After completing her bachelor’s degree in psychology at Macquarie University in Australia, Dr Salena moved to the UK to finish postgraduate training (and travel a lot!) She completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology from London Metropolitan University and achieved her Doctorate in Counselling Psychology from the University of London, City.
Dr Salena spent the majority of her early career working in various NHS settings, addiction and eating disorder rehabilitation facilities as well as working for Mind, the UK’s leading mental health charity. The main presentations Dr Salena worked with included anxiety disorders, depression and mood disorders, addictions, eating disorders, early trauma and borderline personality disorder (BPD).
From 2008, the Improving Access to Psychological Treatment (IAPT) program was introduced in England and Dr Salena was trained to provide High Intensity CBT interventions at Northwick Park Hospital and at several GP practices in NW London.
Upon moving back to Australia, Dr Salena worked at the Butterfly Foundation as a Senior Support Counsellor on the National Eating Disorder Helpline. She soon took on a new challenge of stepping into the Clinical Manager role for the Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) that Butterfly opened in 2014. The IOP was based on the successful treatment programs developed by Carolyn Costin, the Founder of the Monte Nido & Affiliate Eating Disorder centres across the USA. This role provided Dr Salena with the opportunity to undertake intensive 1-2-1 training with Carolyn Costin and family therapists at the Monte Nido treatment centres in California. This training proved to be instrumental in shaping Dr Salena’s own therapeutic approach to working with eating disorders.
Dr Salena’s mid-career experience has largely been in transferring these skills, training and professional experiences to work in large group private practices in NW Sydney. This has been beneficial in terms of engaging in peer supervision and case consultations and gaining cultural awareness of providing psychological services to different client demographics in Australia.
However, Dr Salena’s enthusiasm and extensive experience in the field of disordered eating and eating disorders has led her to focus on this area in her own private practice.
Dr Salena is a full member of the Australian Psychological Society (APS), the Australian and New Zealand Association of Eating Disorders (ANZAED) and the Association of Counselling Psychologists (ACP). She is a Fellow of the Australian College of Counselling Psychologists (FCCounP) and is on the practitioner directories for Butterfly and the InsideOut Institute. Dr Salena has also maintained professional registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) in the UK as well as Chartered Membership with the British Psychological Society (BPS).
Dr Salena regularly engages in peer supervision and clinical supervision and maintains rigorous involvement in activities constituting continuing professional development (CPD), including attending online training, workshops, webinars and keeping up to date with the latest research in the field.