About me

Hi my name is Arslan. My background created a complex and atypical upbringing that acted as the foundation for what is now, my professional identity. I was born in the Soviet Union in 1980. At this time the Soviet Union was continuing to destabilize and experience economic collapse. When I was 13, I went to a boy’s boarding school in Turkmenistan. Then, at the age of 17, I went to study Psychology in Turkey (Ege University, Izmir, Turkey). After completing my undergraduate degree I traveled to Norway, where I completed my Master’s Degree in Social Work. Throughout my academic journey, I experienced a lot of geographical, political, and cultural changes. Mandatory adjustments were commonplace. As I navigated all the different kinds of change I found Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) relevant to my personal story. It helped remind me I’ve got what it takes.

Internal Family Systems Therapy

IFS introduces the concept that we have a part within us called “Self.” This part within us has everything we need to reconcile our past unpleasant events and traumatic experiences. Bringing those elements into balance in our lives, we can live wholehearted, connected, and genuine lives within ourselves and with others. Engaging in the process of re-connecting and reconciling our parts takes time and effort. The key element is that our part called “Self” has ALL that it needs to make this happen; we don’t need to search for it in the world around us. Learning about IFS’s major concepts, I realized that I’ve got what it takes to connect all the pieces within myself.

My perspective on therapeutic dynamics

After professionals complete their degrees, they have the challenge of making those degrees reconcile the science of the human mind and its dynamics with their feelings, actions, and how they process (or not) past and current lived experiences. Trained professionals are also human beings who are exposed to the good, the bad, and the ugly. As a result, therapists often adhere to a specific school of thought and practice relevant to their own lived experiences.

As a therapist, I have listened to all kinds of people describe their search for meaning, answers, and resolutions to their issues. In therapy, we connect the search for these answers to elements already within each person. In connecting to “Self,” we explore the parts that regulate our lives (Self, Mangers, Protectors, and Exiles- IFS parts). When we delve into this process we create a welcoming environment where all our parts are acknowledged, validated, and accepted. Learning to understand this process is a lifestyle change, not just a skill set or a technique.

You’ve got what it takes

We all have a part called “Self”. Recognizing that this part of us has all the necessary elements to facilitate the healing process is beautiful. Tell yourself, “You’ve got what it takes,” and don’t accept anything less than that!


Read more about What’s Happening at Wholehearted Counseling

To learn more about IFS check out the IFS Institute

Watch this video about IFS