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Founder and Clinical Psychologist

Savaş Akgönül, Bsc, msc, Dclinpsy

My name is Savaş Akgönül, I'm a Clinical Psychologist and Psychological Therapist. I'm half Irish and half Cypriot, and was born in the UK where I was raised until we moved as a family to Cyprus in 1997.

Between 2008 and 2023 I lived, studied and worked in Manchester, UK.

In 2023 I relocated back to Cyprus to be closer to family, and decided to found Sanctum.

My mother tongue is English, though I am fluent in Turkish too.

I completed secondary school in Cyprus  before heading to Hacettepe University to do my undergraduate degree in Psychology in 2004. Following this I moved back to the UK in 2008 for a postgraduate degree (MSc) in Clinical and Health Psychology at the University of Manchester. I was fortunate to get a job immediately upon finishing my MSc, with the world renowned and NHS-based Psychosis Research Unit (PRU). At PRU I practiced as an applied research psychologist for 5 years. During my time at PRU I had the opportunity to work on several randomised control trials which became instrumental studies (E.g. FOCUS, COMPARE, TEAMS and ReSPECT) in developing the evidence base for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy  (CBT) for Psychosis, and Transdiagnostic CBT.

Following my time at PRU, I undertook a further postgraduate degree, the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy), at Lancaster University. Over the course of the doctorate I worked into several community-based services such as Children and Young People’s Mental Health Services (CYPMHS), Recovery and Community Mental Health Teams (CMHTs), Learning Disability Teams (LDTs) and a year long specialism at an Early Intervention for Psychosis (EIPS) service.

I subsequently took up a post in the NHS as a Psychological Therapist in a Secondary Care Mental Health team for those experiencing psychosis and other forms of mental distress arising from this, such as anxiety and depression

During my time in the UK I accrued 15 years of experience working in the NHS within various educational and clinical capacities as a psychologist. My roles have spanned both clinical research and clinical practice, and have given me the opportunity to work with clients across the human lifespan (children, adolescents, adults and older adults). However, please note that at present I work exclusively with adults of capacitous age (16+).

In addition to the training I received throughout my postgraduate education, I have also attended specialist training/accreditation courses in several therapeutic modalities which can be found in the section below.

Thank you for reading about me, and I look forward to learning all about you should you decide to embark on a therapeutic journey with me.

Below are a list of the  evidenced-based therapies I have trained in through both postgraduate education and additional accreditation/certification courses through UK and EU accreditation institutions.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT)
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT)
Behavioural Family Therapy (BFT)
Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT)


As a therapist, my job is not to give advice nor make tough decisions for you, but rather to have a strong therapeutic relationship with you in order to listen in an empathetic and curious manner, so I can ask you insightful thought-provoking questions with the hope of leading you to discover new perspectives and ultimately; change, and growth.

You are the expert on you, and I am an expert in psychological distress. Building from a strong therapeutic alliance and a genuine desire to tackle your difficulties together our combined skills will make us an expert in your psychological distress, and an effective partnership in overcoming it.

Combined years of Clinical Experience
Successful therapeutic outcomes for clients (and counting!)

Our therapy space