2019 at Camino Recovery: A year of growth, gratitude and graciousness

2019 has been good to us here at Camino Recovery.

We celebrated 10 years of service in January; we moved to a new home in Velez, Malaga; and we’ve considerably grown as an organisation. 

Although our physical presence has moved, the essence of Camino has remained, and many of our key team members relocated with us. 

Lionel Billingy

Our Clinical Aid and Spiritual Advisor – for example, has been with Camino for five years. Lionel is a highly respected member of the Camino team. His calming approach to recovery makes him the perfect person to guide clients through a journey of spiritual awakening (and he’s always available to talk about his past experiences as a professional basketball player in the U.S. and Europe, too). 

Lionel Billingy - Camino Recovery

Invariably, growth brings with it a demand for more staff, and this year, we ventured beyond the domestic walls of our home in Spain to find the best international clinicians we could, clinicians who enriched the ethos of the Camino family.

This year, in 2019, we welcomed six new members of staff across a range of diverse roles. 

Let’s meet the family.

Leading US Counsellor

We have a Professional Counsellor with an MA in Clinical Mental Health Counselling joining us shortly from the US. As a leading expert in the addiction field, specifically for non-profit agencies specialising in drug and alcohol addiction.

He believes that true recovery is the development of sustainable habits which allow each person the chance to grow into themselves and connect deeply with those around them. Watch this space.

Words from David Scourfield, Marketing Coordinator at Camino:

‘While a large focus at Camino is in quality of service and the high level of comfort and privacy offered to all clients, our primary focus is still to aid the process of recovery. All of our clinical staff are experts in their respective fields. They contribute individually and collaboratively to a therapeutic program we believe is the best in Europe. He is a valued addition to this belief system.’

Laura Terry, LLM.PGdip.BA Hons. 

Laura brings an infectious enthusiasm to the administration office. Her experience, qualifications and passion for all things Human Resources – and her expertise in diversity and inclusion – make her the perfect person to maintain the family environment that exists among the team. 

Words from David:

‘Behind the scenes at Camino, there is a dedicated team that keeps the ship sailing smoothly, and we invite Laura in with open arms. Often, the first port of call for Loren and her administrative team (including Laura) is to gently educate the clients and their families in the practicalities, and expectations when choosing a treatment centre suitable for their needs. Laura’s enthusiasm makes everyone feel welcome.’

Louise Phiquepal

Louise Phiquepal - Evolutionary Art Therapist - Camino Recovery

Louise graduated from the School of Fine Arts in Strasbourg. After a 15-year long career teaching art (and with such a flair for learning) Louise ventured back to France and began studying in Evolution Art Therapy. Since graduating, she has worked for various charitable organizations in far-flung corners of the globe. We’re just grateful she decided to settle here in Andalucia.

Words from David:

‘We believe in a multi-faceted approach to therapy. By constructing a bespoke program for each individual, we passionately believe in the need for a diverse portfolio of modalities. Art Therapy has proved popular, and it’s a welcome relief from ‘talk therapy’ that forms a significant part of the Camino program. Louise complements our existing Art Therapy team.’

Sally Harland 

Sally Harland - Camino Recovery

Sally is a mindfulness coach, and on Monday afternoons, she slows everything down for our clients. Her informal approach to headspace and her down to Earth use of language immediately puts clients at ease. Sally has lots of experience in the mental health field, and her training in Yoga means she can adapt and embrace a multitude of circumstances in supporting our clients through the day. Sally always has a ball of positive energy and a friendly ear to lend.

Words from David:

‘General Wellness is a vital part of the education offered at Camino. Regular exercise and complementary treatments such as Yoga and mindfulness form a significant part of the outpatient care program prepared for each client (in conjunction with other professionals) prior to their departure. Mindfulness is a popular activity at Camino.’

 Belinda Daniell 

Belinda Daniell Clinical Aid Camino Recovery

Belinda has worked in the care industry for seven years, and she’s a well-travelled addition to the team. Having lived in the U.S., Africa, Australasia and the Middle East, she has a unique understanding of a variety of cultures that assist our International clientele in settling at Camino.

Words from David:

‘The therapeutic process doesn’t stop in the evenings and weekends. Often our clients need an experienced ear or a guiding light in the evenings. The Clinical staff are selected for their ability to support our clients both physically, spiritually and mentally as required. Some of the most important work is done by just ‘being’, and our Clinical Aid team are there to assist and support that process.’

Peter Johansson 

Peter Johansson - International Chef - Camino Recovery

Peter is a client favourite. He’s a culinary genius and spends his time whipping up a variety of new creations. With experience working in a large and prominent international hotel, Peter has acquired many areas of expertise such as international gastronomy, health and leadership. 

Words from David:

‘We passionately believe that a healthy and nutritious diet is a vital component in restoring a balanced and fulfilling life, and all our dishes are prepared with this in mind. Together with Mari, Peter will provide a diverse range of cuisine which is compatible with the cultural and dietary challenges that our International clientele bring.’

Looking forward: Here’s to 2020

The Camino alumni become a vital component in our client’s process.

We are always delighted to welcome ex-clients back for the extended aftercare program we offer or to share experience and provide a source of inspiration to current clients and staff. 

The Camino family is ever-growing, and the family extends beyond our four walls and into the rest of the world. With this said, our four walls are beautiful, and we are privileged to work and help people heal in such luxury, privacy and comfort. 

Thanks for journeying with us. Here’s to another great year in 2020.

Don Lavender

Don specialized in addiction studies, earning an MDiv and a master's in Management, Administration, and Counseling. As a priest, he supported Step 5s in local treatment centers for nearly 40 years, excelling in "family systems work" in the addiction field.

Additionally, Don pioneered equine-assisted psychotherapy (EAP) in the US and UK during the 1990s. He authored "Equine Utilized Psychotherapy: Dance with those that run with laughter" and gained media recognition, including appearances on 'the Trisha Show' and features in The Daily Telegraph.

In the early 2000s, Don and his wife, Meena, founded Camino Recovery in Spain, providing tailored addiction treatment programs aimed at fostering happier lives.

More from Don Lavender

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