Nineteen years ago my life was out of control and I thought I had no way out. I was hopeless, depressed, anxious and it felt everywhere I turned, there was no help. When I was 16 years old, my brother and I were in a tragic accident where he was killed. Before the accident, I had been a promising rugby player but unfortunately I broke my back, hands and had other life threatening injuries. The dreams that I had were now a gaping black hole filled with anger, depression, anxiety and resentment. I was unable to deal with the pain and used drugs and alcohol to numb out and feel 'normal'.
I was in a dark and destructive place, all alone with nothing but my chaotic thoughts. In that abyss, I had a thought; that using drugs and alcohol was a prison and If I kept on living this lifestyle there would be no way out for me. If I kept on using drugs I was certain to die. My way was not working, no matter how hard I tried to make it work. I had tried being around different people, using different substances and regulating my usage. It never worked and It always ended up the same, feeling alone and in pain. I was desperate and I couldn't see any way out.
Then I did something out of character for me at that time. I found the courage to reach out to family and friends whom I had shunned for years before. That decision completely changed the course of my life. I sought professional help, listened to what they had to say and started to take the necessary actions to begin my recovery journey. I began the challenging process of healing my trauma. I learnt to connect with myself and build relationships with others. I learnt the tools that I needed to cope with the challenges that I had been ignoring for so long. I gained hope, self respect and belief that I could create a different and more meaningful life.
I have now been clean and abstinent since 2001. Being in recovery and managing my mental health isn't always easy; like everyone else, I have my challenges. However, I now have the resilience, tools and support networks to manage whatever life throws at me. I have a wonderful life. I have gained qualifications in the field of psychology, mental health and addiction. I have travelled to various countries all over the world for work and pleasure. I have fulfilling and enriching relationships with my family, friends and partner. I feel good about myself and I am comfortable in my own skin. I am living a life I would never have dreamed possible and I am eternally grateful. I love my work and feel privileged to have the opportunity to empower and support others on their journey of life. I am aware from my experience, both personally and professionally, that there is always hope and with the right support you can transform your life. I am living proof of what is possible!
During my own recovery journey, I had an insight that I wanted to be a catalyst for personal change and to help other people transform their lives. I completed an Honours degree in Psychology, followed by a Masters degree in Addiction Psychology and Counselling in London. I also have qualifications in hypnotherapy, life coaching and PSYCH-K.
I have been working in the field of addiction and mental health since 2001 in countries including the United Kingdom, Europe, South Africa the Middle East and India. I have vast experience of working with individuals and facilitating groups across a variety of settings, including treatment centres, a methadone clinic, Brixton Prison, community based drug and alcohol centres and as a mental health adviser at Brunel University, London. Recently I have been working with individuals as a Live-in Counsellor with high end treatment centres in Europe. I have also worked as a lecturer in business and psychology at universities in South Africa for 9 years. I currently run my own private practice in London and Internationally where I offer coaching, therapy, am a Live-in Counsellor and I am a sober and mental health companion for individuals who are facing mental health and addiction challenges.
I am fully committed to my continuous professional development. I attend regular training, conferences and workshops to keep my knowledge, practice and skills updated.
Qualifications and registrations:
Master of Science in Addiction Psychology and Counselling - London South Bank University
Bachelor of Arts Honours in Psychology (cum laude) - University of South Africa
Bachelor of Commerce - University of South Africa
Diploma in Life Coaching - Achievement Specialists
PSYCH - K: Basic, Advanced and Master Level
Advanced Diploma in Hypnotherapy (cum laude) - South African Modern Hypnotherapy Academy
Certificate in Exercise Science - Health and Fitness Professional Association
Certificate in Sport Psychology - University of Natal: Faculty of Medicine
Member of the Federation of Drug and Alcohol Professionals (MFDAP)
International Authority for Professional Coaching and Mentoring (IAPC&M) - Accredited Coach