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Twin Rivers

95 Longships Drive
South Africa
The Garden Route
Plettenberg Bay
RSA +27 828 633 159 or UK +44 752 806 1505

Email Us    Website

Centre Description


‘Twin Rivers Rehab is an Addiction Recovery and Personal Development Centre providing affordable, individualized, professional treatment packages to clients suffering with addiction and mental health disorders. Twin Rivers is a secure, secluded and warm setting far removed from unhealthy influences and totally dedicated to introducing clients to an improved way of thinking that will positively impact behaviour and  lead towards a more constructive and meaningful way of life’ 

Twin Rivers Rehab is registered with the Department of Social Development South Africa-Certificate No-15/10/3/4/2C-02/2013. Twin Rivers specialises in assisting clients with a Dual Diagnosis offering both primary and secondary care programme.

Twin Rivers Rehab

Twin Rivers Rehab was founded by David and Caroline Briskham in March 2011 and between them have over 35 years of personal addiction recovery experience. Having worked for other treatment facilities for many years David decided to open his own Rehab Centre and with Caroline’s help they developed this exclusive recovery centre for addiction and mental health disorders.

Twin Rivers Rehab is located on The Garden Route, Plettenberg Bay in South Africa. Plettenberg Bay is a peaceful coastal town with long sandy award winning beaches and plenty of local activities and outdoor pursuits. In this idyllic location Twin Rivers provides a fresh and healthy environment for clients to recover from their addictions and mental health problems. 

Personal and individual attention is key to our success and we will only admit and counsel a maximum of 12 clients at any one time which creates intensified individual attention with a minimum of two counselling sessions a week .The Twin Rivers Team, including a State Registered Nurse and a Clinical Psychologist specialises in working with clients who repeatedly relapse, ant-social types, codependents, dual diagnosis, PTSD, childhood trauma, personality disorders, anxiety and panic disorders. Clients respond very well in a smaller therapeutic group setting where their attitudes and behaviours can be challenged effectively by the therapists. A complete change of scenery and culture adds to the richness of what a Twin Rivers Rehab client experiences during their stay. All recovery programmes are underpinned by the time served 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous which has grown over the years into hundreds of different fellowships that all use exactly the same format. 

No Such Thing as a Quick Fix Programme

Twin Rivers Rehab does not support the myth behind ‘quick fix’ programmes and prefers clients to commit to at least 6-12 weeks primary/secondary residential treatment. All programmes includes detoxification (acute Detoxification is supervised in a local hospital), a primary phase of treatment that is not governed by time as promotion to either extended primary or secondary phases depends purely on the clients psychological growth and motivation levels.

Client Service is Key  

Regardless of who is paying for treatment, whether privately, medical insurance or through sponsorship we view the treatment process as an ‘investment’ for the client and so it is our responsibility to ensure that the investment is protected via first class clinical care. Residential treatment is simply an introduction to a new way of thinking and behaving and so it is extremely important that clients engage in a reputable aftercare programme post treatment which we do offer at Twin Rivers or can be arranged in the client’s home area. 

Dual Diagnosis

Dual diagnosis is a term which means the co-occurrence of an illness in the mind and problems with substances abused. People who experience these phenomena often face a wide range of psychosocial issues and may experience multiple interacting illnesses. In dual diagnosis, both illnesses may affect the person physically, psychologically, socially, and spiritually. The two illnesses interact with one another. The illnesses may aggravate each other and each disorder predisposes to relapse in the other disease. At times the symptoms can go beyond and even mask each other making diagnosis and treatment very hard.  Several theories have been formulated to explain the relationship between psychiatric disorders and substance abuse problems. For one, the causality theory suggests that certain types of substance abuse can causally lead to mental illness. Findings on the origins of schizophrenia showed that it can also be a result of using cannabis. Moreover, the self-medication theory suggests that people with severe mental illness misuse substances in order to reduce a certain set of symptoms and counteract the side-effects of antipsychotic medication. Certain studies illustrate that nicotine could be useful for decreasing motor side-effects of antipsychotics. Similarly, the alleviation of  severe depression theory suggests that people with severe mental illness commonly feels bad about themselves and that this makes them vulnerable to using psychoactive substances to alleviate these feelings.  The problem with dual diagnosis is that most often, only one of the two interacting illnesses is identified. Moreover, the patient tends to be in denial with one of the illnesses. An individual diagnosed with a mental disorder may be in denial about the drinking or substance abuse. Or, the other way around could occur. The obvious substance abuse could mask the mental disorder. Therapists, psychiatrists, and professional counsellors are having a hard time identifying both illnesses due to psychiatric symptoms can be covered up by alcohol or drug use. Furthermore, alcohol or drug use, or withdrawal from alcohol or other drugs can mimic or give the appearance of some psychiatric illnesses. Also, untreated chemical addiction could add to a reoccurrence of psychiatric symptoms, and untreated psychiatric illness could contribute to an alcohol or drug relapse.  An alcoholic once shared that society can be a problem because alcoholism is not seen as an illness. Moreover, it looks like that they do not realize how useless it is to treat one illness but not the other. The tendency is that doctors may prescribe antidepressants to their patients without screening them for substance abuse. The addict/alcoholic whose depression is not cured will continue to fail at the attempt to get clean and sober. Those with depression whose substance abuse is not detected will get sicker because alcohol is a depressant and with every sip they are throwing gasoline on their simmering bipolar. Consequently, it is difficult for these people to find appropriate treatment. Most substance-abuse centres do not accept people with serious psychiatric disorders and many psychiatric centres do not have the expertise with substance abuse. Integration is the key to treat two disorders where collaborative decision-making procedure should happen between the therapy group and the patient. 

Trauma & Addiction

Trauma is an incident or occurrence that happens with or without warning. It can be categorized as an over whelming life-changing experience. It is typically a physical and/or emotional shock that consumes your whole being! A plane crash, automobile accident, sudden or near death experience or major life alterations (such as the ending of a relationship) can all be considered traumatic whether experienced or simply witnessed. A person's response can result in intense fear and helplessness. Even if a person has a substance abuse issue before trauma strikes, trauma often paves the way from abuse to addictions. Substance abuse addiction resulting from trauma is unlike the other triggers or gateways as there is more of a conscious desperation/need in regularly getting intoxicated in order to avoid the painful feelings. 

‘Everyone’ has varying degrees of trauma in their life and individuals respond to trauma in different ways. What is traumatic to one person may not seem so traumatic to another! An example could be; the loss of a family pet where some family members are visibly traumatised and others may seem unruffled. The interesting thing is that the ‘unruffled’ person could actually be traumatised but keeps it hidden from others. Depending on the person and their ability to handle traumatic situations, these experiences can promote the ‘shivers’ when re-living the incident to panic attacks or even debilitating fear that could promote a highly depressed or catatonic state (the body shuts down). Similar to depression, trauma can lead to self-medication (prescription or black market) to numb the painful feelings, dilute the reality of the situation which in turn can lead to other addictions and destructive behaviours.  

‘Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder-PTSD 

Some of the emotional symptoms associated with PTSD are:

 Avoiding conversations associated with the trauma and not dealing with or confronting emotions and feelings.  Avoiding certain people or places that may arouse memories of the incident.  Feeling detached or estranged from society and friends. Interests, hobbies or activities are considered unimportant and not worth any effort to reincorporate into their life.  Difficulty in having or continuing with intimate relationships. This is especially true if sexual or physical abuse is the reason for the trauma. 

This leads the person to complain of Depression, Fatalism, Hopelessness, Indecision and Overwhelming fear

Some of the physical symptoms associated with PTSD are:

 Difficulty relaxing, or sleeping soundly.  Easily agitated or irritable. Changeable behavior or mood swings  Poor concentration or ability to complete tasks. 

Research shows that Trauma can make a person 5 times more vulnerable to alcohol or drug use, in order to self-medicate. This is true of people who drink a lot, but are not yet addicted, as well as making relapse more likely for those who have already attended a programme. Consequently alcohol and drug use are the most predictable variables to exacerbate Trauma and magnify the consequences. At Twin Rivers the multidisciplinary team are mindful that most clients have unresolved past traumas that are both known and unknown to the client causing them difficulties with decision making and boundary setting. Fortunately, Twin Rivers individualised approach helps to support clients suffering with painful feelings connected to past traumas. There are quite a number of ‘models’ that deal with trauma and yet the most important aspect of any model is ‘listening’ to the client and secondary to that, helping the client to start making sense of certain feelings that debilitates them.  

 Please click on the website button above for further information, also you can use the email button to ask Twin Rivers any questions directly.