Dr. Defne Yılmaz graduated from Psychological Counselling and Guidance program of Hacettepe University, Turkey in 1994. She completed Master of Education at Primary Teacher Education Program of University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. in 1998 with a dissertation on the emotional development of gifted children at educational settings. She got her Ph.D. from Hacettepe University in 2004 with a thesis on the comparison of an anger management program and a group counselling for adolescents.
Her research interest and publications are mainly on counselling gifted and lifelong development of gifted, life skills and early prevention studies, stress and trauma counselling and addiction counselling. The first edition of her book “Üstün Yetenekliler İçin Psikolojik Danışma ve Rehberlik Uygulamaları: Gereksinimler, Sorunlar ve Müdahaleler” (Counselling and Guidance for Gifted: Needs, Issues and Interventions) was published in 2015.
She had been a visiting scholar at the North Carolina State University, College of Education, Counselor Education and Supervision Pogram for a year in 2012. She also joined several ERASMUS projects and faculty exchange programs.
She has been teaching at universities in Turkey since 1995. She worked as a university research assistant and also as a counselling center coordinator of a private college in Ankara during her studies. She worked for the UNICEF Turkey Earthquake Recovery Psychosocial and Educational Projects on psychological support services on trauma, crisis, and classroom based interventions in 1999-2000. She established the Research Center on Gifted and Talented at COMU in 2019. She also worked as a psychological counsellor at Antalya State Conservatoire of Akdeniz University between 2005-2010.
She has taught on counselling gifted, trauma and crisis counselling, addiction counselling, principles and techniques of psychological counselling, counselling practicum, personality and adjustment, ethical issues in counselling, behaviour disorders, psychological health and adjustment disorders in children, group counselling with children, sexual health education.
She is a member of Turkish Psychological Counselling and Guidance Association and Stress, Trauma, Anxiety and Resilience Society (STAR).
She speaks English fluently, and French and Italian at intermediate level.