17 Mar 2020

BY: Alastair Dodwell

Therapy / Treatment

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Covid-19 Update

Important Statement

At The Surrey Centre, we are closely monitoring the outbreak of Coronavirus (Covid-19) and are following advice from Public Health England and the National Health Service.  Our highest priority is the wellbeing of our clients, our staff and the wider community.

Please do not come to our centre if you or anyone in your household:

·         Have any cold or flu symptoms.

·         Have a cough, high-temperature or shortness of breath.

·         Have been to a high-risk area or have had contact with a potential case, in which case do not visit for 14 days or until you are tested and cleared.

Please also read the latest update on COVID-19 which can be found on the UK Gov website:

We are closely following the expert advice provided by Public Health England and will update you as and when we can.

Video Counselling

We have set up webcam counselling as an option for all clients.

We use a number of tools – Skype, Facetime or telephone counselling if you cannot make it to the centre.  Please contact your therapist/dietitian prior to your appointment to set this option up 

We have also taken necessary steps within our centres to ensure health and wellbeing:  

·         When entering the centre please wash your hands.  Anti bacterial hand wash has have been placed within the centres for your convenience. However, regular hand washing is strongly advised.

·         We are maintaining our high standards of clinical hygiene throughout the centre, paying close attention to wiping down door handles and cleaning surfaces regularly with antibacterial sprays.

Thank you for your cooperation, please keep safe and we hope to see you at your next appointment.

If you have any questions please talk to your therapist or dietitian.

The Surrey Centre Team.

Camouflage face image 21 Apr 2018

BY: Caroline Cairns Clery

Anxiety / Treatment

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Camouflage

A lit candle in daylight. A moggy in a dappled wood. An iguana coloured in perfect harmony with its jungled surroundings. A face in a crowded sea of faces.

It is wonderful thing to be able to be and yet not to be perceived or singled out.

There is a fit between us all which allows us to merge into a safe anonymity, a collective identity behind which our individual differences and eccentricities can be quietly hidden. We can be members of different kinds of associations or classes, from football supporters to baby showers, politics, or an interest in the weather; happily allowing our uniqueness to shine through only to a few trusted others and only when we want it to. Close friends, partners and children may ‘really’ know us a little bit more, or think they do, but in the end, do we even ‘really’ know ourselves?

Living in a world of other people, as we do, and also being shaped by it, as we are, as we make our way through a process of developmental change called life, it is sometimes hard, if not impossible, if we are honest, to know who and what our ‘true’ selves are without at some point running up against a brick wall of counter-truths which somehow give the lie to them.

So, we do what we can to fit in with what we hope and think best expresses what matters most to us. We can, if we are lucky, find it easy to shift from the domain of the personal to that of the group. Unless we are too rigid and inflexible either for reasons over which it is our fate to have little or no control like autism, cerebral damage, or intellectual disability, or an over-attachment to a collective ideological belief provided and shored up by institutional ‘isms’ such as politics or religions, and over which we can have some control.

But if we are anxious in social settings and lack confidence in relation to ‘the world of other people’ it is understandable that we want to conform to, (or equally conform by rebelling against), societal expectations about how we should behave. From how we dress to how we speak and the activities we participate in, there is a fitting in, a camouflaging, of our individuality that we feel we need to protect by so doing. But adopting and adapting camouflage to protect our private, deeper sense of self does not mean that this public face, or persona, is inauthentic. Unless, that is, we lose touch with or disconnect awareness from our underlying sense of our whole individual personality, private, naked, camouflaged, public, known and unknown. Under those circumstances we might find ourselves doing something harmful to ourselves, perhaps developing an eating disorder or an obsessive compulsion or even putting ourselves at risk of going mad.

So, don’t worry if your public persona does not completely or ‘truly’ reflect or express your inner sense of who you are, or even that it seems to morph and shift depending on whom you are with. We all need a persona with which to interact with the external ‘world of other people’. You don’t become an inauthentic liar having one and using it even though it does indeed shift and morph.

That lit candle in sunlight is still a wick dipped in wax with a flame on top!

Blog written by Caroline Cairns Clery, Family Psychotherapist at The Surrey Centre