The Health & Peace Centre is a psychology-based practice founded by psychologist, Dr Neeru Chadda. It aims to restore health and promote peace in individuals and in relationships by providing Counselling, Training and Community Development Programs for children, adults, couples, families and the wider community.
Services we provide include:
- Counselling for anxiety, depression, stress, trauma, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Training in meditation and mindfulness therapies.
- Training in peaceful interpersonal communication and conflict resolution skills.
- Not-for-profit community development programs aimed towards fostering peace within individuals and harmony between different social and cultural groups.
We aim to restore health and promote peace in individuals, families, workplaces, and the wider community – through training in skills that promote self-awareness, understanding, acceptance and prosocial behaviours, such as compassion, empathy (perspective-taking), focus, reflection, self-restraint, and peaceful interpersonal communication.
Post gaining of such skills clients are helped to achieve insights into causes underlying their distress and, or other symptoms of ill-health and motivated to make changes in their ways of thinking and behaving so as to stem their illness and promote healing, health.
We believe that health and peace are not constructs describing ideal states that are difficult to attain – but are our natural state of being which we lose through processes blocking healthy growth and development. As our natural state they are known to us at a deep intuitive level and are therefore accessible to each one of us.
The counselling and training sessions provided at the Health and Peace Centre are aimed at facilitating access to that natural state of wellbeing.
Dr Neeru Chadda
Dr Neeru Chadda is registered as a psychologist in NSW Australia for the past 27 years, since 1995, during which time she has practiced within academic (research and teaching); clinical/counselling; and community-development fields of Psychology.
She has an undergraduate (honors) degree in psychology from Delhi University India (1985), a Masters degree in psychology from Kanpur University, India (1987) and a Phd in psychology from University of Sydney (2007).
Her engagement with the study and practice of psychology extends to 40 years, starting from 1982 when she began an undergraduate (honours) degree in Psychology at Delhi University, India which she completed in 1985 with distinction, securing a ranking in the University. Her honour’s research investigated the interface of developmental, social and clinical psychology, through studying the role of family structures on the development of children’s self concept and self esteem. Immediately following the completion of her undergraduate degree she commenced studies in a two year masters degree program in psychology from Kanpur University, India (1985-87) post which she worked in the field of psychology in Kanpur, India, gaining clinical experience volunteering at Kanpur medical college’s psychiatry (outpatient) clinic, and at the local courts, assisting women attending for domestic violence cases. She also taught psychology courses at tertiary level at Christ Church College, Kanpur.
In 1994 she resumed her studies in Psychology, travelling to Australia for the same. She enrolled in the clinical psychology Phd program at Wollongong University and completed a semester of the Masters degree program in clinical psychology which formed part of the Phd curriculum. As she was unable to obtain any tutoring at the university or find any psychology-based employment in Wollongong, she moved to Sydney in order to financially support her studies.
In Sydney, she started her private practice in 1995 at the Australian Health Care Centre, Queen St. Wollahra NSW, moving later to the Edgecliff Centre, Edgecliff, NSW – where she provided therapy for reduction of stress, post traumatic stress, anxiety, depression in individuals, couples and families, as well as provided support for migrant health through participation in the Transcultural Mental Health Centre (TMHC) programs run from Cumberland Hospital. She was accredited to work with Victims of Crime. As part of her services to the TMHC she was provided with, and attended a supervision program.
In Sydney she undertook a further semester of studies at the master’s level at the department of Psychology UNSW, studying and investigating brain structures underlying fear and other emotional responses, in an attempt to identify a suitable area of interest for her Phd research.
For her Phd research she decided to return to the areas of psychology that was the focus of her honour’s research program namely, clinical, developmental and social. She investigated the cultural and socialisation factors influencing the development of negative emotions, enrolling at the University of Sydney’s department of psychology and completing her Phd studies there in 2007.
Besides conducting of research for her Phd studies, and providing counselling through her private practice, she also taught psychology as a tutor, and later as an associate lecturer (1997-1999) at the department of psychology, University of Sydney.
She reduced her teaching commitments, as well as her clinical/ counselling work in private practice from 2000, till 2012 to raise a family and complete her Phd studies. During this decade, she ran many ‘not for profit’ community development programs such as :
* providing free seminars and psychology workshops at community centres (e.g. at women’s centre, focussed on restoring and raising self esteem), schools (e.g. introducing Indian philosophy and culture); and for organisations (e.g the Bahai, providing training in calming, self-reflection and other self-care tools for teachers);
* coordinating and running out-of-school program to provide tutoring for children struggling with the normal school curriculum;
* coordinating a community based language and cultural program for children from the Indian sub continent;
* starting the YMI (yoga, meditation and interfaith) sessions for individuals and families, for providing training in meditation and mindfulness practices to children and adults, as well as an opportunity for interacting with and gaining an understanding of people from differing social, cultural and religious backgrounds, with the aim of increasing interpersonal and intercultural peace and harmony and improving individual and social health.
In 2012, in order to resume her private practice she set up the Health and Peace Centre in the city. She currently practices in the city as well as in Narrabeen and Oxford Falls in the Northern Beaches.
Her key areas of clinical interest include: anxiety, depression, stress and trauma, as well as facilitating of improved interpersonal relationships within families, schools, and the wider community – in order to promote mental and emotional health of adults, especially parents and teachers, and children. Her clinical interest also includes incorporating of paradigms from Eastern psychology into Western therapeutic models.
Her therapeutic orientation is primarily cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) but her approach to therapy is eclectic determined by the presenting needs of the client as well as the vast array of therapeutic tools available to her as drawn from her education in Western and Eastern psychology.
While her formal studies in psychology, from her bachelors degree to her masters and Phd are mainly based in Western psychology paradigms, she has received training in Eastern philosophy and psychology through her upbringing in India (first 30 yrs) under the guidance of her father, an accomplished practitioner of the same, and through him to the teachings of those recognised as masters of this knowledge e.g. Dayananda Saraswati, Ramakrishna Paramahansa, Raman Maharishi, Paramahansa Yogananada, Mahesh Yogi, Neem Karoli Baba, Gandhi, Dalai Lama, and Thich Nhat Hanh.
She has learnt meditation and mindfulness practices from studying the instructions of the above teachers, as well as through attending lectures and retreats with teachers regarded as embodiments of these practices namely, Dalai Lama, and Thich Nhat Hanh. Her formal introduction to the practice of meditation was at the age of 17, through a direct disciple of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of the Transcendental meditation method.
She believes that the techniques for self reflection, awareness, control and acceptance as well as attitude of social service that she has learnt from her father and the above teachers, and been strengthened through her practice of meditation, has served as her greatest asset in her work as a psychologist.
She has been a member of the Australian Psychological Society since 1996 and of many of its interest groups namely, the Child, Adolescence and Family interest group, the Yoga in Psychology interest group, and the Psychologists for Peace interest group. She has been supporting the national Mental Health Professional Network (mhpn) programs since 2014 through setting up the Sydney CBD mhpn, which held its first meeting in March 2015.
Contact and Location
We are located at:
Level 27, St Martins Tower, 31 Market Street
Sydney, NSW, 2000
(Corner of Market St and York St, opposite the QVB)
Tel: 02 9993 8570
Email: [email protected]