Hi there, I’m Bernadette McCarthy
Writing about myself makes me feel quite vulnerable but I’ll push through the discomfort because I ask my clients to do the same with the things that are important. Psychologists are generally very private and cautious creatures, particularly introvert ones like me! Getting to know me a little will help you make a decision about whether you can trust the information you find on my website or consult me for therapy or coaching. That is important to me.
Please take some time to read through this page as I have tried to make it an authentic reflection of me so that you can make an informed decision about whether we might be a good fit before you book in for a free call.
Am I qualified to help you?
I have been working as a fully qualified Psychologist since 2005 and supporting people in improving their lives for over 20 years. I completed six years of study to become a Psychologist and my qualifications include BA (psych), Dip (psych), PGDip (psych). Check here if you want to do your due diligence on my registration status (practitioner PSY0001339750). As a Psychologist I engage in ongoing professional learning every year, and just to keep things fun and interesting I am also a qualified Integrative Nutrition and Health coach. I have been running my own private practice in Sydney, Australia since 2010.
My Purpose and Passion
I couldn’t do the work I do without being clear about my WHY – my purpose and passion. I originally came to choose psychology as a career because one of my gifts is empathy and the other is analysis. Now, the former is, for the most part a great gift, the latter, well.. it’s a double edged sword! A tendency to over-analyse is not always a useful thing in my personal life but it is a definite asset in my client work. It enables me to quickly disentangle complex human thought patterns and behaviours to get to the root of a problem or a blockage. The other reason I do what I do is because I get a real buzz out of helping people grow and evolve. It is such a priviledge to watch someone go from distress, confusion or uncertainty to confidence, joy and flow! Often the clients I attract into my practice mirror some aspect of my own journey so it is not unusual for me to grow from the interaction too 🙂
In recent years my thinking about my own life purpose has evolved and I find myself with an increasingly spiritual mindset. I was raised very secularly and I don’t subscribe to any religion, however, I now think it is very likely that we are not the insignificant product of random genetic mutations. Maybe we really are here for a reason… The jury is still out for me on exactly what that is but you will find I now talk about things like manifesting, Law of Attraction, ‘energies’ or vibes and the quantum field in the context of my work. I also talk about mindfulness, heart rate variability (HRV) and coherence, EFT or ‘tapping’, the power of gratitude and the benefits of meditation. I find these very useful frameworks and skills to help inspire and invigorate my clients into more successful and abundant mindsets and magical things happen for my clients when I do this.
I’ve also come to believe that our current way of living is no longer working for us and some big changes need to occur so that we can transition into a more aligned and successful way of occupying this planet. For me, one of these changes is in empowering women to step up and bring forth their unique feminine skills to help with healing and supporting a new planetary course. Another is to harness my gift for sparking the light in others so that they can add their energy to the growing ripple effect of change flowing through us in these extraordinary times.
Here are a few other things I believe:
- I believe that chronic, poorly managed stress is at the core of many of our modern ailments. We completely under-estimate the damage that it is doing to our physical, emotional and mental health, and our ability to feel in control of our lives.
- I believe everybody comes into the world with gifts to share, but not everybody discovers them without help.
- I believe our life is a precious opportunity for growth, expansion and joy and that the events of our lives – good or challenging, are what bring us those opportunities.
- I believe that our modern lifestyle, our current ways of thinking and our nutrition is creating havoc with our mental and emotional health, as well as causing many of the chronic diseases we are now so familiar with.
- I believe that those of us who can should be trying to leave the world a better place for us having been in it.
I’m a work in progress too!
I will point out that I have not come to form any of these beliefs randomly. Many of them have come from hard lessons that I have had to learn, or am still learning, as I mature and evolve. Just like most people, I have had my own battles and trials that have helped to shape who I have become. In 2012, after many years of low grade depression and chronic fatigue I discovered I had an autoimmune disorder with adrenal burn-out and a cascade of other hormonal issues. I had become so unwell that I thought I would have to give up my business – something I would have been devastated by. I felt terribly let down by a medical system that left me undiagnosed for so long and frustrated at my own lack of knowledge about my body, nutrition and what constituted a truly healthy lifestyle.
Using food and stress management to improve your mood and clarity about life?
It was a revelation to me to discover how quickly my mood improved once I started nourishing my body with better quality, unprocessed foods and managing my stress more effectively. Words can’t adequately describe the exhilaration I felt as years of brain fog lifted. Alongside this I started to really evaluate how I was living my life and began methodically addressing problem areas which raised the bar even higher. This experience has lead me to approach my life with more vigour and clarity than ever and has been shifting the way I work with clients ever since. It also enabled me to get my health into a good enough place to start thinking more broadly about how I can serve my clients and the planet too. Residual health issues require me to manage my work in a way that is kind to my body and minimises my stress, but what I have discovered is that when you really have to limit what you do it makes you super clear and focused on doing only those things that nourish you and serve your highest purpose. As with all things, nothing is ever wasted and so I seek to pass on these newest learnings to my precious clients too.
How I work
My style of working is what I consider to be warm, collaborative and practical. I take the stance that you know your own life the best but I also appreciate that we often get waylaid by circumstances, fear, ways of thinking or limiting beliefs that hold us back. It is my observation that many of us need some form of support and encouragement to reach our full potential for love, success and contributing to the world. I will spend time learning about the areas of frustration you hold, I will help you to build skills in managing what ails you, I will assist you to discover what you truly want from your life (this might surprise you!) and we will create a pathway to achieving those goals. I want lasting change for my clients so with this in mind my coaching and therapy agreements are deliberately designed to run over the course of a few months. This gives you time to consolidate powerful new ways of thinking and behaving and ensures I will be there to pick you back up if you lose momentum along the way. Look here for more information on the way I work as an holistic coach and here for how I work as a psychologist /therapist.
If you are interested in more personal details about me I can tell you that I live my dream life on semi-rural acreage in the Hawkesbury region of Sydney. I am happily married to my high school sweetheart of over 25 years and we have two teenage children (aaargh!) and a third fur baby ‘Ella’. Latest additions to the family also include six hens, many local wild ducks and doves (not invited!) and a tank full of tropical fish. We love spending time on holidays amongst nature, camping, bushwalking, swimming at the beach and in companionable silence together. I also do yoga, practice meditation, grow veggies, get excited about healthy eating and read personal development books for fun.
Get in touch
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