Petra van den Berg - Online Psychologist
You might be feeling vulnerable or unsure about how a 'complete stranger' might be able to help you. Having a good connection with a psychologist like myself is of the utmost importance to establish trust and enable change. 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.
Shortly after my graduation I moved to Australia (Victoria) and obtained full registration as a Psychologist and became a member of the Australian Psychological Society which is now more than 20 years ago (time flies when you enjoy what you’re doing). In my early career I worked in different research functions at Latrobe University and The Royal Children's Hospital in Victoria. Mid 90's I obtained a position with Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, working with adolescents with significant mental health issues.
From there I ensured that I obtained as much experience in working in different clinical settings; in public health system to different not-for-profit agencies; from working with children, adolescents, entire families to adults in their various life stages. Apart from counselling, I have designed and run group programs, conducted public information sessions and had numerous other speaking engagements.
Some of the agencies I have worked with are the public mental health services, family services, Child Safety, and adult mental support services. Besides my counselling work, I have also been active in providing supervision for volunteer counsellors at a community centre and took an active role organising regional professional network meetings for professional development.
About 7 years ago I started making the transition into private practice. I relocated to beautiful North Queensland 3 years ago. I was very excited when asked to join the dynamic team at Be Psyched.
All the experiences obtained during my career (and also personal experiences) are difficult to summarise in a few lines on paper, but it has provided me with a deep understanding of people’s situations, cultures, backgrounds, genuine compassion, empathy and a diverse range of skills that allow me to provide clients with high quality of counselling.
In my counselling, I always strive to give to my clients the highest level of respect, being non –judgmental, and compassionate, with an emphasis on tapping into a people's personal strengths to help them achieve their goals. I am experienced in many different therapeutic styles such as CBT, Motivational interviewing, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.