Surrinder Chera, BACP Registered
Hello and thanks for taking the time to look at this page which maybe of special interest to you if you are struggling with issues related to alcohol. Below I would like to give some context to my current private practice with addictions and dependency.
I grew up with a difficult childhood, in a family blighted by domestic violence. As an adult, I later came to understand the impact this was having in my life. After leaving university, I became more and more interested in working with people and the problems that were holding them back in life.
I began working in the caring professions in 1991 training with Victim Support and ChildLine. This experience laid the foundation for developing my skills in helping people talk about difficult emotions and trauma.
Around this time I also attended counselling myself with a number of therapists. The experience of talking about myself was invaluable, and taught me so much about myself. The process of personal development is ongoing, and I am constantly updating my knowledge through workshops and retreats.
Yoga has been a passion from many years, and I began to explore its potential when I turned 40 (so nearly 10 years ago). It has been a massive aid to my self awareness. I qualified as a teacher in 2011. Years of practice and study have show me how working with the body and breath can bring healing and a sense of peace that compliments talking therapies. I have an active practice of yoga,mindfulness and meditation, and where appropriate offer to blend these skills in my private counselling practice.
Addiction services background
My professional interest area gradually became refined to working with the problems of addictions to substances. Since 1993 I have worked in a variety of highly specialist alcohol advisory services. Working in public health for over two decades has involved working closely in teams with addictions professionals including psychologists, doctors, psychiatrists,social workers and counsellors.
My roles have included providing specialist 1-1 and couples alcohol counselling. I have wide experience as a group facilitator, and this is given me a huge insight into helping people and watching them grow. Group work has enabled me to refine my 1-1 work enormously.
As well as working directly with people who have addiction problems, I have managed and supervised with the staff and teams that provide these services. As clinical supervisor my role was to oversee therapeutic interventions made by addictions professionals. As the manager of several innovative and ground breaking alcohol services, my role was to ensure that the service as a whole was able to function and meet the needs of the local community.
I will meet with you for an initial consultation discuss your current situation in detail. The essential aim of this is to develop a shared understanding of the problem. From there I would outline what I provide, and then we would decide whether we can work together.
I would then work with you to formulate a package to suit your unique situation. Usually we would agree a minimum of 4 individual counselling sessions to explore the history and context of your current situation. From there we may agree to continue working with additional methods alongside 1-1 counselling. These may include some joint sessions with a friend/partner for example.
For those interested I offer the use of 1-1 sessions to record special mindful meditations that address issues that relate to particular issues such as triggers or cravings in particular situations. I have found these can be extremely effective alongside talking therapies. Working with the body can very much help the mind. For this my yoga teaching offers a number of options which may offer powerful help.
My role would be to use my experience to help introduce these methods in light of your unique situation and personality. It is possible to arrange for home visits on request.Sessions are offered at flexible times where possible depending on work and life patterns.
Length of Treatment
Short term (1-3 months) : 4- 12 sessions
Medium term (3-6 months) : 12-24 sessions
Longer term (6 months - 1year)
I accept that alcohol is a part of life for many people, and social drinking can be a very enjoyable thing. However our relationship with alcohol can become damaged due to environmental circumstances, some dating back to childhood, others related to particular issues later in life. The work is to build a better relationship with alcohol for those that choose to drink, and to have alcohol compliment experiences rather than cover them up or make them easier to handle. For some people stopping drinking for a while or for a long time or even permanently may be the best choice.
I draw broadly speaking on two main counselling traditions such as 'person centred' and 'cognitive behavioural'. The former essentially involves helping people talk about what matters to them, and find answers through the incredible power of deep listening. The latter involves working directly with thoughts, feelings and behaviours and looking more at teaching strategies to develop alternatives.
My manner is down to earth and practical. I have found often that carefully selected simple techniques applied consistently can work wonders once issues have been clearly defined and mutually understood.
Referral to seek medical advice will be given as needed. Additionally I have a wide network of holistic health practitioners and can help people identify suitable practitioners where appropriate.
The Next Steps
If you wish to discuss your situation I offer:
Free Initial telephone consultation (15 min) : this is used to establish whether we need to meet for a full alcohol assessment
Full assessment (usually 50-60 min) : this is an in depth first session looking at history and context of the current situation. Counselling sessions usually last 50-60 mins. The full assessment is a time allocated to explore background to the problem, and to help decide what help might be needed and methods to be used. I offer this meeting at half the price of a counselling session, as it is also an opportunity for meet me and see whether my approach fits with your needs.
Training, qualifications & experience
Diploma in Integrative Counselling (University of East London, 1996)
Open University Certificate in Child Abuse and Neglect (awarded via Childline, 1998)
Certificate in Telephone Counselling (Childline,1998)
Certificate in Drug and Alcohol studies ( Centre for Research on drugs and alcohol behaviour, 2003)
Diploma in Substance Misuse & Mental health (Middlesex University, 2005)
Yoga Teacher Training Diploma ( British Wheel of Yoga, 2011)
Iyengar Yoga Teacher Training Certificate (Mira Mehta Yogic Path School, 2015)
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Carer support
- Child related issues
- Domestic violence
- Drug abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Panic disorder
- Passive aggressive behaviour
- Physical abuse
Photos & videos
Assessment Session : £35 (50 min)
Counselling Sessions: £55/hr
It may be possible for me to come to a persons home or local venue in special cases. In such, we would negotiate fees incorporating travel time.
Telephone/skype counselling is also available on request
I have also worked with Childline as a counsellor for over 10 years, helping young people deal with the effects of abuse in various forms.
A thought to I would like to share which has stuck in my mind :
"Carrying resentments is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die"
Perhaps it is the human condition to carry resentments to some degree. In my experience excessive use of alcohol can only burden this load for the person concerned and usually also for those around them.
Thankyou for taking the time to read this. If you feel this statement above rings some truth, then I wish you all the best in finding someone to help wash it out of your system.
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
Home visits, weekend Sessions and evening sessions available on request
Types of client
|Employee Assistance Programme|