I am an experienced addictions and general counsellor with a long, impressive CV but an even bigger heart. I help people to stop hurting and to start living.
I work with people. I talk to people. I listen to people. I watch people take responsibility for their lives. I cry with them, laugh (a lot) with them. I teach, I learn, I do some growing of my own.
A postgraduate student from the University of Cape Town in 2019 (with Honours), I am also a director of two recovery-related companies. I am a lecturer on topics around addiction and related issues, and also facilitate workshops for adolescents about boundaries, consent, high-risk behaviour, emotional regulation and identifying toxic relationships.
I work with individuals, with women, with men, with young adults, couples, in groups. I am a sucker and a champion for the hopeless and the desperate. Ask anyone. I believe in hope and magic. But I am a realist and a cynic. I will tell you the truth and I’m not afraid to be temporarily unpopular.
I have worked in treatment centres and rehabs for 9 years, with adults and adolescents, and in private practice for 8 years. I am experienced with substance addictions and process addictions, integration counselling, trauma, mental health issues and DBT.
I am a recovering addict with over 16 years of sobriety after having been enslaved to a multitude of addictions including an eating disorder, substance and alcohol abuse, self-harm and, my rock bottom, an intravenous heroin addict. This led to a life of criminal activity and sex work.
I dabble in my own unpredictable mood disorder and am a vocal advocate for mental health issues as well as the destigmatization of these and other issues that are considered taboo by society.
I am an avid believer in hope and resilience, will back the underdog at any given chance, and am dedicated to helping others see that they can take responsibility for their lives and make lasting changes. This is what I do and I hope I can be of service to you.
I’m David and I’m 34 years old. Dez has helped me to become a person I can respect today, to live to my potential. All it takes sometimes is the ability to see and feel things from others perspectives. Just a slightly different angle of looking at your problems can breathe life into your soul. Dez is consistent, in an ever-changing world and for that I am eternally grateful.
I’m a 40 year old woman whose niece started seeing Desiree weekly and I watched this confused 16 year old change and transform before my eyes. She became more comfortable in her own skin, more accepting of whom she is and stopped trying to fit in. She became more determined to finish high school because she was ready to drop out. This is where Desiree’s gift lies: she helps one develop an arsenal to deal with the joys, the sorrows, relationships and everyday challenges that one faces. Desiree has been extremely valuable in helping my niece identify and build on her strengths. My niece passed her matric exams with a Bachelor’s as well an exemption; she is looking forward to a bright future with so many options to choose from. I truly recommend this amazing woman; she changes the lives and mindsets of young people and helps them to truly live their best life in an authentic, joyful and loving way.
I was the most chronically, toxic, pathological addict with severe BPD too. I met Dez in a secondary care in 2012 and saw her every week for 5 years. She taught me more than I could ever fathom to write down. I learned about my values, sobriety, my patterns, grew through physical & sexual traumas, and most importantly the tool that brought me back to reality: “Internal Authority”. Without Dez, I don’t think I would be alive. She brought me back after a suicide attempt and an ugly relapse, since then I have grown from strength to unwavering strength at the age of 25 and I couldn’t be more grateful.
I’m Tyra-lee and I am 17 years old, The idea of having a therapist frustrated me because I thought they’d tell me things I already knew but with Desiree it was a different case. She made me feel welcome and comfortable. She is super understanding and she helped me realise things about myself that I didn’t even know. I would leave our sessions feeling fresh, motivated and almost as if a weight was lifted off my shoulders – and week after week – I felt better and better about myself and my place in this world. She is so awesome and a beautiful person inside and out; she changed my life for the better. If you’re thinking about seeing Dez, stop thinking and make that appointment! I swear you won’t regret it.
services I offer.
- Individual counselling
- Group counselling
- Substance and process addiction counselling (drugs, alcohol, gambling, gaming, food, internet, sex, relationships)
- Counselling around self-defeating behaviours
- Family Counselling
- Couples therapy
- Adolescent counselling, emotional and practical Skills Development
- Workshops at high schools around issues such as high-risk behaviour, boundaries, consent and healthy versus unhealthy relationships
- Corporate Wellness Programmes including individual counselling, assessments and interventions, stress-management and emotional regulation workshops, psycho-education groups about topics such as addiction, trauma and mental health issues
- Lectures about various aspects of addiction, recovery, mental Illness and abuse/ trauma
- Dialectical Behavioural Therapy
- Facilitator of the Recovery Assistant Learnership Online Course offered by Prospect Hill Recovery Practice
- Mental health issues and comorbidities (anxiety, depression, borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder)