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Masters Clinical Psychology (UTAS); BSc Psychology; BSc Sports and Exercise Science; Diploma Psychotherapy and Counselling (National University of Ireland); Reality Therapy Certification.

Mercedas is a psychologist with a background in sports and exercise science. She specialises in emotional regulation and performance psychology.  Mercedas is the founder/owner of CounterPunch Pty Ltd. CounterPunch is a program she has developed that uses physical exercise as a medium for emotional regulation. She specialises in emotional regulation and resilience especially in male adolescents. Life skills, anger management, anxiety, stress management, relationships and peer pressure are just some of the areas covered in her CounterPunch program. Merc has also worked extensively with athletes at all levels of performance. She has coached and participated herself at an elite level in both Boxing and Martial Arts.

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Merc worked extensively as a school counsellor and as a workplace manager in Ireland before coming to Australia in 2006. She completed her masters in clinical psychology at the University of Tasmania and worked in the Northern Territory for six years. While working with the NT department of health she worked as a child and adolescent mental health psychologist and piloted and ran her CounterPunch program. Since coming to SA she works in private practise, runs CounterPunch programs for teenage groups and runs facilitator workshops for combat/sports coaches who wish to become licensed CounterPunch providers and deliver the CounterPunch program to groups of teenage clients.

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CounterPunch Psychology Services Mt Barker

CounterPunch offers a range of services.

  • Private one to one consultations for teenagers (10 to 19 yrs)and parents of teens.
  • 10-12 week CounterPunch intensive workshops for teenage groups to graduate the CounterPunch program (2 x weekly sessions for 10-12 weeks)
  • CounterPunch training workshops for parents who wish to connect, relate and communicate more effectively with teenagers. 
  • CounterPunch Facilitator training for combat/sports coaches who wish to become licensed providers of the CounterPunch Method.
  • Presentations for sporting organisations, schools and community groups.

Private one to one consultations for teenagers (10 to 19 yrs) and their parents

Who is it for? Mercedas specialises in clients who are struggling to regulate their emotions, struggling with stress, anxiety and low mood; Have difficulty managing their anger and anxiety, lack confidence, have low self-esteem, are feeling disconnected or just looking for direction in life.

How is it different? CounterPunch Psychology is unique in that it uses physical activity as a medium of therapeutic intervention combined with a reality therapy/choice theory and performance psychology framework.

Initially, clients participate in individual sessions and transition into our 10-12 week intensive CounterPunch group program (running in line with school terms). From there clients have the option to join a club that provides support on an ongoing basis. Mercedas also offers bulk-billing as part payment.

How do I refer clients? Clients can be referred by contacting Mercedas directly. Email;; Mob 0411533004

If bulk-billing a GP referral letter is required.

Practise Location: 10 Wilson Court Mount Barker SA 5251

Working Together

The goal of  our initial one to one sessions is to initiate the communication process and build relationships. We introduce the concepts incorporated in the CounterPunch method and align the program with the young persons value world! We introduce the client to our teenage facilitators and the gym environment. We also work with parents to introduce them to the program and to strategies for improving communication between parent and teens!

The progression from 1 to 1 sessions is to transition clients into one of our CounterPunch group programs with suitably matched peers!

I cannot speak highly enough of the Counter-Punch program and the astonishing impact it has had on my son. I’ve progressed from fearing I’d have an angry invalid on my hands for the rest of my life, to now looking forward to his graduation from university and heavily relying on his help and support within the family.
Many thanks to you Counter-Punch – 27 March 2015

“Great for my focus and confidence, taught me self-discipline. It helped me in pretty much everything at school when I moved interstate”.  Connor (Former Client 14 years)


Under the Better Access for Mental Health Scheme, up to 10 visits per year receive a Medicare rebate where there are a valid Mental Health Care Plan and GP referral in place. The policy of CounterPunch Psychology Services is to charge a $90 gap for clients. 

Privately paying clients

For privately paying clients who are not covered by Medicare, our fee is $170 per session, some of which can usually be claimed back if you have private health cover. It would be wise to confer with your fund before your visit. (Please inquire re fees for group programs and training workshops)

Keeping Appointments

We appreciate that circumstances may require appointments to be rescheduled. It is essential to give us as much notice as possible so that we can offer available appointments to other clients who are seeking a consultation. CounterPunch Psychology Services reserves the right to charge clients a $50 non-attendance fee where appointments are missed without 24 hours’ notice. This fee will be the responsibility of the client and not other paying parties.

CounterPunch Psychology Services

Facilitator Training

CounterPunch offers the opportunity to apply to become a licensed CounterPunch Facilitator and deliver the CounterPunch program to teenagers. For more details email or call 0411533004.


CounterPunch offers one/two-hour presentations in the Adelaide/Adelaide Hills region for parents and sporting organisations relating to the content of our workshops. As a psychologist with a sports and exercise science background, I believe coaches are in an ideal position to have a positive impact on young lives. These workshops offer an opportunity to enhance those practical skills with some psychologically sound tools to maximise your impact.

For more information Email: or call 0411533004

What people are saying about CounterPunch:

“Mercedas and her program changed my son’s life completely. CounterPunch has increased his self-esteem hugely, helped him overcome anxiety and fear, now exhibiting tolerance and empathy. He has ceased all medications and counselling, obtained his driver’s license and become one of the programs young leaders”.

Keith, Parent

“I learnt a lot about myself in the months I was there, Merc you taught me a lot about who I could be. When I started I wasn’t trying to achieve anything but now I am. I believed in the program from the start and will use my voice to show what this program did for me”

Matt (Client, 16 years)

“I love the evidence based nature of this program and the ease with which it can be built into student’s educational programs. The individual benefit for participants far exceeded my expectations. As a school, we have seen reduced suspensions, increased attendance, improved social and emotional wellbeing and improved interpersonal relationships both at home and at school. Counterpunch has become a core element of our school wide wellbeing program that has proven effective in all aspects of student’s lives”

Beth, School Psychologist 

“CounterPunch has been a valuable addition to our student learning and well-being. Students are motivated and have developed some really positive decision-making skills at school, at home and in the community”

Sarah, School principal 

“As a parent, I highly recommend CounterPunch. As an Army member, my son has had to change schools and peer groups regularly as we have moved from post to post. Meeting Mercedas came at a great time for my son. CounterPunch was a great boost for him and reinforced his respect for self and others. His fitness, strength and self-confidence grew weekly and this transferred into other areas in his life. My son accredits CounterPunch with having set him up for his current school and sporting endeavours and life in general”    

Scott, Parent

I have been involved with the Counterpunch program for the last 4 years. During this time, I have seen the growth in the students in their attitude and decision making. The practical section of Counterpunch was easy for the students to understand as it was explained using language that the students could identify. I have had numerous parents comment on the positive change that they have noticed in their child and accredit Mercedas and Counterpunch to their change in behaviour.

Karen, student liaison officer