In this reflection on addiction counselling in 2023, we delve into transformative growth, educational contributions, and a commitment to enhancing recovery journeys in the coming year.

Celebrating the milestone of my 24th year of recovery on January 16th, the past year has been marked by gratitude and enlightenment. It has been a transformative period filled with meaningful experiences and personal and professional growth that I am eager to share.

My journey commenced under the compassionate guidance of Meryl from Grey Matters Counselling and Marketing. Her insights into marketing and personal development served as a constant source of kindness and support throughout the year, shedding light on my path in the field of addiction counselling with a focus on enhancing the client experience.

A Workshop of Transformation Participating in the vision board workshop with Renee Van Wyk was a revelation, opening my eyes to the attainability of dreams and desires. This transformative experience not only shaped my professional aspirations but also deepened my understanding of the journey ahead, emphasizing the importance of fostering hope and positivity for those seeking recovery.

As an educator at the South African College of Applied Psychology, the joy of teaching counselling skills and addiction counselling to trainee counsellors has been a profound privilege. Witnessing their growth over the 10-week terms has reinforced my commitment to shaping the future of addiction counselling, with a central focus on cultivating empathy and understanding for the benefit of clients.

Celebrating a decade as an online e-tutor for the University of South Africa, contributing to the foundational year for social workers and correctional officers, has been a source of immense gratitude. Serving as an external examiner for a Master of Social Work dissertation in addiction recovery was a true honor, recognizing the groundbreaking research taking place in the South African context and its potential to positively impact client outcomes.

The opportunity to conduct addiction counselling training for Counselling Matters and create a training video for beginner counsellors registering with the ASCHP was an enriching experience. Being recognized as a Subject Matter Expert in addiction by SACAP is an honor I deeply appreciate, affirming my commitment to advancing the field for the benefit of clients in need.

On a personal note, this year was about simplifying my life and creating space for self-reflection. Recognizing my worth, I learned to confidently say no when necessary—a vital lesson in maintaining a healthy work-life balance to ensure I can provide optimal support to those navigating the challenges of addiction.

My commitment to continuous professional development took me through profound TA101 training, an ethics workshop with Dr. Groenewald, DBT training with Dr. Ella Brent, and a course on working with core beliefs from NICABM. Embracing the age of AI, I participated in Prompt Engineering for ChatGPT and Innovative Teaching with ChatGPT courses on Coursera, overcoming initial resistance and finding inspiration for innovative teaching methods to enhance the quality of addiction counselling education.

Clinical experiences at Denmar Psychiatric and The Day Clinic as a locum were invaluable, inspiring a deeper exploration into DBT. In my private practice, supporting clients, including through employee wellness programs, has been deeply rewarding. The focus remains on understanding and meeting the unique needs of clients to foster positive outcomes.

As I eagerly step into 2024, I am excited to continue supporting you in my private practice. The lessons from 2023 have shaped my growth, both professionally and personally, with a primary focus on positively impacting lives on the journey to addiction recovery.

Here’s to another year of client-centered empowerment, continuous learning, and shared progress. Your path forward is filled with hope, and I am here to walk it with you. Find out more here if you are interested in making 2024 your year to recovery.