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PROMIS is a family-run clinic, and we consider our team of dedicated professionals and seasoned clinicians as one big family.

We come from many different backgrounds with one aim in common, to welcome you into our family and provide you with all the necessary support when you embark on your journey to recovery. We want you to experience how recovery at PROMIS can have such a significant and positive impact in your lives, just as we did.

We look forward to getting to know you!

Meet The Team

In a new series of videos, we introduce you to different members of our team and explore some of their professional skills.

Please meet Hay Farm Senior Therapist and Hay Farm Clinic Manager Nick Hofford:

Please meet Head of Nursing at Hay Farm Clinic, Joy Crick:

Please meet Senior Therapist and Equine Therapist Cathy Spendiff:

Please meet Senior Therapist Jackie Colligan:

Please meet Senior Therapist Aaron Whalen:

Please meet Therapist Emily Foord:

The Team


Managing Director

Robin LefeverRobin Lefever has a BSc in Psychology from the University of Kent and is the Managing Director of PROMIS Clinics.A researcher in the field of addiction, Robin has studied addiction treatment for over twenty years, published in articles and papers in international scientific journals. Robin is also a skilled therapist and his clinical interests include a wide range of therapies including EMDR, NLP, EAP, Psychodrama, CBT, DBT, Family Therapy and Intervention.

‘What makes PROMIS so different is that we still understand how it feels to have had these problems ourselves as well as being able to offer cutting edge psychological treatments that will help people recover.’


London Unit Manager / PROMIS Therapist

Clair VainolaClair Vainola attended London University where she obtained a B.A. in Philosophy and then a Post Graduate Diploma in Law from the University of Northumbria.
Clair worked for the British Government as part of their Drug Intervention Program, setting up the first 24 hour service for addicted populations seeking assistance. Clair undertook DANOS training in Drug and Alcohol Knowledge, Motivational Interviewing, and Brief Solution Focused Therapy, in addition to a certificate in Counselling Skills.Clair has worked as a senior therapist in Lebanon in an attempt to introduce Twelve Step Recovery and Addiction Treatment in the Middle East.Clair has experience facilitating group therapy and family groups, utilizing the Minnesota 12 Step Model. Clair’s speciality areas include addiction, compulsive helping, women’s group therapy, conjoint and family sessions. Clair is also an FDAP Accredited Manager and Supervisor and has a Post Graduate Certificate in Couple and Individual Psychodynamic Counselling & Psychotherapy from the Tavistock.


Senior PROMIS Therapist

Linda StevensLinda Stevens has worked at PROMIS since 1993 and has achieved many qualifications, including: Practitioner skills for eating disorders (awarded by the British Psychological Society,) an addictive behaviours counselling diploma (from AEB) and a CSCT diploma in counselling. Linda’s interests include eating disorder addiction/recovery, family therapy & counselling.

‘As an addict in recovery myself, I’ve experienced the devastation addiction has on families: by the time a person goes into treatment they are usually broken in every way a person can be, physically, emotionally and spiritually. However with support and understanding and a gentle environment, it’s not long before the peace, joy and laughter returns into their lives and as importantly, into the lives of their families. This is what PROMIS offers.’.


Director of Research

Linda StevensProfessor Geoffrey Stephenson is Emeritus Professor of Social Psychology at the University of Kent, and he directs the MSc in Addiction Psychology and Counselling at London South Bank University. The MSc was established by the University some 6 years ago in collaboration with the PROMIS Counselling Centre, and is widely regarded as the foremost training for addiction counsellors in the United Kingdom. Professor Stephenson has a distinguished record of teaching and research in applied psychology, including in the field of addictive behaviours in collaboration with PROMIS, in the 1990s. Now as Director of Research at PROMIS he intends to ensure that advances in the understanding of addictive behaviours, and developments in relevant in psychotherapeutic techniques, are expertly evaluated, and appropriately introduced in the treatment programme.

‘There is the possibility of bringing about a constructive synergy between psychological theory and practice on the one hand, and the recovery movement on the other, and it is my aim to ensure that this is realised in research and treatment practice at PROMIS”.


Consultant Psychiatrist

Max ZoettlDr Max Zöttl obtained his medical qualification in Freiburg, one of Germany’s premier medical faculties. He trained as psychiatrist in Hamburg and Klingenmünster and as a psychotherapist at the Institute of Clinical Behavioural Therapy and the Heidelberg Psychodynamic Curriculum. He has been a Consultant Psychiatrist in the NHS since 2006, where he is Clinical Lead for Early Intervention and Rehabilitation Services in East Kent. His special interests include Addiction and Adult ADHD.

‘Psychiatry needs to be accessible. I practise a holistic approach that integrates medication, psychotherapy and lifestyle interventions. This is not just about acute treatment of symptoms but also about learning how to overcome past and present difficulties and lead a healthy and emotionally balanced life. My work outside of the UK has also afforded me a valuable cross cultural perspective and I have a particular interest in how living in a foreign country can affect your mental health.’


Primary Care Physician

Dr Laimonas Goncaras (Dr Liam) has worked since 2007 as a General Practitioner at The Medical Centre in Maidstone, Kent.
Dr Liam graduated from Kaunas University of Medicine (Lithuania) in 2003. He endeavoured in further education in England and obtained Postgraduate Diploma in Medicine (Newcastle University), Prescribing (Greenwich University) and Dermatology (Queens Mary University, London). He also obtained Substance misuse part 1 and part 2 Diplomas from the Royal College of General Practice and is also a proud member of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP).
Since the early days of his career he was a very keen player in the Substance Misuse Services in Kent, running a Shared Care Service (methadone and suboxone) for the his practice patients and also being the member of a Steering Group with KCA. Dr Liam advises other primary care physicians and doctors on substance misuse, painkillers and appropriate prescribing.

‘Substance misuse patients need to understand that they are not ‘bad’ people, but that they suffer from an illness. My patients need and get high degrees of attention to detail. It is usually not just the patient who is affected – as addiction can involve the rest of the family too. Patient-centred care needs to be guided by an appropriately qualified professional, and addiction is no exception.’


Art Psychotherapist / Aftercare Coordinator

Lucy Gibson is an MA Art Psychotherapist, based in London and the South East. She trained at Goldsmiths university London and is registered to practice with the British Association of Art Therapists and with HCPC (Health and Care Professions Council). Lucy specialises in addiction therapy and eating disorders and works from a psychoanalytic/psychodynamic approach. She has experience in working with adults in a variety of residential and community based settings within public, private and voluntary sectors. She facilitates various Art Psychotherapy groups and works with individual clients at Promis Hay Farm Kent and Sydney Street London.

‘The overall aim of Art Psychotherapy is to enable clients to effect change and growth on a personal level through the use of art materials in a safe and facilitating environment. Engagement with the materials can be used to externalise and communicate feelings at a non verbal level, this combined with subsequent discussion can offer a deep self-reflective process. Art therapy can help release creativity, improve confidence and facilitate empowerment through self expression.’


PROMIS Therapist

Picture UnavailableNick Hofford has a diverse background. Originally schooled in foreign exchange brokerage, he continued onto working for a company who were contracted to deliver education, counselling and EIP work for the British Army Forces before joining our team in 2009.

‘As in most professions there are always a few companies or individuals that people recognise as leaders in that field. Promis with their pioneering work and highly respected team made it an easy and exciting choice to develop my own growth when the opportunity was offered.’


PROMIS Therapist

Cathy SpendiffCathy Spendiff has worked in the field of addictions since 1997. She has been helping patients at PROMIS since 2010. Prior to joining our team, she worked in the public sector and managed teams offering treatment within the NHS whilst working closely with other agencies. She is a qualified therapist who has a special interest in family work, understanding how hard it is to cope whilst living with someone who is active in their addiction.


Psychiatric Nurse / PROMIS Research Associate

Roger HughesRoger Hughes has a BSc in Mental Health Nursing from Canterbury Christchurch University and a BSc in Psychology from the University of Kent. His main clinical areas of interest are spread across positive psychology, Neurofeedback and sleep patterns. As a keen researcher and data collector, Roger, contributes vigorously to the ongoing research at PROMIS.

‘Apart from my regular duties and interests, I see my role in PROMIS as working very closely with the other team members to ensure that day to day physical and mental health needs of each client is cared for.’


Nutritional Therapist and Fitness Expert

Having grown up in the world of professional sport and being one of the top ranked junior tennis players in the world Miles was exposed to the world of exercise and nutrition from early on. After experiencing a career ending injury at a young age Miles Kasiri became a qualified personal trainer and turned his attention to training others in elite sport. He then studied for 4 years at the ‘College of Naturopathic medicine’ to become a nutritional therapist. He now works with patients with a variety of medical conditions to use the power of food to assist in their healing.

‘When working with addictions it is vital that the body is supplied with optimal nutrition in order for the brain to obtain the key nutrients it needs to think clearly, reach mental balance and for the body to gradually heal. Re nourishing the body after long periods of addiction and deprivation can have a major beneficial impact towards a successful recovery. I treat each patient as an individual and work with them based on their specific needs and goals to better their physical and mental wellbeing. My aim is to educate patients about the importance of good nutrition and the amazing impact it can play on one’s health.’


Consultant Therapist

Georgie BainbridgeGeorgie Bainbridge gained a BSc in Psychology from the University of Kent and is currently a Counselling Psychologist and Psychotherapist in training. She joined PROMIS in early 2008 and is responsible for the Equine Assisted Psychotherapy programme, which is a therapy that reaches to the core of self through experiential learning. ‘People have great fun too‘. Georgie specializes in family programmes and possesses deep insight into the destructive havoc that addiction can reek on a family.

‘PROMIS offers a programme of support, education and understanding about addiction specifically geared for family members.


RGN and Rehab Nurse

Jo KardamashJo Kardamash is a Registered Nurse with a Higher Diploma in nursing education. She qualified following three years of study at Christchurch University College Canterbury where she was in the final tranche of the Project 2000 Nursing Initiative.
Starting as a Surgical Nurse Jo provided after- care for elective and emergency surgery at Maidstone Hospital.
Commencing with PROMIS Clinics in 2012, Jo trained as a Rehab Nurse. She thoroughly enjoys this professional arena as it combines her general nursing skills with her interest in mental health and means that she can employ a broader, more holistic skill set.
Jo’s main interest is in prescription drug addictions and she studies the pharmacology. She provides healthcare education sessions to patients on the effects that prescribed drugs (such as Zopiclone and Zopildem for example) have on the body, their modes of action, the damage that can be done and why people become dependent or addicted.

‘Every patient has their own unique set of circumstances and so we apply a holistic approach to each individual person. It is not a case of just applying the same model. We create a unique pathway of care for each patient.’

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