https://github.com/barisusakli/nodebb-plugin-topic-noindex This is a plugin that does it for topics.
There is no built in way to do it in core. So to do it for categories you would have to fork and extend the above plugin.
When we used to use IPB, we had a handy feature where general public members could enter a forum and only see the topics they have created themselves (used to be handy with ban appeals and reporting people without judgement)
Is there a way we can do this with NodeBB?
Not at the moment without a custom plugin.