“I am a holistic and spiritually-driven person who is passionately committed to serving humankind in the healing and restoration of the whole person, the community, and the planet.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I grew up as a community activist in South Africa, became a teacher, and left the teaching profession to become a Christian priest. I was actively engaged in political struggles to end apartheid while providing spiritual support for the community and congregation. I set up a nonprofit, Crisis Care, to mobilize the churches and support the poor and oppressed with socioeconomic programs. I worked with nonprofits and homeless programs in the US for 15 years. My passion to serve individual holistic needs led me to become a SUD counselor, complete a BS in addiction counseling, and earn an MS in mental health and prevention. I also established a nonprofit foundation to focus on mental health and social justice programs to combat racism in healthcare and mental health and promote holistic recovery, which is recovery in all streams of life and wellbeing. Currently, I’m pursuing a PhD in behavioral studies.
What should someone know about working with you?
I take a client and community-centered approach to SUD counseling, allowing the client to share their substance struggles as well as other challenges. I take a biopsychosocial approach, using the best tools for screening and assessment in the field of recovery. I develop a treatment plan with the client and support the client with tools geared toward diligence, self-awareness, cultural constructs, and cultural sensitivity. I offer concurrent referrals if necessary.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
I complete CEUs related to recovery and the biopsychosocial construct of clients impacted by substance abuse, its underlying causes, and systemic factors. I explore how to remove barriers to treatment for excluded and marginalized communities and provide access to services that address historical issues of slavery, preexisting mental health challenges, strategies, and the best community-based treatment approaches.
How do your core values shape your approach to therapy?
I am a holistic and spiritually-driven person who is passionately committed to serving humankind in the healing and restoration of the whole person, the community, and the planet. I have been an advocate for recovery in all areas of one's life, creating a new world driven by social justice, equity, anti-racism, and restoration of the land. I believe in mind and soul and a place where humans can coexist with full access to empowerment of self and others (ubuntu). I create possibilities to elevate the self and community, sometimes using the 12 steps of AA for holistic recovery, human/planetary justice, and peace.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
We can use the tools of technology to ensure full access to services for people and communities who are physically excluded or marginalized. Telehealth can reach those with debilitating physical or psychosocial challenges and offer quick, easy access to care and immediate help. Providing intervention can save lives and reduce costs.
“I have been an advocate for recovery in all areas of one's life, creating a new world driven by social justice, equity, anti-racism, and restoration of the land.”