Clinical Psychologist Dr. Scarlett Mattoli is the lead clinician of Psynamo, a multi-disciplinary mental health practice in the heart of Central. As a psychology professional, she became aware of the dearth of provision for mental health practices in Hong Kong when seeking out support for her own children through their developmental journey with neurodiversity. So, Mattoli applied her clinical expertise and extensive academic credentials to building a practice that would provide a higher level of care to patients and their families. Since its founding in 2007, Psynamo has evolved into a cross-disciplinary practice, where a group of qualified mental health professionals provide accurate and ethical support for their patients.
Tell us a little about your professional background.
I am a registered, chartered clinical psychologist, psychotherapist and psychometrist with an MSc in Coaching Psychology, an MSc in Cognitive Neuropsychology, an MA in Counselling, and a doctorate in Clinical Psychology. I have also sought out a number of specialist certifications in assessments, supervision, addictions and specific therapy practices, as well as number of professional memberships. As a scientist-practitioner, I regularly conduct research in my specialist clinical areas of neurodevelopmental differences, parenting, addictions and positive psychology, in addition to my daily clinical practice. (you can find a full list of Dr. Scarlett’s qualifications here).
Why did you launch Psynamo?
My professional background has always been in psychology, and when my family first moved to Hong Kong in 2005, we discovered that both our young boys needed additional support in this area. As a parent, I found that there was very little connecting different specialists in this space – particularly among the international community – which made it difficult for us to access professional help. with my extensive experience in the UK, US, and Europe in psychological practices, I was acutely aware of the gap between the support being offered and what was needed, and decided to address that gap by drawing together like-minded professionals in the mental health space. Psynamo started as a network in 2007, and then in 2009 we established a formal company that supports individuals and families by provding a full spectrum of mental health disciplines provided by trusted practitioners.
What makes Psynamo different from other counselling and psychotherapy practices?
We have always maintained high standards for professional membership; our team members pursue regular continuing professional development. In addition to regular supervision, we frequently consult with peers and manage cases as a team. We also require all of our team members to be qualified in their field of practice at Master’s level or above. You might be surprised to learn that this was not the norm in 2005. There was a clear gap in practices and I felt compelled to provide a more professional environment to ensure that we could deliver the highest standards of care to families seeking support.
Any Psynamo milestones you’d like to share with us?
We are incredibly proud to celebrate 15 years of service to the Hong Kong community in 2024, making our team one of the most established English-speaking practices here. Each step of the way has been filled with passion and dedication to wellbeing. Our outreach efforts in the community strive to provide accurate information about mental health.
What’s one thing you wished more people knew about safeguarding their mental health?
It is never too early (or too late!) to start nurturing our general wellbeing and encouraging those we care about to do the same. Establishing realistic positive self-care practices as early on in life as possible, with accurate modelling by parents and caregivers, could help to develop more realistically adaptive responses to the normal ups, downs and “mehs” of life. Accepting the full range of emotions we will feel as humans, in ourselves and others rather than pushing away the more challenging ones, can go a long way to making this process much easier. Enjoying the stability this can bring to each of us can help to better manage our daily challenges more effectively.