Our Supervisors

Melissa Sarikakis

Melissa completed a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Psychology in 2007 and completed her Post Graduate Diploma in Psychology in 2008 at the University of Wollongong. She undertook a 4+2 internship program with Learning Links in 2009 -2010 and received general registration as a Psychologist at the start of 2011.

Whilst completing her internship, Melissa worked with the Benevolent Society and gained experience working in case management, conducting child and family assessments, case plan development and review, group work and counseling to assist in the improved well-being of children and their families. She also facilitated group programs such as PALS Social Skills Programs, Cool Kids Anxiety Programs, emotional regulation programs such as ‘Stop Think Do’ as well as Positive Parenting Programs.

Once registered, Melissa moved into a private practice run with other allied health professionals and provided clinical assessments, as well as diagnostic and counseling services to young children, adolescents and their families. She also worked with the Star Kids Australia transition to school program in the Developmental team assessing children at risk for developmental disabilities.

She has worked with children with ASD and gained experience working as a Senior Behavioural Therapist in Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA Therapy) and Natural Environment Training (NET).

Melissa’s passion and experience lies in working with children, adolescents and families. She has a particular interest in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, as well as children in out of home care and supporting families with children with behavioural difficulties. She has a strong background and interest in CBT, ACT, Family Systems and Art and Play Therapy.

Melissa began working part time at Learning Links in October 2018 as a counselling / psychology assessor and began as a psychology Supervisor in August 2019. Her advice to new interns is to be open to all opportunities provided to you, use all available resources to your advantage and remember to take each day as it comes. The program can be overwhelming at times and it is important to remember that there are people around you to support you, to listen, to guide you.

Melissa Sarikakis's Headshot

Dr Jelena Zeleskov Doric

Dr Jelena Zeleskov Doric has been involved in psychology courses, psychotherapy education, supervision, and research for more than 17 years. She is a registered clinical psychologist, supervisor and psychotherapist in Europe, registered psychologist in Singapore, and AHPRA Board approved supervisor and registered psychologist in Australia. She is a full member of the American Psychological Association, Australian Psychological Society, Singapore Psychological Society, European Association for Gestalt Therapy, Gestalt Australia and New Zealand, European Association for Psychotherapy, and Society for Psychotherapy Research. Jelena holds numerous leadership positions in the European psychotherapy field. In Australia, she is a licensed Gestalt psychotherapist and PACFA clinical member and supervisor, PACFA Psychotherapy Working Party Expert member and PACFA Professional Competencies and Training Standards member.

Jelena has worked in clinical, correction and academic sectors with adolescents, adults, and couples. She has extensive experience working with vulnerable groups such as prisoners, refugees, LGBT, transgender and culturally diverse clients. Her areas of specialisation are related to PTSD, trauma, anxious disorders, depressive disorders, mood disorders and personality disorders.

She has worked as a Lecturer in Psychological Therapies at Charles Darwin University and Senior Lecturer in Counselling and Psychotherapy at Australian College of Applied Psychology. She also founded the Gestalt Institute (IGDI) dedicated to research and psychotherapy training based on Gestalt therapy principles and philosophy. She is an active researcher who published extensively in the area of resilience, attachment and gestalt therapy.

Currently, Jelena provides consultancy services, clinical supervision and psychotherapy in her private practice. Jelena started as a supervisor with Learning Links in September 2020.

Jelena’s therapeutical approach to her clients can be beautifully summarised by Laura Perls, a Gestalt psychotherapist and psychologist, who said that when working with clients we “give as much support as necessary and as little as possible”. This would be the one piece of advice she would encourage all provisional psychologists to remember throughout their career.

Dr Jelena Zeleskov Doric's Headshot

Veselinka Petruseva

Vesi holds a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) from Macquarie University and a Graduate Diploma in Counselling from ACAP. She completed her postgraduate studies and internship in 2004 when she obtained her general registration as a psychologist.

Vesi has worked at Learning Links since 2010 where she has been involved in providing counselling and behaviour support interventions to families of children with learning difficulties and disabilities, as well as providing individual counselling to children, adolescents and parents on various issues ranging from anxiety, depression, parenting support, ADHD, social skills, self-esteem, bullying issues, transitioning to school and high-school etc. Vesi has also been administering cognitive and academic assessments to children and adolescents and has been facilitating various group programs including social skills programs and parenting programs.

Prior to working at Learning Links, Vesi was working in the mental health sector in crisis intervention and with families and carers of mental health consumers.

Vesi has a particular interest in the areas of parenting, behaviour interventions and trauma.

Vesi commenced her role as supervisor at Learning Links in 2015. She finds being a supervisor rewarding as it provides her with the opportunity to share her passion for helping people and to support provisional psychologists on their path to registration.

Her advice to provisional psychologists would be to ensure they look after themselves and to ask for support when needed as this support is available, and it can make a world of a difference on this intense journey towards registration.

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Lucy Tchepak

Lucy holds a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) and Post Graduate Diploma in Psychology from Macquarie University. She completed her studies in 2001. She completed her internship program with Learning Links between 2011 and 2015. During this time, she also worked as an Intake Officer at Learning Links, as we as running Professional Development programs and group sessions at schools with children who were identified as being disadvantaged either financially, culturally or due to personal circumstances.

Prior to obtaining her registration as a Psychologist, Lucy worked in the disability field for 13 years specialising in training, return to work and job capacity assessments with a focus on working with those experiencing mental health issues.

Once she was registered, Lucy worked in private practice for 3 years.

Lucy has a particular interest in the areas of parenting, management of anxiety, depression and self-harm, adolescent and child development and also in neurodevelopmental disorders such Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Lucy commenced her role as a Supervisor with Learning Links in late 2018. She finds the role of Supervisor rewarding because every supervision session is an opportunity for learning and growth for both the supervisee and supervisor.

Her advice to provisional psychologists is that while gaining your registration can seem overwhelming and challenging, be open about any struggles you face, seek support when needed but also have faith in your abilities and enjoy this period of growth and skill development.

Lucy Tchepak's Headshot