national association of psychiatric intensive care units

Celeste Foster

Executive Committee Member

Celeste is a registered adolescent psychotherapist, senior mental health nurse, and higher education academic and researcher who has been working in Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMHs) since 1995.

Celeste is a senior lecturer in Child and adolescent mental health at the University of Salford. She leads the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Research theme in the School of Health and Society. She has an independent psychotherapy practice providing individual psychodynamic intervention, and clinical supervision and reflective practice groups for professionals working in mental health settings. Celeste’s clinical and research interests include psychoanalytic approaches to working with adolescents and their professional networks in relation to self-harm, complex psychosomatic presentations and developmental trauma. She has published a number of peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters in these subjects. She has led several multi-professional research studies investigating effective whole-school approaches to pupil emotional wellbeing, and effective interventions for adolescents with complex and severe mental health needs.

Celeste’s PhD thesis focused on developing and applying innovative psychoanalytic research methodologies to investigate the psychodynamic nature of mental health nursing care, intervention and identity within inpatient settings for children and young people. This work has resulted in the first published studies into the nature of mental health nursing within CAMHS PICU.

In 2021, Celeste was nominated and shortlisted for the prestigious Eileen Skellern Lecture (, in recognition of the contribution this work has made to the field. She currently leads a multi-disciplinary team developing a digital wearable device and software to help young people in hospital and residential settings who self-harm.