Dr Merima Isakovic is the founder and the Director of the Inspire Mindful Psychology practice. She is the Principal Clinical Psychologist and the Clinical Neuropsychologist at Inspire Mindful Psychology. She devoted her working life to building the safe and nurturing nest where all the Psychologists in her Inspire practice are genuinely warm, respectful and empathic practitioners with high ethical values, valuable clinical skills and wide experience, who value you for who you are and can inspire and help you grow the best in you, our Client.
Dr Merima Isakovic is an exceptionally warm, devoted and skilled to helping people, with many years of professional experience in psychotherapy, neuropsychotherapy, psychological counselling, clinical & neuropsychological assessment, as well as research, clinical supervision and mentoring across Australia and internationally. Dr Merima is a well-respected member of the Australian Psychological Society (APS) as well as New Zealand Psychological Society (NZPS) and highly regarded Clinical Supervisor among the Colleague Psychologists.
Dr Merima Isakovic has been devoted to and working with Clients of all ages including children, young people, adults, seniors, couples and families as well as people who struggle with addiction, personality issues, recovery from complex injury, cancer (psycho-oncology) and other challenging illnesses requiring major life adjustments. In addition to clinical work, Dr Merima Isakovic has been providing effective specialist services to a diverse range of Clients in various therapeutic settings, including the provision of consultancy and mentoring for the Medical Health Specialists.
Dr Merima Isakovic is deeply committed to providing the best possible support to her Clients and therefore, to helping you to improve and achieve the desired quality of life. She has a warm, respectful and compassionate approach to empowering Clients. Dr Merima Isakovic is the client-focused, or better say the client-devoted practitioner. She has been highly regarded for being extremely insightful when it comes to empowering a Client and maximising each person’s potential to overcome challenges and achieve their desired life goals. She also has an amazing track record of supporting couples to build, re-build and maintain profoundly rewarding relationships. Dr Merima Isakovic skillfully supports and empowers her Clients through the therapeutic process of guided discovery. This would enhance your ability to understand and well manage your emotions across variety of circumstances, and help you experience optimal personal growth and wellbeing.
Dr Merima Isakovic draws on a range of effective, evidence-based psychotherapy practice, clinical & neuropsychological assessment and psychological counselling methods in her practice. She is particularly skilled at tailoring therapy to meet the diverse needs specific to her Clients. Therapeutic techniques that Dr Merima Isakovic uses include: Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Emotion-Focused Therapy, Process Experiential Therapy, Neuropsychotherapy and Trauma focused therapy approaches including EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing), Narrative Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Systemic Family Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy. During her advanced Clinical Psychology training at Master Level, following her PhD, Dr Merima Isakovic has also been trained in Neuropsychology, and she therefore provides clinical, as well as the cognitive & full neuropsychological assessment, when identified as necessary and/or upon request. She is emphasizing this being the privilege of helping and empowering her Clients and is always looking forward to nurturing fruitful therapeutic relationship. Consistent with her commitment to the best clinical practice and empowering the Clients’ optimal improvement, Dr Merima Isakovic has been consistently facilitating and providing training for growing Psychologists and Clinical Psychologists.
Dr Merima Isakovic has three beautiful and mindfully designed cosy office locations across the Gold Coast. While her wonderful Inspire Mindful Psychology team of Psychologists is situated across the clinics for Clients who prefer face-to-face appointments, Dr Merima Isakovic mainly sees Clients through Telehealth, during this COVID-19 alerting times, and this decision was made due to her health requirements. Also working alongside Dr Merima closely is Luna, our Canine Therapist (or Therapy Dog).
Sharing Dr Merima Isakovic’s Journey & her Way…
Life shaped me through horrendous, or let’s say tremendous challenges, and I grew to Inspiring people to live, to love life, love self and others, to trust, to endure through overwhelming hurdles, to regain and maintain self respect, love for their vulnerable self and injured body as well as the love and faith in self, in life and others. It is most rewarding to see my Clients, see you becoming able again to see the beauty in the world and not drown in grief and loneliness. This role to inspire and support others I embraced before I was even aware of it.
I was 21 years old when I had a severe spinal cord injury on the 24th of September 1980. A motor vehicle accident put me in a wheelchair for life. This happened just a few days after I was announced to be “the best actress of (former) Yugoslavia” and soon after “one of two of the best female roles (actresses) of the 20th century”. The second announcement have reportedly been noted by Ingmar Bergman, the iconic movie director of the 20th century in his TV series “One Country One Actor” in Sweden, naming Renee Jeanne Falconetti in the role of Joan of Arc (the 1928 French silent historical film by the director Carl Theodor Dreyer) and my role of Jovana Lukina (by Yugoslavian director ZIvko Nikolic) as the best female roles in 20-century movies. How I found about this? My close cousins Amira & Dragan were refugees with their young family in Sweden since the tragic genocide civil war was going on in our homeland Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Amira was ironing kids’ school uniforms that evening while watching the Bergman’s TV series. When she heard him mentioning my name and showed my face from the movie scene, she dropped the iron. She cried. At that point we did not know where each other was. There were no mobile phones or Facebooks. No way to reconnect for many years.
I remember that motor vehicle accident. I remember waking up few hours later realising “I feel … as if I don’t have legs …”. Fear. Horrifying fear. I froze. I remember becoming delighted when I learned that I do still have them. I was smiling at the team of surgeons and saying to their serious worrying faces: “Do not worry, everything will be ok”. I felt like celebrating!
It was not my “cleverness” at all, It was my love for life and the deep trust in power of life, the inspiration to win my life over and regain joy of living. Regain my walk. I was 20 years old and bed bound at that moment, just after I was announced to be “… the shooting star of European cinematography…”.
I started my rehabilitation journey from the first moment I woke up in the hospital. I noticed many people on the hospital orthopedic-ward being in agony from losing their ability to move, to walk, losing their independency and often losing their marriage as well, given that the partners felt overwhelmed and decided to leave them in approximately 65% of cases. Loneliness. And Fear. Suddenly drowning in the empty space. Unknown. Desperation radiated from them stronger than the anger towards the accident and loss of physical mobility. I felt their pain. I heard their pain. I could empathise with them deeply.
At this very early time of my life, my focus went towards the people who deeply suffered. Disempowered. I could hear their inner scream. I started supporting them, gently, as I have been “…the one of them who knows the losses from inside”. I smiled, talked with them, not even realising that this was the best way to share my own love for life, my faith, my strength, my now well-known positive stubbornness, as well as my poetic awareness of and devotion to the beauty that appeared to be hard to find in the white hospital rooms and corridors of 1980s. I was somehow seeing beauty everywhere. Spontaneously, like people who gasp breath of life from the deep drowning I tuned in every little sign of beauty, finding the gift of life in it. I saw it in the frame of the small white hospital window in my white room where a little bird would stop to clean its wings. I found the fragment of blue sky behind the golden-brown little wings of the sparrow. I was touched by the life. I saw the beauty in the roses placed for me in a white jug, at the small white metal bedside cabinet that stood by the feet-end of the bed under the tinny window. I saw beauty and life in people and I wanted so genuinely to help them see it and grasp it in themselves and around them. I started helping then and there. I was 20. I never stopped and I never will.
I later decided to follow my passion for learning more and more so I can help better. I volunteered for decades, completing various degrees in search for the most relevant path of knowledge. I left my homeland Yugoslavia after years of being directly involved in the voluntary work of helping victims of the horrifying genocide war in Bosnia & Herzegovina and also years of protesting against the inhumane political system at that time. I moved to New Zealand in July 1996. In 2006 I become a Doctor of Psychology through Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand and the Board Approved Clinical Psychologist in 2008, following Masters Degree Level in Clinical Psychology with Massey University, New Zealand. I worked full time and studied full time at both Universities. I loved every minute of this, with passion, while the most joy, I must admit, I experienced while rising my son. I was happy and fully available mum, playing and working with my son before and after school, and then doing my studying or marking my students’ work during night. I slept one or maximum two hours per night for over four years. I would not recommend it to anyone but, when I think about those times, I smile remembering how natural and easy it appeared to me then. This is who I have been and who I am.
My clinical focus grew from my genuine devotion to understanding my Clients for who they are. Understanding your needs, your life, your losses, your emotional and cognitive difficulties, your medical health, your values, vulnerabilities and strengths, your whole being, in order to help you to improve and regain your life.
Inspire Mindful Psychology Team
Our Inspire Mindful Psychology Team embraces good hearted people – we are Psychologists and Clinical Psychologists who have genuine devotion as well as professional skills to empower others to become INSPIRED and grow ready, willing & able to regain their life. We help you to regain self-confidence, to like yourself better, to communicate better with others and live better life. Our Team and I support and empower you, our Client to learn to improve communication and coping skills, couple and/or other interpersonal relationships, work relationship, work performance, as well as enhance physical health, facilitate personal rehabilitation, recovery and return to work following accidental injury or medical health issues in a safe and mindful gradual manner.
Dr Merima Isakovic and the Inspire Mindful Psychology Team of Psychologists have also been involved in clinical & neuropsychological assessments, therapy, consultancy and advocacy for children, adolescents and their families who presented with deep emotional distress involving severe depression and anxiety that were closely related to newly identified Autistic Spectrum Disorder or complex medical health issues in children and young people such as, Fragile X syndrome; Triple-x / trisomy X syndrome; physical disability; ambulatory difficulties; learning difficulties; intellectual disability; immune deficiency. We also work in supporting adults who were fighting cancer illnesses, traumatic brain injury and chronic physical disabilities. Dr Merima and our Clinical Psychologists are well trained to conduct and interpret full neuropsychological assessments when necessary, in order to supplement thorough clinical assessment and treatment planning.
Dr Merima Isakovic has been supporting and supervising our Team and other colleagues to be actively engaged in rehabilitation psychology that aims helping people with ambulatory and behavioural difficulties following stroke, traumatic head/brain injury, spinal or other bodily injuries that resulted in neurological damage and behavioural changes. She has conducted and presented research at various national and international conferences.
We learned that the beauty is surrounding us all the time, everywhere, just if we are able to see it and reach it from within ourselves. Many persons however, might not be able to reach it at the time of excruciating hurt, loss and overwhelming sense of loneliness.
We learned that inspiring persons to love life, love and respect themselves and to love their body is the most important empowering process that leads to the best therapy outcome. Love and self-respect helps our Clients to become able to make choices, build their own therapeutic process, connect with self as well as others and achieve desired goals. It is the most rewarding to witness this growth of humble, strong and resilient self where a person will never be lonely again, even when they are alone.
This is what the Inspire Mindful Psychology values are about: Empowering people to be Inspired to find and grow the best of who they might be.
My Colleagues and I are looking forward to the privilege of seeing you in our Practice.
Warm Regards, Dr Merima Isakovic