WHAT'S THE PROBLEM?
You’re someone who is either struggling, or has struggled with alcohol and drug misuse. You’ve tried all sorts of methods to try and deal with it but keep getting stuck. Maybe old patterns of behaviour, old friends or just old habits stop you from fully enjoying the sobriety and recovery you have always wanted.
Sometimes you wonder whether you will ever be able to break the cycle you are in. You feel that everyone else seems to get it better and quicker than you do and you often feel the least qualified in any group.
You think its not worth the effort of changing - “It’s too much!” “I’m too old!” “I’m not strong enough”
I believe you are and I believe I can help you.
Explore The Possibilities
"If you treat an individual as he is, he will remain remain how he is. But if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be."
- Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
I have been lucky enough over the years to work with some great therapists but when Veronica Valli asked me to join her on SOBERFUL it was too good a chance to miss. Soberful is an internet based support and advice service (available through iTunes or www.soberful.com), Podcasts, questions, lectures and the ability to actually interact with either myself or Veronica are available. Here you will be able to tap in to a group of people at various stages in their journey and hopefully learn through interacting and listening. In the first instance just go to the SOBERFUL Facebook page and from there you will be able to access all the services we provide
NO NEED TO DESPAIR
I’VE BEEN THERE AND I’VE COME OUT THE OTHER SIDE
I am a successful psychotherapist with a practice in Harley Street, London and have run units and rehabilitation centres throughout my 33 year career. I deal with people who have tried to sort themselves out but need that extra bit of input to help them get better and get through the mess they are in.
Ever since I first started working people have warmed to my down to earth approach and ability to get to the heart of the matter as quickly as possible. If I haven’t significantly changed your life in a few months I won’t have done my job properly. I believe you want to find answers quickly and not wait through two years of therapy to start to feel better. It’s hard coming to see someone. I understand that and try and make the experience as friendly and as productive as possible.
I enjoy seeing the change in people’s lives through the efforts and plans they put in place. There are few jobs where it is as rewarding and heart warming to witness significant improvements.
Offering Therapy For All Form's Of Addiction.
A common problem for people in recovery is that they find life quite unfamiliar. It usually is. We have been behaving in a certain way for many years and now, suddenly, things have changed dramatically. We also realise for the the first time in a long time that we have a lot of emotions and concerns that now rise to the surface.
It is at times like this that people can either turn to substances they have not used before, or in some cases behaviours they have not demonstrated before. Typical examples would be swapping using drugs to alcohol, or vice versa. It could be suddenly becoming much more sexually active, almost to the point of addiction. But by far the most common reaction is feeling overwhelmed by emotions that have been buried for years. These can be really scary as there was probably a good reason we decided to cover them up in the first place.
That is where good, constructive therapy can be really useful.
Experienced. Qualified. Supportive.
HOW DID I GET HERE?
I grew up in a typical upper middle class background. On the surface I had everything you would consider the essential building blocks of life. But I never felt connected, never felt loved and felt lonely all the time. There was a reason for that. My family was dysfunctional, unloving and throughout my early life and at boarding school was sexually abused by various people. This just added to me sense of being unworthy and unwanted.
As soon as I left school I started taking drugs. I wanted to. Nobody forced me. As soon as that first drug changed my thinking, silenced the voices inside my head, I was hooked. I wanted that feeling every day. Every hour. So that’s what I did. I made sure I was under the influence of something as often as I possibly could be. To begin with it was fun. There were no consequences, nothing negative was happening and I was surrounded, for the first time in my life my people who related to me and behaved like me. I felt I had a family. As far as I was concerned I had found the answer to life. Take substances, fool around and generally have a great time. I did. For about 18 months. Then things started to go a little off centre.
There were warning signs. Things I can see now that normal people would probably have paid attention to. An arrest for some petty crime. Not been able to afford the monthly rent. Some friends drifting away. Losing jobs much quicker than other people seemed to. Beginning to feel lonely more and more often. But nothing seemed to register and if it did, I had an easy solution, take more substances, drink more, and magically all the stress and strains went away.
At the lowest point I had been homeless for several years, the police eventually tired of me and I was sent to prison for 3 years. Even that didn’t stop me using but it made me reflect. On release I was lucky enough to bump in to someone I had known while on the streets. He looked amazing, clean in all respects and I was intrigued as to how he had achieved this. He told me simply. “I stopped using!” I had to take some months to digest the simplicity of this remark but it made me go back to him and ask more questions. Gradually I came to see that hard as it was going to be I was obviously going to have to make changes. The first piece of advice he gave me was simple - “Get help!” This had always been hard for me but I managed to go to a rehab that made me feel comfortable. I have never looked back from that moment.
Whilst in the rehab I began to feel that I had a knack for talking sense and as soon as I graduated I started the process of trying to make working with people with substance problems my career. I went back to college, graduated after two years, working my way through the course by helping out at a crisis centre. From there I was able to get a job in the same rehab I had originally being a client in and within 4 years was running a 23 bed unit for men in recovery. What I learnt was that I able to make clients feel relaxed, safe and enthusiastic and we developed a place that had life and laughter at its core.
I loved the work, the ability to help people change and many years later started my own rehab in rural England. A rehab that helped people who did not have funding, a rehab for anyone who wanted to get better. It grew and became successful. But most of all it had ‘heart’. Everyone who came in to visit, as a client or just to see what we did, commented on the fact that Focus12 had a life to it that was special. I ran that unit for nearly 20 years. It is the proudest achievement of my life. It was something that I felt was so removed from anything I was capable of. But in recovery I found that I was much more capable than I had ever thought.
4 years ago I decided that I needed to slow down a little. Age was creeping up and I opened my clinic in London. Here I see people on a one to one basis. I get to spend quality time with clients from a wide variety of backgrounds.
So if you feel you need help, advice or guidance get in touch through the contact page and together we can change things.
“Happiness, not in another place but this place, not for another hour but this hour”