Gordon Patrick Boyce – Group work Facilitator & Counsellor
“I am still having to pinch myself on a daily basis that I’m working at Hope Rehab”
As a new member of the team here at Hope Rehab, Thailand, I still having to pinch myself on a daily basis that I’m here. Such a pleasure to be working as part of a wonderful team, helping to change people’s lives and in such a beautiful setting. An experienced Groupwork facilitator and addiction counsellor, with many years of experiense in the field. Qualifications and awards in Health and Social NVQ level 3, Certification and Diploma in Counseling NVQ, Working Therapeutically with Addictions NVQ level 3.
It is a marked change from my previous work setting in a ‘category b’ prison in the UK, where I set up the running of weekly SMART Recovery groups.
SMART Recovery is a mutual aid support group based on elements of CBT and REBT Albert Ellis and which incorporates elements of a person centred approach and Motivational Interviewing. My role in the prison was to instil hope in clients who had a long history of being in and out of prison many times over the years and support them in the community upon their release from prison. It was quite a challenging role in what was at times a very negative environment. So when I seen a job opportunity at Hope Rehab come up I just had to go for it, I never thought it would transpire though, and now here I am! After a lifetime of addiction to various different substances it still amazes me how my life has turned out and where it has taken me. At one point in my life I felt I was unable to leave the house, totally crippled by fear/anxiety, and now I am living on the other side of the world! Recovery never fails to amaze me at times.
I have worked in a variety of different settings and completed a number of courses and training opportunities. As already stated, my previous role before coming to Hope was as Recovery Community Coordinator as part of Through The Gate, a joint working partnership between police, probation and substance misuse services to reduce reoffending and help people to address their substance misuse issues. The role was split between working in the prison two to three days a week and the Portsmouth community on the rest of the days, facilitating SMART Recovery groups, meeting people at the gates upon their release, supporting people in the community, signposting them and promoting recovery and instilling hope. I have worked as an employment mentor, helping people to get back into work and access training opportunities after long periods of unemployment and/or long term sick. Worked as a support worker in a young person’s hostel, a homeless hostel for people aged 16-25. A vital service for people who had found themselves homeless at such a young age for a variety of different reasons. A challenging role, though I enjoyed being able to help young people develop life skills and I enjoyed the working relationship that I had with the clients. I volunteered for Portsmouth City Council as a Recovery Broker, where I facilitated pre-detox groups, a group for people considering going to a residential detox unit and/or residential rehab, escorted and supported people going to rehab, distributed injecting equipment as part of the needle exchange and had 1-1 support sessions with clients accessing substance misuse services.
In all these roles I have used the skills and knowledge I have obtained from the various training opportunities I have accessed, such as Health and Social Care Diploma, Working Therapeutically with Addictions Diploma (a course unique to Portsmouth, and developed by the wonderful John McCarthy) and my Counselling Diploma. I have also had the pleasure to be able to attend a two day Motivational Interviewing workshop delivered by one of it’s developers, Stephen Rollick.
I would describe my approach as very much person centred, with an emphasis on Motivational Interviewing and with knowledge and skills in CBT, 12 Step, ACT and various other modalities and theories. I have a thirst for knowledge, so always trying to improve my skillset and my working practise.