Whilst practicing psychology has always been a big part of our founder Karen’s life, Mind Matters was born of her desire to depart from what we have all come to expect when we think of a traditional psychology clinic. A far cry from a sterile health practice, Karen wanted Mind Matters to offer a holistic wellness experience, an environment with diversity at its core that was equipped to help its visitors deal with life’s many complexities and challenges. “While I have a wealth of knowledge, I know I am not an expert in all things – nor is any psychologist. It’s my goal to empower every client to make the healthiest decisions; and to put thought into those decisions to live a value-driven life. My approach is client centred, from the moment our clients walk through the door they are looked after,” says Karen.

Born and raised in Sydney, Karen Martin is the mother of two young children and the founder of Mind Matters psychology practice. Growing up surrounded by a family with careers in various healthcare professions, it’s really no surprise that Karen ended up a psychologist. “My Mum was always the person everyone went to for advice,” she says. However, it was not always Karen’s intention to practice psychology. In fact, she began her career working as a primary school teacher, driven by her compassion for children and her respect for education. She soon grew frustrated over the lack of impact she was able to make, which drove her to re-enter the university system and explore psychology. As her fascination grew, so did her passion for the insights she was gaining into the workings of not only other’s minds, but her own. “All it took was one subject, and I was absolutely hooked!” she says.

Karen’s core understanding and appreciation for psychology lies in how it can effectively change lives; not just short-term, but forever – true change. Her approach to psychology is not to simply tell her clients what to do and when to do it, but to give them the tools they need to confidently create their own solutions. “I have had the privilege of supporting my clients through their roughest times… and that is where I really see the most impressive changes take place,” she says. “Clients often mistakenly believe that experiencing anxiety or depression is a sign of weakness, but I witness the courage it takes them to soldier on each day.” The client-therapist relationship is crucial to any client’s journey to wellness, and to Karen, building and developing a strong sense of trust remains at the centre of this. “As psychologists we are entrusted with the most intimate details of our clients lives.”, Mind Matters was created to feel as far from impersonal as possible, Karen’s vision being to create a space that, in itself, provided part of a solution to life’s chaos by emitting calmness and serenity. “The core values that I wanted to communicate the most were professionalism, health, connection, compassion, growth, respect, open-mindedness, and happiness,” says Karen. In every aspect of the build, it was really important to her that she consider how to translate these standards and principles into a physical space.

The terrace, purpose-built by Marston Architects, features bright, white, calming spaces and carefully chosen furnishings. It was Karen’s dream that the client’s would feel an immediate sense of calm when they enter the building. From the lighting, to the kids’ toys and water station, every detail has been carefully considered by both Karen and her team of architects. “I know how intense life can be in the outside world,” says Karen, “and it would just be amazing if Mind Matters could act as a sanctuary from that.”

Mind Matters is host to twelve rooms dedicated to a group of hand-selected practicing psychologists that are experts in their fields. Each room itself has been created and designed with both these clinicians and their patients in mind. “I know how vital a view into the outside world is in creating peace and serenity,” says Karen, “within each room I wanted to include garden views and skylights. It was really important that our visitors and clinicians don’t feel boxed in mentally or physically – this is an entirely safe space, so it needed to feel like one.” Minimalism was also a big factor in the build, and Karen worked with the team of architects and builders to create a space where as little was on display as possible. It’s not uncommon for clients of the practice to come in just a little bit earlier than needed, to relax and enjoy the reflective space Mind Matters provides to them.

“I like to think that the care I took in creating this space for myself, my clients, the clinicians, and their clients is reflective of our point of difference and what we can offer. Mind Matters is not just a psychology practice, but an entire experience, and that was always my purpose.”

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