My name is Ozan Bahcivan, and I am the Founding Director, and Health Psychologist at OZ Psychology Family Counselling Centre (Özel Oz Psikoloji Aile Danışma Merkezi) in Izmir, Turkey. I come from an Australian – Turkish background and have lived, worked, and received formal education in several countries including Australia, United Kingdom, Turkey, and Spain. This enabled me to better understand cultural sensitivity and the role of language when developing psychological and psycho-oncological interventions. Since I discovered that health psychology and psycho-oncology are in their infancy stages in Turkey, this motivated me to settle in Turkey; and found opportunities to pioneer in these scientific areas through national congresses, symposiums, and training programs. I adapted and validated numerous psycho-oncological assessment tools in Turkish language and culture with my colleagues, such as Cancer Coping Questionnaire (CCQ), Emotion Thermometer (ET), and Mini Mental Adjustment to Cancer Scale. In fact, I contributed to the first original health psychology academic book in Turkish language and authored the “Psycho-Social Palliative Care” chapter with my colleague.
I was elected as an Early Career Director of International Psycho-Oncology Society (IPOS) and served IPOS between 2017 – 2019, I am very thankful and grateful to Dr David Kissane for his nomination! Currently I am the liaison person of IPOS in Turkey. During my service in 2018, with the support from the Early Career Professional Committee we successfully initiated the first ever Clinical Case Symposium at IPOS Congress in Hong Kong, I specially thank to Dr Michelle Peate. Because the IPOS family is so welcoming and opens many doors for networking; I received many supports from Dr Tania Estapé and Dr Habil Dégi Csaba who are the board members of IPOS, I now consider them as a lifelong friend of mine! Indeed, I co-authored an international study about personality traits of cancer patients during COVID-19 pandemic which was recently published; thanks to Dr Simone Cheli and Dr Gil Goldzweig. I am part of the editorial board of the Journal of Psychosocial Oncology Research and Practice which is the official journal of IPOS. In 2019, I have made to the final for the “Professional Achievement Award” category at the British Council’s Alumni Award in recognition of his improved cancer patient care.
I founded the Turkish Psycho-Oncological Association (Türk Psiko-Onkologlar Derneği) to provide upskill trainings to mental health professionals who work with cancer patients and their caregivers. Shortly our national association became a federation member of IPOS to represent Turkey in the international psycho-oncology community. I am the Izmir Representative of the Psycho-Oncology Association (Psiko-Onkoloji Derneği) in Turkey to raise psycho-oncology awareness among public. Lastly, I established and coordinated the Division of Health Psychology within Turkish Psychological Association (Türk Psikologlar Derneği) which is a member of the European Federation of Psychologist’s Associations (EFPA).
Beside the above mentioned works, I currently run and coordinate national and international projects in cancer care and happy to collaborate with other professionals in psycho-oncology.