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Emerson (Birgitta) Österberg

Emerson (Birgitta) Österberg is the founder and Principal Psychologist of Healthy Minds Happy Kids (HMHK). Emerson 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 their 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, they acquaint themself with your child and family, even if they are not personally responsible for treating your family. Emerson also oversees the creation of all the group programs being created and delivered by other members of our team.

Emerson is devoted to improving the lives of young people. They are friendly, caring and enthusiastic. Their empathy, positive attitude, determination and motivational skills help them to understand and engage with very young children, children and adolescents. Emerson 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, self- compassion 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. They also offer 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. Emerson is also passionate about provide a safe space, support and intervention for young people and their families identifying as LGBTIQA. 

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. They have 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 their Masters of (Clinical) Psychology (with Distinction) in 2011 and their Masters of (Educational and Developmental) Psychology (with Distinction) in 2008 from the University of Western Sydney. Emerson’s focus in both of their Masters theses was Dyslexia. They obtained their Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology from Macquarie University in 2006. They 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. They are a full member of the Australia Psychological Society (APS). They are a member of the APS College of Clinical Psychology and the College of Educational & Developmental Psychology. They have 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.