Addiction Assessment and 
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A Letter From A Client To Me - January 2013

"The man who knows

Exactly which questions to ask

To bring to light

Pain and it's brothers;

Guilt, Shame and Regret.


"You kind Sir,

Have helped to set me free!

Your grace and unfailing kindness

Will not be forgotten.

Your wisdom & sound advice

Will not go to waste.


"May you enjoy the same relief,

Freedom & Hope

That You have helped take root in me." 

- From a client who completed a 3 week addiction treatment programme in January 2013, for her crack cocaine and LSD substance abuse disorder (she stays anonymous for now). 

About Me

Since my teenage years, I was always out there helping others. Friends and strangers. As I understand now, it was due mainly to the fact that I grew up needing help myself.

You see, I grew up in a family affected by the addiction of both my Mom and Dad - whom I love dearly. They both had the disease of alcoholism and both died without being treated. As the youngest child, it seems I got the worst of the impact because their alcoholism became most evident during my teenage years when my brothers had already left home. They were not untouched, however. One of my brothers developed a drug addiction, for example. Whereas he left home, I stayed and tried to be the saviour and helper to my parents. Even my elder brothers looked to me to help them.

This shaped my life and eventually, after my Father died in 1978, I decided to change my career from Medical Technology (during my 3rd year) and study Social Work. I qualified end 1983 and began to practice in 1984 as a generalist in the public service for 8 months.

Thereafter, I was offered a position as a therapist in SANCA (SA National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence). I researched and launched a Drug Treatment Unit at the clinic due to the increasing need for this, under the management of Dr. André van Jaarsveld.


During 1986 I was offered a therapist position in Cape Town and transferred to the Cape Town Drug Counselling Centre (CTDCC), opened in 1985 under the leadership of the late Adele Searll and Dr. David Rabinowitz - psychiatrist in charge of psychiatric outpatients', Groote Schuur Hospital. The CTDCC was then a joint initiative by the Groote Schuur Hospital and SANCA, where I did outpatient therapy and community education (lectures, talks and workshops).

Since then, I have worked in Kenilworth Clinic, Cape Town, under Dr. Rodger Meyer and at Seascape Recovery Centre (a tertiary care facility) - also under supervision of Dr. Rodger Meyer. In 2012, I managed SANCA Goldfields Alcohol and Drug Centre, Welkom - an assessment and outpatient unit. I also worked at Minnesota House Treatment Centre, George, as the inpatient counsellor and social worker.

Throughout this time, I have used the guiding principles and steps from the 12 Step Movement, based on Alcoholics Anonymous. These have been and still are, the basic foundations for sustainable recovery  - for both the individual and the family in recovery. However, there are no magic potions or quick fixes for anyone! What works for one, may not work for anyone else. This is a personal journey based on choices. One of the choices is to go it alone or work within a recovery community. I always recommend the latter.


Below is also a button to my LinkedIn profile for more detail.

Thank you so much for reading and dropping in.

I hope to hear from you soon.

Yours In Service,

Peter Winston Guess


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