Hello and welcome to myΨ website,
My first name is Ayla but everyone calls me Michelle, my middle name. I’m a Londoner of Mediterranean origin (Italian Mother, Turkish Father), born in St. Mary’s Hospital Paddington and I grew up in Maida Vale in central London and later in Edgware north west London. After schooling I worked in shops and offices and then lived in Italy for a year in my teens and in Turkey in my twenties, when I travelled extensively around Europe doing community work on arts, social and environmental projects. My favourite country is Hungary – it either happens or it doesn’t and for me it happened in Hungary, i.e. I made real connections with country folk who took me into their homes to live and also the curator’s home of the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest. I enjoy watercolour painting, belly dancing, arts and crafts such as dress and jewellery making and recently I’ve got into netball, its so healthy!
When I got over travelling, I returned to Higher Education as a mature student (twenty something) and completed my joint (two subjects) Bachelor of Science Honours Degree in Communication and Cultural Studies (basically Media Studies) with Environmental Science at London Metropolitan University. Afterwards, I went on to study Humanistic Counselling at the Mary Ward Centre and began working in frontline Mental Health Services, i.e. addiction counselling and women’s sexual health counselling, initially as an informal counsellor, then as a helpline support worker and later as an outreach community mental health worker. Lots of my Humanistic counselling associates said, “They’ll tell you counselling is just beginners and you’ll progress to psychology but don’t believe them, counselling is deceptively more advanced and effective than psychotherapy.” But a few years later, I did move onto study Psychoanalytic Psychology and spent more than my fair share of my Mental Health career negotiating professional politics.
Simply stated, I am not a purest and like most psychotherapists, I started off Person Centred > Humanistic > and became > Psychodynamic > and then > Psychoanalytic. Within the Psychoanalytic psychology/psychotherapy field I have moved from Jungian > Freudian > Lacanian psychoanalytic approaches. Needless to say, my journey has involved years of personal counselling and analysis and I’m happy to report, some of it actually worked well i.e. nurtured and believed in me (Humanistic) and woke me up (Psychoanalytic) – Working Through the Unconscious – to the primitive Instinctual Life and Death Forces of Nature and harsh Reality. Come lately, I came across something called Humanistic Psychoanalysis, it takes all sorts!!! Seriously though, you know it gets to that stage when tick boxes and professional badges and labels don’t matter so much, but psychoanalysts do need to know when the mind needs to be open (to some extent), when it needs to be closed (to some extent), and when it is properly locked and how it got locked and where the key is? Answers on the back of a free postcard.
Since 2010 I have been a qualified Psychoanalytic Psychologist as two members – Dr David Fontana and Ingrid Slack, co-founders of the Transpersonal Psychology Section of the British Psychological Society – proposed me for Professional Membership and the BPS accepted my Diploma in Psychoanalytic Psychology from Birkbeck College, University of London as an accredited conversion course. However, I have not yet practiced as a psychologist even though I’m qualified to do so. Instead, I got a job doing Mental Health Research for the NHS with my local Camden and Islington Primary Care Trusts. Mental Health research focuses on the prevention, causes of and treatments for psychological problems in individuals, but also in collective psyches i.e. groups, organizations, institutions, nations, etc. I am broadly as well as deeply Psychoanalytic my orientation, combining Classical Freudian, Kleinian, Lacanian and Jungian Psychoanalytic concepts and theories in my analysis of objects, people, groups, organisations, parties, movements, etc. I am a member of the British Psychological Society, specifically their Transpersonal Psychology and Social Psychology sections and I am also a member of several psychoanalysis and social psychology research centres and institutes.
Currently, I’m writing a PhD research proposal on Psychoanalysis and Coalition Politics, following my successful completion of an MA Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Society Master’s Dissertation titled: A Psychoanalysis of Neoliberal Bankers and Anti-Capitalist Protesters at Brunel University supervised by Prof. Dany Nobus. As part of my Psychoanalysis and Political Libidinal Economy research, I am politically active within economic and social policy think tanks (Demos, PX, CPS, ASI, IEA, ResPublica) within and around the Houses of Parliament, Westminster.
I hope some people will be interested in and enjoy some of my blog posts that give a personal, subjective and psychoanalytic view on contemporary society. You can also follow my tweets and tumblr notes, all best wishes,
Ayla Michelle Demir MA BSc
Psychoanalytic Psychologist MBPsS
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