Recovery Direct South Africa

About Recovery Direct

Recovery Direct is one of South Africa’s top addiction treatment centres based in Cape Town. The team focuses on therapeutic cognitive change therapy and works by identifying and resolving the trauma based triggers of addiction. The centre features one of the most sought after outpatient programmes that is attended by both alumni of the residential treatment and just about anyone that is looking to get guidance and support on dealing with addiction issues.

Recovery Direct is based in Cape Town South Africa and is one of the only recovery centres featured on Cape Town’s official tourism website. The centre has sponsored a number of local addiction help initiatives such as tough love and pro bono sponsored many individuals from addiction into recovery.

The Recovery Direct Centre has been featured in a number of local press articles in their non-traditional non-12step approach to addiction treatment. The clinical director Vaughan Pankhurst is a renowned expert in addiction treatment cases and has a long standing history in trauma treatment and suicide prevention cases. He has served at the coal face of local rehab facilities treatment and was a long standing board member of Alcoholics Anonymous. Vaughan is also frequently interviewed by local press for stories on addiction treatment in South Africa and alternative formats for treating substance addicts.

Why is Trauma Therapy So Important?

The distinction in Recovery Direct’s treatment models stem from Vaughan’s research and practical application of medically proven behaviour change therapy for trauma treatment. Particular understanding and application of complex post traumatic stressors has now been linked to the single biggest driving force in addiction. Trauma based treatment nowadays and far out paces prior studies into hereditary and chemical imbalance or the most common 12 step treatment models.

Essentially trauma therapy seeks to unpack learned and maladapted behaviours frequently stemming from disrupted childhoods and/or the inability to process appropriate emotive responses to lifes day to day issues. The inability to cope with these issues frequently results in patient learning to self soothe (escape) using substances which in turn causes a wide range of substance use disorders in patients adult lives.

In the United States mass research into PTSD from returning war veterans and with the opioid epidemic has sparked inordinate research into trauma therapy and patient care techniques used to re-process traumatic events and ultimately learn to accept triggers and overcome their debilitating anxieties and maladaptive behaviours. This research greatly influenced Vaughans work in addiction treatment.

Further specialisation of PTSD treatment models also includes Complex Post Trauma Disorders CPTSD  which adds a new and far more common dimension into understanding trauma and addiction.

It is believed that trauma does not necessarily have to include a single traumatic event in the patients history and may include a prolonged succession of traumatic events ranging through childhood abandonment, neglect, sexual abuse and a broad range of direct or indirect psychologically abusive scenarios that the patient may have experienced over their entire lifetime.

Outreach Projects

In 2015 Vaughan partnered with a local organisation that was in the process of establishing South Africa’s largest independent Relapse Prevention programme. The program sought to freely introduce topics and methodologies that had never been explored before yet were proven techniques in the long-term sustainable treatment of people that had suffered with or were suffering with addiction in South Africa. The Relapse Prevention Foundation established a care network of treatment facilities and sober living and services with free professional consultation to families and patients in need of these addiction support services.

Recovery Direct’s Private Care Centre

The Recovery Centre in Cape Town was based on very specific model of patient care which is the opposite to punitive methodologies adopted by most other treatment facilities in South Africa. Patients at Recovery Direct however are treated with individual care, respect, dignity, utmost confidentiality, personalised and highly focused support.

There are no “house rules” or “house chores” as the centre applies absolute focus on treatment or establishing what has gone wrong with the patient and then establishing a most appropriate strategy to resolve their specific issues?

This methodology of patient care extends far beyond the skillsets of individuals as each patients treatment path tends to follow a completely different direction.

For example a patient that has grown up in a dysfunctional family environment may benefit most from more focused family systems therapy whereas a patient that has a history of sexual abuse would require more specialised care and support on dealing with their specific sexual abuse dilemma.

Trusted experts are individually brought into the centre on a consultative basis to provide these absolute pinpoint accuracy and clarity in the support structures required for each patient.

The single biggest distinction of Recovery Direct’s treatment model is the quantity of individual one on one support each patient requires and receives. To quantify this a 28 day treatment in Recovery Direct would equate to a 6 month stay at other rehab centre facility in South Africa measured purely on individual one on one treatment hours.

One on one individual treatment is not however the defining attribute in that the model is concerned more on accuracy in applying the right treatment approach to each patient as opposed to the cost cutting broad spectrum methodology.

Why Not 12 Step?

Each of the founding directors of Recovery Direct has played a prominent role in the 12 step and anonymous groups community and thus are highly conversant in the attributes and shortfalls thereof.

Essentially Recovery Direct believes that some of the principals of 12 steps based programmes serve merit in establishing support and community structures when used alongside formal psychiatric therapy.

12 Step Failures

On the whole 12 step doctrine is uniformly outdated and does very little to support each individuals needs and thus maintains an extremely low success rate. Less than 8% of people remain in 12 step programmes beyond 90 days. Motivating even 12 step treatment centres to employ psychiatric staff to maintain recovery success rates at a tenable level.

Anonymous Meetings

The format of anonymous meetings and the ethos under which the anonymous meetings operate perpetuates the psychological conditioning of “addicts” as being outcasts and invalidates their journey as an unavoidable perpetual cycle of fear and failure.

The only solution proposed to avoid peoples pending failure is a daily dose of anonymous meetings and the total abstinence or avoidance of the addiction driving forces.

12 step treatment places all focus on the addiction the responsibility and retributions of the addiction, without ever coming to terms with or confronting the actual causes of the addiction in the individual. Perpetually retarding personal growth.

There is very little acceptance from 12 step communities in modern treatment methodologies that have been proven to be effective across numerous broad research bases in psychiatry. Most frequently guidance comes in the format of self-led sponsorship in the program which is one of it’s few saving graces (It’s great to talk with a trusted person, provided of course you land up with a sponsor that is able to listen and provide the reasonable advice, just remember these are not professionals outside of their life experience).

The “higher power” is used as a universal trump card and in many cases alienates individuals that do not accept the religious foundations as a cure-all to their very real day to day life dilemmas with addiction.

12 Step treatment is available freely to anyone that has the willingness to undergo the programme. There is no reason to check into a mental health based treatment centre to receive 12 step learnings when there is an anonymous meeting in virtually every corner of the globe.

Centres like Recovery Direct do not exist to oppose 12 step treatment. Our objectives are much the same and our inclusive treatment model does not alienate people that have decided that 12 step treatment is ideal and best suited to their needs.

Ultimately people make their own minds up in any event. We simply provide tools that enable people to move forward with the core drivers of their self-destructive behaviours mindful of their personal pitfalls and best routes forwards towards their personal growth.

We use whatever resources are required to help people come to terms with their lives and to lead healthy and fruitful lives in sobriety or unshackled from addictive substances.

Contacting Recovery Direct

Address : 8 Klein Constantia Road, Constantia
7806 Cape Town, Western Cape

Phone : 079 235 7415

Recovery Direct Facebook Page

Recovery Direct Trauma Treatment Videos



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