Serena began her psychology career as a playroom therapist for children with autism while doing her psychology degree. However, she first noticed the impact of psychology during her time in the hospitality industry. It was then she noticed that hungry customers made for the most difficult clientele. As a result, Serena has had over a decade to develop patience and good communication skills.
Serena’s exposure to children on the autism spectrum sparked her interest in Autism and developmental disorders. She was particularly drawn to the wide range of characteristics and behaviours unique to every child she encountered. Just as there are no two people on the spectrum that are the same, Serena believes there is no single treatment or therapeutic approach when it comes to treating Autism or other developmental and intellectual disabilities.
She is particularly interested in the increase in mental health issues among young adults and the rise in intellectual and developmental disorders in children over the last few decades. Serena is also interested in the role that social media and advancements in technology have played in the overall disconnect in society and how this has impacted the mental health of this generation.
Serena believes that the acceptance of one’s condition and setting realistic expectations are imperative parts of dealing with diagnosis. She also believes that providing support for parents and carers around their child’s diagnosis is just as essential as treating the child. Serena focuses primarily on identifying and treating Autism, ADHD, OCD, anxiety disorders (including social and general anxiety), schizoaffective disorder, and depression.
Her strategies include:
- Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy
- Exposure Therapy
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
- Bachelor of Psychology (Honours)
- Disability Support Work (7 Years)