trained experts who provide unbiased advice and techniques to address mental health concerns. They keep your conversations private, have a structured approach, and focus solely on your well-being. Unlike family and friends, therapists give honest feedback, use specific skills, and have time dedicated to helping you. While loved ones can offer support, therapy offers professional help for personal growth and healing, with clear boundaries and guidance.

  • Are the therapy methods used by the practice proven to be effective?

    Yes, the practice uses evidence-based therapy methods such as EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing), and Schema Therapy, which have demonstrated effectiveness in psychological treatment.

  • What is your approach to therapy?

    Drs. Cevdet Acarsoy aims create a secure space where you experience a sense of acceptance without judgment. His primary focus is on listening to your unique story, fostering an environment of equality and collaboration. In sessions, Drs. Cevdet Acarsoy views both you and himself as experts, with you being the specialist of your life and him as a psychology expert. He commits to respecting your boundaries, moving at your pace, and embracing imperfections while utilizing effective techniques. His approach involves crafting a treatment plan collaboratively, which can be adapted as therapy progresses. Encouragement is given to express all emotions about therapy. Drs. Cevdet Acarsoy’s ultimate goal is to enhance your self-awareness, provide coping strategies, and facilitate personal growth by shedding light on your emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. The process aims to empower your well-being and promote unlearning of unhelpful patterns, fostering a meaningful therapeutic journey.

  • What is counselling?

    Differing from therapy, counselling is aimed to help you in achieving personal goals and removing obstacles to your true potential. The topics of counselling are not necessarily negative or distressful, they may be about a life choice, developing skills, and motivation. Counselling may also serve as an education session about good practices for mental well-being, such as coping with daily stress, dealing with criticism, tips on sleep hygiene etc.

  • Is online therapy effective?

    Studies have shown that getting therapy online can be just as helpful as going to see a therapist in person. What’s important is that the relationship between the person and the therapist stays strong, whether it’s online or in person. Although there are some things to be careful about, like privacy and using technology, online therapy can be a great choice, especially when it’s hard to go see a therapist in person.

  • Is there a self-help book that you recommend?

    Yes, there are several self-help books based on research.

    We recommend: “Reinventing Your Life: The Breakthrough Program to End Negative Behavior and Feel Great Again” by Jeffrey E. Young and Janet S. Klosko

    This book can be helpful for individuals who want to learn more about Schema Therapy and how to apply it to their own lives. It provides practical exercises, tools, and techniques for identifying and changing self-defeating patterns of thought and behavior. It can be found on Amazon, and other online bookstores.

    We recommend: “Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy” by David D. Burns.

    This book is about the science of cognitive therapy, which states that your emotions are caused by your thoughts, and most negative feelings are the result of distorted thinking patterns. The book provides practical tools and techniques for identifying and changing these patterns of thought and behavior to promote well-being and happiness. It can be found on Amazon, and other online bookstores.

    We recommend: “The AI’s Guide to Psychological Well-Being” by Cevdet Acarsoy

    It is a psychological well-being book written by AI! A useful guide to understanding and improving your overall psychological well-being. Through this book, you will learn about the importance of psychological well-being and debunk common myths about it. You will also learn practical strategies for managing stress, building healthy relationships, and developing healthy habits. Additionally, you will learn how to cope with difficult emotions and build resilience in the face of life’s challenges. Finally, you will explore the concept of meaning and purpose and learn how to find it in your own life. More info and where to buy?

EMDR Therapy

  • What is EMDR?

    EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, a form of psychotherapy that helps people heal from trauma or other distressing life experiences.

    Dr. Francine Shapiro realized the potential of eye movements to decrease the negative emotions associated with traumatic memories while walking in the park in 1987. Since then, she has conducted extensive research on EMDR and its effectiveness in treating trauma and related symptoms. Shapiro’s work has been recognized and recommended by organizations such as the American Psychiatric Association, World Health Organization, and the Department of Defense.

  • How does EMDR work?

    EMDR is based on the idea that traumatic or disturbing memories are stored in the brain in a different way than normal memories, and that they can cause psychological and emotional problems when they are triggered by current situations. EMDR helps the brain process these memories and integrate them with more adaptive information, resulting in reduced distress and improved well-being.

    EMDR therapy is a structured psychotherapy that involves 8 phases to help individuals heal from symptoms and emotional distress. Here is a breakdown of the process of EMDR therapy:

    1. History-taking: The therapist will talk to you to understand your history and what you want to work on.
    2. Preparation: The therapist will help you learn coping skills and relaxation techniques to get ready for the therapy.
    3. Assessment: Together with the therapist, you will identify the specific memory or event that is causing you distress.
    4. Desensitization: You will focus on the memory while the therapist guides you to move your eyes or use other forms of bilateral stimulation. This helps to reduce the intensity of the emotions connected to the memory.
    5. Installation: The therapist will help you replace negative beliefs about yourself with more positive ones.
    6. Body Scan: The therapist will help you release any residual tension or physical sensations associated with the memory.
    7. Closure: The therapist will help you develop a plan to manage any emotions that may come up after the therapy session.
    8. Reevaluation: The therapist will regularly check in with you to see how you’re doing and if you need more sessions.
  • What are the benefits of EMDR?

    Benefits of EMDR include:
    Rapid Relief: EMDR offers quick relief from distressing symptoms, often faster than traditional therapies.
    Trauma Resolution: EMDR effectively addresses trauma and its associated symptoms like flashbacks and intrusive thoughts.
    Lasting Results: EMDR’s effects are durable, leading to long-term improvements in emotional well-being.
    Minimal Reliving: EMDR doesn’t require constant retelling of traumatic events, reducing distress. EMDR’s use of bilateral stimulation suits those uncomfortable with extensive talking.
    Effective with Complex Trauma: EMDR works for both specific traumatic incidents and complex trauma.
    Positive Cognitive Shift: EMDR changes negative beliefs tied to trauma, fostering a positive cevdet.acarsoy@outlook.com.
    Wide Applicability: EMDR is effective for anxiety, phobias, mood disorders, beyond just trauma.
    Non-Intrusive: EMDR respects boundaries and avoids retraumatization, ensuring a gentle process.

  • Who can benefit from EMDR?

    EMDR can be used with children, adolescents, and adults of any age, culture, or background. EMDR can be adapted to suit the needs and preferences of each client, taking into account their developmental stage, personality, coping skills, and goals. EMDR can be used as a stand-alone treatment or in combination with other therapies or modalities.

  • How long does EMDR take?

    The length of EMDR treatment depends on several factors, such as:
    – The nature and severity of the problem
    – The number and complexity of traumatic or disturbing memories
    – The client’s readiness and willingness to process them
    – The client’s level of support and stability in their current life

    EMDR typically require 12-24 sessions. Some clients may experience significant relief after a few sessions, while others may require longer-term treatment to achieve their desired outcomes. The frequency of sessions is also determined by the client’s progress and availability.

  • Is EMDR safe?

    EMDR has been accepted as an effective form of treatment by several major health organizations including the World Health Organization (2013), the American Psychiatric Association (2004), and the U.S. Department of Defense (2017). EMDR has no known harmful side effects, but it may cause some temporary discomfort or emotional distress during or after the sessions. This is normal and expected, as it indicates that the memory is being processed and resolved. The therapist will monitor the client’s reactions and provide support and guidance throughout the process. The therapist will also teach the client some coping skills and self-care strategies to help them manage any distress between sessions.

  • Is it hypnosis?

    No. Some people may confuse EMDR with hypnosis because of the eye movements or other forms of bilateral stimulation that are used during the therapy. However, the goal of EMDR is to help the client achieve “dual attention”, meaning that they are always present and aware during each stage of the process. Hypnosis, on the other hand, is a state of altered consciousness in which the client becomes more suggestible and receptive to the therapist’s instructions. Hypnosis does not involve reprocessing traumatic memories or emotions.

  • Do I have to discuss my trauma in detail?

    No. Some people may avoid EMDR because they do not want to talk about their trauma in detail or fear that they will be judged or blamed for it. However, this is not true. EMDR does not require the client to verbalize their trauma in detail or to share anything that they are not comfortable with. The therapist will only ask the client to share enough information to identify a target memory and to assess its impact on them.
    EMDR is a therapy that allows the client to process their trauma in their own way and at their own pace. The therapist is there to support and facilitate the process, not to interrogate or judge the client.

  • Does it plant false memories?

    Some people may worry that EMDR will create false memories or distort their perception of reality. However, this is not true. EMDR does not change what happened, but it changes how the person feels about what happened. EMDR helps the person see their trauma from a different perspective, one that is more realistic, adaptive, and empowering. 

  • Will I lose control?

    Some people may fear that EMDR will make them lose control over their thoughts, feelings, or actions. However, this is not true. EMDR does not cause anyone to lose control or do anything against their will. EMDR is a collaborative therapy that involves active participation from both the client and the therapist.

    The client is always in control of what they want to work on and how much they want to share. The client can stop or slow down the therapy at any time if they feel overwhelmed or uncomfortable. The therapist will respect the client’s wishes and boundaries and will not push them beyond their limits.

Schema Therapy

  • What is Schema Therapy?

    Schema Therapy is a form of psychotherapy that helps people understand and change their unhelpful patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving. Schema Therapy was developed by Dr. Jeffrey Young and his colleagues, and is based on the idea that we all have schemas, or core beliefs, that shape how we perceive and respond to the world.

    Schemas are usually formed in childhood or adolescence, and can be influenced by our temperament, experiences, relationships and culture. Some schemas are adaptive and helpful, while others are maladaptive and unhelpful. Maladaptive schemas can cause us to experience emotional distress, interpersonal problems, self-defeating behaviors and mental health issues.

  • How does Schema Therapy work?

    Schema therapy is an integrative approach that combines elements from cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), attachment theory, emotion-focused therapy and gestalt therapy. Schema therapy involves four main components:

    1. Assessment: Your therapist will use various methods to assess your schemas, such as questionnaires, interviews, imagery exercises and behavioral experiments. You will also explore your life history and identify the origins of your schemas.
    2. Cognitive: Your therapist will help you identify and challenge the distorted thoughts and beliefs that stem from your schemas, such as overgeneralizations, catastrophizing or mind-reading. You will also learn to replace them with more balanced and rational thoughts that reflect reality.
    3. Experiential: Your therapist will use techniques such as imagery rescripting, chair work and role-playing to help you access and process the emotions associated with your schemas. You will also learn to reframe your past experiences in a more compassionate and empowering way, and to create new positive memories that counteract your schemas.
    4. Behavioral: Your therapist will help you change the maladaptive behaviors that result from your schemas, such as avoidance, procrastination or self-sabotage. You will also learn to practice new behaviors that are consistent with your healthy adult mode, which is the part of you that is confident, competent and capable.

  • What are the benefits of Schema Therapy?

    Schema Therapy offers several benefits for individuals seeking to address complex and longstanding emotional and behavioral patterns. This therapeutic approach goes beyond traditional therapies by focusing on deep-rooted schemas or patterns that often stem from childhood experiences.

    Benefits of Schema Therapy include:
    In-depth Exploration: Schema Therapy delves into core beliefs and patterns that have developed over time, helping individuals understand the origins of their emotions and behaviors.
    Long-lasting Change: By targeting deeply ingrained patterns, Schema Therapy aims to create lasting changes in thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, leading to more sustainable improvements.
    Comprehensive Approach: This therapy combines elements of cognitive-behavioral, experiential, and interpersonal approaches, offering a holistic framework for addressing various aspects of psychological well-being.
    Addressing Chronic Issues: Schema Therapy is particularly effective for chronic mental health issues and personality disorders that may not respond well to shorter-term therapies.
    Therapeutic Relationship: The therapist-client relationship is emphasized, creating a safe space for exploring and challenging schemas while fostering trust and collaboration.
    Self-awareness: Schema Therapy promotes self-awareness and insight, helping individuals recognize their patterns and make conscious choices for change.
    Integration of Past and Present: It explores the connection between past experiences and present behavior, enabling individuals to understand how past events shape current reactions.
    Customized Approach: Therapy is tailored to each individual’s unique schemas and needs, allowing for personalized interventions and strategies.
    Improved Relationships: Addressing underlying schemas can lead to improved interpersonal dynamics and healthier relationships.

  • Who can benefit from Schema Therapy?

    Schema Therapy can be helpful for anyone who wants to improve their mental health and well-being, as well as their personal and professional relationships. Schema Therapy has been shown to be effective for treating various psychological disorders. Schema Therapy can also be useful for people who struggle with low self-esteem, chronic anger, guilt or shame, perfectionism, procrastination, loneliness or isolation, codependency or attachment issues, intimacy or trust problems or other difficulties that interfere with their happiness and fulfillment.

  • How long does Schema Therapy take?

    The duration of Schema Therapy depends on several factors, such as the number and severity of your schemas, the complexity of your problems, the goals you want to achieve, the pace of your progress and the frequency of your sessions. Typically, Schema Therapy lasts for 12 to 24 months, with weekly or biweekly sessions. However, some people may benefit from shorter or longer courses of treatment depending on their needs and preferences.

  • Is it only for people with personality disorders?

    Schema therapy was originally developed to treat personality disorders, but it has since been adapted and applied to a wide range of psychological problems. Schema therapy can help anyone who struggles with chronic or recurrent emotional difficulties, such as low self-worth, insecurity, anger, guilt, shame, fear, or loneliness. Schema therapy can also help people who have difficulties in maintaining satisfying and stable relationships, or who tend to repeat the same unhealthy patterns in their interactions with others.

  • What are the 18 Early Maladaptive Schemas?

    In schema therapy, there are 18 specific early maladaptive schemas that are grouped into five broad categories called schema domains. These schema domains represent important components of a child’s core needs. These schemas are patterns of thought and behavior that develop in childhood when basic needs are not met. 

    1. Disconnection and Rejection:
    • Abandonment/Instability
    • Mistrust/Abuse
    • Emotional Deprivation
    • Defectiveness/Shame
    • Social Isolation/Alienation
    1. Impaired Autonomy and Performance:
    • Dependence/Incompetence
    • Vulnerability to Harm or Illness
    • Enmeshment/Undeveloped Self
    • Failure
    1. Impaired Limits:
    • Entitlement/Grandiosity
    • Insufficient Self-Control/Self-Discipline
    1. Other-Directedness:
    • Subjugation
    • Self-Sacrifice
    • Approval-Seeking/Recognition-Seeking
    1. Over-Vigilance and Inhibition:
    • Negativity/Pessimism
    • Emotional Inhibition
    • Unrelenting Standards/Hypercriticalness
    • Punitiveness

    Read more about the definitions of each schema