Mary Lou Bernardo, PhD

Mary Lou Bernardo, PhD photo
Clinical Psychologist
Helping you get your mind and body in sync
I am a psychologist with a wide ranging clinical background. While I treat individuals with general psychological/emotional issues, I specializes in health psychology, sometimes referred to as medical psychology. Health psychology is a branch of psychology that focuses on how mental, emotional, and social factors affect a person's physical well-being. Health psychology also focuses on a patient's mental and emotional reactions to an illness or recovery from an illness.

But I wasn’t always a psychologist. I began my career as a nurse. My last nursing position was as a faculty member and pediatric nurse practitioner in neurosurgery. It was during that time that I became interested in how the mind and body affect each other. The interaction seemed to be profound and I was right. A simple example of this is how your heart – and mine – races when the mind is experiencing a strong emotion, such as fear or surprise. The opposite is also true. An intense physical sensation, such as sudden severe pain, will lead the mind to experience fear. These are normal responses necessary for our survival. But they can become harmful when they are inappropriate or in excess to the situation. As a psychologist and a non-practicing nurse practitioner, I enjoy helping people learn skills to synchronize their mind and body in order to optimize their well being.

Because I believe in this strong mind body connection, I firmly believe in working WITH people, more as a teacher than as a “fixer”. I also believe in collaboration with primary care providers and other healthcare specialists. The body affects the mind and the mind affects the body in a never ending circle.

I treat adults, with general and health related issues. My primary strategies are cognitive behavioral, often including various relaxation/mindfulness techniques. Currently I practice at the Shoreline Center for Wholistic Health, Guilford, CT
Practice Areas
 Counseling / Therapy  Anxiety and Panic  Bicultural Difficulties
 Caregiver Issues  Chronic Illness  Depression
 Gifted / Talented Issues  Grief and Loss  Life and Wellness Coaching
 Life Transitions  Seniors and Elder Care Issues  Stress Management
 Trauma and PTSD  Women's Issues  Work and Career Issues
 Clinical Psychologist  Doctoral Degree (Ph.D.)  Licensed Clinical Psychologist (State)
 Master's Degree in Nursing (MSN)
Dr. Bernardo began her career as a graduate of Misericordia Hospital School of Nursing, Bronx, NY. She went on to receive a Bachelor’s degree in Nurse-Teacher Education from Central Connecticut State University and then a Master’s in Nursing from Yale University. Following a time on the faculty of the Yale University School of Nursing and practicing in the Department of Neurosurgery, Yale New Haven Hospital, she received a Master’s degree and Ph.D. in Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University. Dr. Bernardo completed her internship in health psychology and neurocognitive psychology at the West Haven Veterans Administration Medical Center, West Haven, CT and her post-doctoral residency at Norwalk Hospital, Norwalk, CT.
Other Languages
Payments Accepted
Anthem, Out-of-network, Self-Pay, cash, check Credit cards: American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Hours:Saturday, by appointment