Director of Be Psyched
BSc(Qld), PGDip(Psych), MBA
Registered Psychologist, Registered Career Development Practitioner, MAPS
I started studying psychology at university while I was still a high school student. I was one of the first cohorts to be afforded that opportunity, which was essentially an experiment for a university. Afterwards, I received automatic entry into Bachelor of Psychology; however, I decided that I’d ‘been there, done that’ and went to another university to study Science with the goal to eventually wind up studying Medicine. Fast forward three years, I found myself sitting in an Inorganic Chemistry lecture, feeling very confused (it was only day one) wondering what on earth I’d done! On that day, I decided that I would go back to my Psychology studies. That was a really long-winded and expensive way to find my calling, yet I’ve never looked back.
Fast forward again to six years ago, I was working in a large international bank as a lead change management consultant in London. It was here that I was coaching corporate leaders through massive organisational changes and watching them successfully grow, develop and adapt. In this I had the realisation that ‘I can do this’, and that’s when the idea for Be Psyched was born. I finally had enough confidence in myself, back up by knowledge, to go out on my own with the support of those closest to me. It was one and half years later that I set up home and the Be Psyched practice in Townsville.
Petra van den Berg
Choosing the right psychologist can be a very scary business. It can be difficult if you’re feeling vulnerable and are unsure about how a 'complete stranger' might be able to help you. Having a good connection with a mental health professional is of the utmost importance to establish trust and enable change. With this short bio I hope to give you a clearer understanding of my skills and approach to people who come and see me.
I grew up in the Netherlands and became interested in mental health issues from my early teens. What intrigued me was that some people encountered many adversities in their lives and could react to these situations in different ways. For example, children growing up with abuse and neglect often went on to develop psychiatric issues later in life, where as some seemed to be free of negative psychological consequences. So, I started reading literature dealing with the human mind from then on, paving my way to a career in Psychology.
At University I chose to study Life Span Psychology to satisfy my knowledge of how a person develops from baby to adulthood and through the various stages in adult life to eventually old age. This gave me a great grounding and depth of understanding of the human psyche and after 6 years of study in the Netherlands and the UK I obtained a Master's Degree in this field.
Career Coach & Programs Manager
BPsych (Hons) (in progress)
From a very young age I was the kid who wanted to be “everything” when they grew up, and I still am! I think this is what drew me into my current career path in psychology. Psychology is an ever-evolving and rewarding profession, as we are able to provide psychoeducation and tools that enable people to flourish in all life domains.
However, had you asked me at 16 if I would be a psychologist I probably would have laughed and told you that I was going to be a teacher. I have always known that I wanted to help people and at the time I believed teaching was how I would do this. I even applied for a Bachelor of Secondary Education at JCU and was offered a position in the course, which I planned to defer for a year. After all the pressure to choose “what I wanted to be when I grow up” I realised I didn’t want to be a teacher, and declined my offer, not knowing what I wanted to be, but never doubting that I would continue on to higher education in the future. After becoming a retail manager at 18 and working full time for 2 years, I was eager to get back into study and found myself drawn to psychology as it had many options for career paths, as well as fulfilling my passion to help people.
Three years into my Bachelor of Psychology at JCU in Townsville, I was incredibly fortunate be offered a position at Be Psyched Psychology. Not only have I evolved my skill-sets and gained a look into the practical application of psychology, but working in such a positive, diverse, and genuine environment has seen me on the way to becoming my best self bot professionally and personally.
BPsych, BBus, Registered Psychologist
I have a passion for improving mental health, with a specific interest in positive psychology that started during my adolescence. Having grown up in Townsville, I'm proud to have played a variety of sports including basketball, rugby league, rugby union, soccer and volleyball. Through these relationships I was exposed to a number of people who suffered from mental illness. It was through these experiences that I decided to study a Bachelor of Psychology and Bachelor of Business here at James Cook University. I felt inspired to support local teams, businesses and individuals to reach their potential.
The combination of my studies and work experiences encouraged me to pursue organisational psychology. This subsequently led me towards promoting positive workplace cultures and optimising staff performance. I have worked predominantly in the Not For Profit sector assisting children, youth and families through traumatic experiences. This industry has exposed me to frequent travel across Queensland and nationally to support the organisation and present our programs. Fortunately, this travel has allowed me to work alongside and support a variety of people from different backgrounds and cultures, particularly Indigenous Australians.
Co-Founder and Commercial Manager
BE(Elec) Hons., CPEng, RPEQ, MBA (in progress)
I have a passion for developing and executing strategy, and driving change. This has led me to work in a variety of roles in Australia, UK, Netherlands and USA, largely focussing on the developments of emerging technologies in order to respond to the ever evolving role they play in our lives as individuals and as a society.
In my role at Be Psyched I am responsible for the commercial management of the business, and sustainably growing and evolving our operations. I am quite excited by Be Psyched's success in securing government Advance Queensland innovation funding to develop a solution for addressing mobility challenges in health treatment, in partnership with CQ-University.
Away from Be Psyched I have a number of other roles in organisations and the community, including being a Director of House With No Steps, a Queensland Division Committee Member for Engineers Australia, Member of the Engineering Advisory Board at James Cook University, and Senior Network Strategy and Policy Engineer at Ergon Energy.
Web Platform Developer
I was drawn to Townsville to take up the role of Web Platform Developer at Be Psyched. Townsville is hot! But I’m getting used t
What do I like about my role? It is very challenging and motivating. As i come to office, I feel like I will always have something challenging to do and today will be different to yesterday. When I resolve a technical issue or code, I feel great.
BBus.(Marketing and HRM) (in progress)
Growing up I was always indecisive about what career I wanted to pursue. Some of the more seriously considered choices I dwelled on were construction worker (even wanted to call my company Jack of All Trades), physiotherapist, sport and exercise scientist, events manager, personal trainer, writer, and there are probably dozens more which flicked through my mind more than oncethe list goes on. One thing I was sure of, was that sport and fitness was always something I was drawn to. Whether it was playing, coaching, or training,fitness in general but more specifically rugby league has always been an integral part of my life. At 12 years old, I, along with a a few of my teammates from the footy club, and myself all decided to have a go at refereeing rugby league. “How hard can it be?” we all thought, “We already know all the rules”. Some lasted just one season, others a few more, but I have stuck with it and been refereeing rugby leaguegames for nearly 10 years ever since. I’ve had the opportunity to I haveofficiate e at State and National level carnivals throughout my refereeing, as well as the National Youth Competition and Intrust Super Cup, which has put me on a pathway to officiate at an elite level. I am a member of the Queensland Rugby League Referees High Performance Unit, and also a member of the National Rugby League Referees High Performance Academy. Funny how the kid who couldn’t decide on what to do with his life, now wants to make a career out of being a professional decision maker!
Administration Officer / Receptionist
B.FN (in progress)
Towards the end of High School, I was asked to make a lot of big decisions and apply for University courses that I wouldn’t mind studying. I wasn’t a fan of this process though, as I had no idea what career I wanted to pursue. I ended up going to JCU to study a Degree in Photo Media as I had an interest in photography. It didn’t take me very long however to realise that this wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life, so I withdrew from my degree and decided to obtain a full-time job.
I worked at Live-N-Invest Real Estate for just under two years as a receptionist/admin assistant/sales support and loved it. I was offered to be put through the necessary training to become either a Property Manager or Sales Agent through the company if I wished to do so. I was very appreciative, however I felt deep down that I wasn’t the right person for those jobs. Realising that I didn’t want to progress any further in Real Estate put a lot of things into perspective for me. I decided to leave my job and take some time for myself to have a long, hard think about what my interests were and how I could turn them into a career.
This then led me to Be Psyched and their brilliant Career Program which I completed with Alexandra Whitehead. I found this program and career coaching to be very eye-opening and extremely helpful in allowing myself to have a better and deeper understanding of the person I am and what careers would be best suited to my personality.