Trauma, Addiction and Recovery: A Personal Journey

Trauma, Addiction and Recovery: A Personal Journey

Monday, December 7, 2020 - 19:00 to 20:30
Alternatives says: 
Chula Goonewardene is a psychotherapist, co-founder and clinical director of Azura Minds and lectures on the Addiction Psychology & Counselling MSc at London Southbank University

It is now well understood that trauma usually lies at the root of addictive disorders and it is clear that untreated or unresolved trauma will often, if not always, lead to relapse or substitution.

This is because it can be the addictive disorder itself that provided initial suppression of the trauma-associated thoughts and feelings, so when the addictive behaviour ceases and one begins to recover, these emotions will inevitably rise to the surface and require processing via psychotherapeutic treatment of some kind.

It is therefore often necessary for individuals in early abstinence, to receive psychotherapy in conjunction with a programme of Recovery. Without this, for many people, the primary addictive disorder may remain arrested, but the underlying, unresolved trauma can become a driver towards further dysfunctional behaviour, relational fractures, intimacy avoidance, and at worst mental illness.

This evening, Chula will speak about his journey from childhood trauma, through heroin addiction to recovery and then becoming a psychotherapist himself. He will give pointers along the way and answer your questions.

About the speaker, Chula Goonewardene

Chula Goonewardene MBACP was a successful musician in his 20s and fell foul himself to the perils of addiction. He came into recovery in 2003 and has remained abstinent ever since.

He joined the voluntary sector of the Substance Misuse field in 2005 and worked (1:1 and in group) with over 600 clients in community-based treatment. He moved into Management & Training in 2010, in partnership with the NHS, and recently spent three years as the Operations Manager & Senior Counsellor of Steps2Recovery; a charity providing free residential rehabilitation.

Chula has a thriving psychotherapy private practice (CM Therapy) at 15 Harley Street, where he specialises in working with music and media professionals, and he informs Public Health and the Home Office on best practice, with regards to national treatment strategy for addictive disorders (via the CSJ and RGUK) constructing policy recommendations.

As Consultant and Service Director for Kairos+ Counselling Service, he provides clinical consultancy to The Pocressi Initiative, and for the Music Support charity, BAPAM, HMUK and Parker Consulting. He provides clinical consultancy, recruitment of clinicians, therapeutic assessments, and clinical supervision, alongside the writing and delivery of addiction-focused training.

He lectures on the Addiction Psychology & Counselling MSc at London Southbank University, and still finds time to play the drums for the ‘Council of Neptune’. He comes from a Buddhist family and uses this philosophy to enhance both his personal and professional life.



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