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Emerson (Birgitta) Österberg

Emerson (Birgitta) Österberg

Emerson (Birgitta) Österberg is the founder and Principal Psychologist of Healthy Minds Happy Kids (HMHK). She has specialisations in both Clinical and Educational & Developmental Psychology. Emerson founded HMHK in 2009 and has made it our practice’s mission to provide caring, personalised, exceptional, evidence-based, psychological services to young people, their families and people working with young people. In addition to her role as a clinician, Emerson is also responsible for the management of our practice and our team. To ensure that your family receives the best possible service, she acquaints herself with your child and family, even if she is not personally responsible for treating your family. Emerson also manages the creation of all the group programs being delivered by other members of our team.

Emerson is devoted to improving the lives of young people. She is friendly, caring and enthusiastic. Her empathy, positive attitude, determination and motivational skills help her to understand and engage with very young children, children and adolescents. She uses a range of treatments, depending on your child’s individual needs, including: cognitive-behavioural therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, behavioural interventions (including parenting skills and exposure therapy), emotion recognition, emotion regulation skills development and social skills development.

Emerson has extensive experience assessing and treating children for a wide range of psychological and educational concerns, including, but not limited to: anxiety (including fears/phobias), depression (including grief/loss), anger, self-esteem, abuse/trauma, challenging behaviours (including Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Oppositional Defiance Disorder), emotion recognition and regulation, social skills concerns (including social skills deficits, bullying, social anxiety, assertiveness, and making and keeping friends), learning disorders (including dyslexia and dyscalculia), Autism Spectrum Disorder, intellectual disability, giftedness and school refusal. She also offers comprehensive services for more challenging and complex presenting concerns that involve dual diagnoses, significant mental illnesses and environmental factors that significantly impact children’s functioning.

In past roles, Emerson has worked as: a school psychologist in an independent school, a psychologist in Community Health, an educational psychologist advising numerous primary and secondary Catholic schools, a tutor for undergraduate and postgraduate courses and a guest lecturer for postgraduate psychology courses. She has presented a professional development workshop at a conference for Educational and Developmental Psychologists on evidence-based assessment of and treatment for children with Dyslexia. Emerson has also presented a number of professional development workshops for psychologists on topics such as cognitive behaviour therapy for young people and assessing and treating anxiety disorders.

Emerson obtained her Masters of (Clinical) Psychology (with Distinction) in 2011 and her Masters of (Educational and Developmental) Psychology (with Distinction) in 2008 from the University of Western Sydney. Her focus in both of her Masters theses was Dyslexia. She obtained her Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology from Macquarie University in 2006. She also obtained a Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology) and Human Movement from Charles Sturt University in 2005.

Emerson is a Registered Psychologist with the Psychology Board of Australia with endorsed areas of practice in Clinical Psychology and Educational & Developmental Psychology. She is a full member of the Australia Psychological Society (APS). She is a member of the APS College of Clinical Psychology and the College of Educational & Developmental Psychology. She has previously served at the Chair of the NSW College of Clinical Psychologists and the treasurer of the NSW College of Educational & Developmental Psychologists. 

Emerson is a registered service provider under the Australian Government’s Better Outcomes for Mental Health Care program and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).