Call our specialists 24/7 in confidence Click to call 02075818222 Call us 24/7 in confidence Call our specialists 24/7 in confidence. Click to call 02075818222

“Nothing About Us Without Us!” – Moving Away From Criminalisation Of Addiction

October 30th, 2014

Addiction in the NewsIt has been impossible, today, to ignore the important findings of a recent Home Office report, which compared the UK’s approach to drug misuse with that of 13 other countries and concluded that there is no evidence that the criminalisation of drug use leads to a reduction in the problem. See, for example,

In simple terms, there is no evidence that punishing people for having a drug problem will actually stop them using. Those of us who work in this field have a responsibility to those who suffer from addiction, and their loved ones and our communities, to focus the debate on what does work.

Awareness, understanding, tackling the grass roots of addiction in our homes, schools and towns must not be derailed, and works, but, as we all know, so does treatment.


Read the rest of this entry »

Looking In From the Outside

January 19th, 2014

An experienced Recovery Coach from the States paid our Hay Farm clinic a visit and gave us an account of his observations that we are happy to share with you. We thank Dr. Ronald W. Hill for his kind and insightful thoughts.

ReHayFarmcently I had the privilege and pleasure of visiting the PROMIS residential treatment facility in rural Kent. As a counselor from New York City, I was curious about how drug and alcohol treatment was approached and carried out in the UK, as compared to treatment in the United States. I was delighted at what I witnessed at PROMIS for several reasons. However, before I go into the details of my experience at PROMIS, permit me to digress a little to give some idea of my background, working in treatment.


During my 20 year career I worked in a variety of treatment centers, with diverse patient populations. Those treatment centers included Hazelden and Cornerstone Medical Arts in Manhattan. Before moving to New York I worked in Portland, Oregon on the west coast at Lakeside-Milam, The Springbrook Institute and the DePaul Center. I also spent 3 years as a counselor at a treatment center located inside a prison, and 3 years as an Assessment Specialist for NADAP, also in Manhattan. I mention these treatment centers to indicate that I have had quite a variety of experiences working in treatment.


Read the rest of this entry »

PROMIS Clinics Advances Addictions Research with the Latest Release of its Pioneering Self-Assessment Tool

May 30th, 2013

New scoring system for the self-assessment questionnaire by PROMIS Clinics improves the measurement of addictive tendencies and can help with treatment by uncovering hidden mental health issues.

New research by PROMIS Rehabilitation Clinics to establish an average spectrum of behaviour has enabled the clinic to revise the scoring system used by its addictive tendencies test to more accurately diagnose problem behaviours.

The latest update to the popular online self-assessment questionnaire is a simple-to-use diagnostic tool that provides individuals with a breakdown of their addictive tendencies across 16 categories of behaviour. The severity of these tendencies is scored in the context of what would be considered ‘normal’ for the general population, providing a more meaningful assessment of potentially problematic behaviours and associated issues.

The addiction test results are delivered immediately and in confidence, making it a useful tool for concerned friends and family to prompt loved ones to seek help.

The Shorter PROMIS Questionnaire (SPQ) is an essential clinical mental health assessment tool for the treatment of a whole spectrum of addictions. The 160-question format assesses multiple areas of concern including alcohol and substance abuse, eating disorders and compulsive behaviours, with the results categorised into nine levels, from ‘No Problem’ up to ‘Most Extreme Problem’.

Previously, the addictions test used the same threshold for each type of addictive behaviour to determine a cause for concern. The new scoring calibrates an individual’s results against a predefined average for the population as a whole to deliver more relevant results. For example, a score of 20 for nicotine could be considered average, whereas a score of 20 for caffeine would be at the extreme end of the spectrum.

The development of the new scoring system is part of PROMIS Clinics’ on-going programme of research to advance the field of addiction recovery. The clinic is committed to going beyond the presenting problem to diagnose and treat co-occurring issues. Not only can the addictions questionnaire help people recognise problem behaviour, but it can also uncover hidden issues that may be contributing factors to the predominant addiction.

‘Problems of addiction rarely come singly, and the Shorter PROMIS Questionnaire enables patterns of behaviour to be established,’ explains Professor Geoffrey Stephenson, PROMIS Clinics’ Director of Research.

‘This is clinically important as it indicates possible routes to relapse, and the development of distinctive approaches to group problems. The test enables the client to view the nature of their difficulties from a broader perspective, and provides an indication of lifestyle changes that might be profitably explored.’

PROMIS Clinics has also updated the test application to make it more user-friendly and optimise it for use on mobiles and tablets. Users are now able to save their progress if necessary and continue the test at a later time. The test is already available online and as a Facebook app, and the recent application upgrades are designed to pave the way for the development of mobile apps to make the test even more accessible to the public.

‘We are delighted to see this further refinement of the SPQ,’ said Promis Clinics’ Treatment Director Robin Lefever. ‘The test was one of the world’s first questionnaires to identify a broad range of addictive processes and is now more relevant than ever in providing pointers to problem areas that might otherwise have been missed. This latest evolution does a brilliant job of calibrating the questionnaire and showing just how extreme a score really is when compared to the rest of the population. Both clinicians and patients find this quick and intuitive.’

About the Shorter PROMIS Questionnaire – The questionnaire is the only assessment tool that measures 16 categories of addiction simultaneously including alcohol, gambling, shopping, food starving and food bingeing, recreational drugs, tobacco, sex, caffeine, exercise, work, compulsive helping (dominant and submissive), relationships (dominant and submissive) and prescription drugs. Each addictive behaviour has a score of 0-50, determined by the answers provided to the 160 questions. The results for each behaviour are categorised into nine levels, from No Problem up to Most Extreme Problem, with the scaling based on a population average, enabling effective diagnosis of problem behaviours.

Originally published on:

Horticultural Therapy

March 26th, 2013

Orange tulipsSpring is hopefully just around the corner and so is a great prompt to introduce Horticultural Therapy to Hay Farm. We have such a beautiful setting here, with 12 acres of farm land, so it is perfect for those who feel that this therapy might help them.

Horticultural Therapy is an active process which engages individuals to connect with nature as a way of healing themselves. It is the use of gardening as a client-centred therapeutic tool to promote physical, cognitive, emotional and spiritual well-being.

Throughout time, gardens have always been revered as a place of tranquility and peace and also considered as aesthetic expressions of beauty through art and nature. Just as we feel refreshed when walking through a forest or a field of flowers and experience a sense of joy when spring blooms, it is not hard to imagine how helping things grow and transforming an empty pot, field or land to a place of beauty can be very rewarding.

Among the many listed benefits of Horticultural Therapy such as enhancing positive mental attitude, reducing stress, alleviating depression, enhancing self-confidence, promoting gratification, developing cognitive skills and improving decision making, you are sure to discover your own unique benefits. Read the rest of this entry »

PROMIS Clinics Inspires Addiction Recovery through New Creative Writing Workshops

January 31st, 2013

Led by veteran PROMIS life coach and writer, Giles Ford, the new Creative Writing sessions use the Pennebaker model to facilitate addiction recovery through expressive writing.

With over 25 years of expertise and dedication towards constant integration and investigation of the most effective treatment methods for treating individuals suffering from addiction, depression and other co-occurring disorders, PROMIS Clinics is thrilled to announce its newest addition into their intensive Residential Treatment Programme, Creative Writing sessions.

PROMIS Director of Research, Professor Stephenson has previously published research conducted at PROMIS showing how beneficial it is to ask clients to write imaginatively about how they are changing over their time in treatment. The results of these studies have been published in numerous journals including Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, Journal of Constructivist Psychology and Addictive Behaviors. Now, PROMIS’ commitment to continuously providing the best avenues for treatment has inspired the introduction of Creative Writing and healing sessions to focus on memory retrieval and recovery through several new writing activities and exercises.

Veteran life coach and writer in residence at PROMIS, Giles Ford, is researching the strong links between creative writing and addiction recovery with leading academics in the field and bringing that knowledge into PROMIS treatment programmes available to all residents and alumni. The creative writing sessions are not therapy in themselves, but can help discover issues that can be brought into individual counselling.

Clinicians such as Robin Lefever, Clinical Director of PROMIS Clinics, see the new addition as an opportunity for patients in recovery who are generally highly creative individuals, to start writing a memoir, novel, short stories, play, film script or poetry collection that aid as a therapeutic resource; allowing patients to find new ways to access and describe experiences, events and for some even traumas that clients have been unable to reach or talk about openly to others or in group sessions.

Researchers believe that creating works of fiction is often a catalyst for personal creativity that can convey heightened moments in one’s life including love, loss, joy and hope. The PROMIS writing workshops are based on the Pennebaker expressive writing model, developed by Dr. James W. Pennebaker, who has also visited PROMIS in the past and has made use of their research data in his own publications. The model suggests that writing these down can help patients to gain a sense of identity, continuity and self-awareness. Many clients can benefit from the therapeutic effects of writing as part of their recovery programme similar to how art and drama therapy have been proven to do so.

Through the new Creative Writing workshops, PROMIS is pioneering and sharing how creative writing can help patients:

  • Access, feel, heal and recover from traumatic experiences and grief in healthy ways.
  • Uncover, discover and make sense of personal history or experience.
  • Find a voice and discover different aspects and perspectives of identity through use of fiction writing techniques.
  • Explore creativity and talent as a means of building hope and confidence .

Originally published on:

Expert Analysis, Addiction Insights and Client Success Now Featured on PROMIS Clinics Blog

January 7th, 2013

PROMIS Rehabilitation Clinics, the UK’s leading and most trusted residential addiction treatment facility, is gearing up for a New Year on their blog with new, ongoing postings from some of PROMIS Clinics’ most experienced therapists, research team members and clients.

PROMIS Clinics are expanding their digital footprint; with an established reputation for providing safe, friendly and comfortable environment for recovering addicts, PROMIS is taking expert insight from therapists and researchers, patient stories and featuring them on their recovery blog. New on the blog for 2013 are insightful commentaries on a wide range of topics to inspire, and aid recovery amongst those whose struggle with addiction and mood disorders including anxiety and depression. The PROMIS Blog will also continuously feature various guest authors with different areas of expertise.

PROMIS combines over 25 years of expertise and dedication towards constant integration of the latest and most effective treatment methods for treating individuals suffering from addiction, depression and other co-occurring disorders. By sharing their insights on the blog,, clinicians at PROMIS hope they can educate recovering addicts, and provide valuable resources to family members and concerned friends who may be seeking treatment for their loved ones.

“We hope the content that we publish will provide encouragement to the general audience and serve as a resource to those that are casually interested in keeping up to date on the work that we do here,” said Robin Lefever, Clinical Director of PROMIS Clinics. “We devote a significant portion of our resources to research and we pride ourselves on discovering new ways to treat addiction – but all this information is only useful if anyone can access it, which is why we have placed a priority on sharing it with everyone – and we feel that the PROMIS Blog is the place to do it.”

Originally published on:

The Power That Lies Within The Heart

January 2nd, 2013

The peace that passeth all understanding

The Heart is the messenger of Life, I discovered that with my spiritual partner Carmel in the summer of 2005 while working on the creation of a new spiritual workshop in a small cottage on the wild and beautiful Beara Peninsula in West Cork, Ireland. We had been earnestly working for several days on the different aspects of the workshop, when one day we seemed to move into a space of absolute confusion, which suddenly exploded within us in the form of resistance and anger. We found this shift so unbearable, that we both retired to our rooms to hopefully sleep it off. Little did we know that what was to happen, would change our understanding of Life completely. Read the rest of this entry »

Free Yoga Classes for Alumni of Treatment and Recovery Centre PROMIS Clinics

December 28th, 2012

The UK’s most trusted and leading treatment and recovery centre, PROMIS Clinics is now offering free yoga classes exclusively to alumni of their residential programme.

Known for providing a unique opportunity to stimulate both physical relaxation and mental decompression simultaneously, yoga can also be used as a powerful tool in the treatment and recovery phase of addiction as well as depression and anxiety. The practice of stretching and strengthening the body can help connect clients to their inner peace and to the world around them. Once a patient completes the rehabilitation programme and leaves residential treatment, they are often faced with daily issues, stress factors and triggers that may have lead to their initial addiction, making the early recovery a fragile period. For this reason, PROMIS Clinics is proud to now offer free weekly yoga classes exclusively to the alumni of their treatment and recovery programme as part of their ongoing support.

“For all of us, there are certain times in our lives when our problems outweigh our resources. At times like these, we need to find tools that help and support us” says Clair Vainola, London Unit Manager and Lead Therapist.

Offering free yoga classes will help ensure patients maintain a calm and relaxed mind, help to see and understand their thoughts and feelings more clearly, and create a deeper awareness of themselves and others post-treatment.

By deepening their own understanding of how their minds work when reacting to outside influences, clients are able to break the cycle that people often fall into when reacting to strong emotions and thoughts, problems and difficulties. They can use the relaxation and meditation like properties of yoga to achieve that deeper awareness necessary to realise/recognize what is going on and choose not to react habitually in times of difficulty.

Originally published on:

Hope for Depressed Addicts

December 27th, 2012

Not so long ago Alcoholics Anonymous was regarded with condescension by many professionals working in the addiction field. A common view was that science-based techniques, like Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) had made the Anonymous Fellowships seem like a quaint and outmoded quasi-religious cult.

At the same time, there were encouraging signs of scientific method being employed in the evaluation of both AA’s effectiveness, and of the value of the 12-step based Minnesota Method as practised in many treatment centres (Cook, 1988; McCrady & Miller, 1993). But the critical event leading to greater respect from the scientific establishment for the practices of AA was the publication of the results of Project Match in the 1990’s. This large-scale definitive study found that teaching alcoholics the basic tenets of AA philosophy and practice and encouraging participation in AA was at least as effective in facilitating recovery as was CBT. Subsequently, research into how AA works has continued unabated, and I wish now to highlight in particular a recent study from the USA that has examined the role of 12-step attendance with respect to current concern with the problem of “co-morbidity” – that is, the presence in an individual of a psychiatric condition like major depression alongside that of drug/alcohol addiction.

It’s now generally recognised that addicts with a “co-morbid” diagnosis of major depression present a particular challenge in treatment. Participation in AA/NA was shown in 2003 to have a beneficial effect on abstinence, whether or nor co-morbid depression was evident (Kelly et al 2003). A very recently published study shows just how important attendance can be for clients with both diagnoses (Worley et al 2012). 12-step treatment of co-morbid substance use and major depression was investigated,
in comparison with use of CBT. This study shows that 12-step attendance in itself, regardless of strength of affiliation, mediated a significant reduction in depression. In turn, the lower depression mediated an improvement in substance use. The improvement in depression in those treated by 12-step facilitation (TSF) actually exceeded that in a CBT group. Moreover, the beneficial effects of 12-step attendance on depression were also evident in those clients in the CBT treatment group who chose to attend the 12-step meetings. In summary, major depressive disorder is not an exceptional problem for those attending 12-step groups because AA attendance itself has a beneficial effect on depression, and lower depression leads to successful recovery from addiction. Read the rest of this entry »

December 2012 Newsletter

December 21st, 2012

Dear Friends,

We hope that you are enjoying the magic and the excitement of this festive season. Your happiness and good news are the best presents you could give us this holiday season so please do not hesitate to get in touch with us!

Over the past year, it has been lovely to see familiar faces in our various events and workshops. It always warms our hearts to get an email, a call and or even a brief word of how you are doing.

For this coming new year, it is our wish to keep more in touch! So in 2013 we will not shy away from creating circumstances in which we can come together. We look forward to seeing you again at any of our events and workshops which we organise with you in mind.

Warmest thoughts and wishes for a wonderful holiday season from your PROMIS family.


Mark your Calendars for 2013’s first event!

You are cordially invited to an evolutionary 2-day workshop, The Work with Heart, hosted by Oliver Brady.

Make a difference to the way you think and feel as we embark on a brand new year, make yourself available and open to your heart’s desires and limitless opportunities.

What some of the past participants have said: (for full testimonials, please visit the website)

After much pushing and coercion, I reluctantly agreed to go. What I heard and learnt there, was a wisdom that was disturbing yet also refreshing and absolutely illuminating. During the day Oliver passionately shared this wisdom and understanding with everyone in a simple, clear and compassionate way.

This is powerful stuff, it has allowed me to change my life in ways I never thought possible. It has given me the key to true self worth, self respect and self love and for that I am eternally grateful.

                                                                               Ray McDonagh, Glasgow, Scotland

I am definitely one of your success stories. Before I done The Work with Heart I was in a terrible state. I was suffering from panic attacks regularly, had no confidence in myself and my social life was nil! Now, I feel I have been reborn, the panic attacks have gone completely…The Work with Heart is a beautifully simple, yet powerful experience. Thank you for giving my life back to me.

                                                                                         Erika Bennet, London, UK


  • 20th of January
  • 3rd of February


  • PROMIS London Clinic


Experience the powerful transformation you desire. Book online now!


Free Alumni Event: Skype sessions with our Nutritional Therapist on SundaysA chance for our Alumni to consult Miles Kasiri to expand on the knowledge about how to enhance your diet for healthier living.

To register, simply RSVP your interest to us at and we will reserve a spot for you in the upcoming sessions.

Any ideas for future workshops?

We would love to hear from you any suggestions you may have regarding what kind of events and workshops you would like us to bring for you.

You can drop us a line at


Free Alumni Event: Join us in London for weekly Yoga SessionsWhen:

Every Wednesday between 5.00pm and 6.00pm


PROMIS London Clinic

Sign up online here or RSVP by email at


Copyright © 2012 PROMIS Clinics, All rights reserved.

Copyright PROMIS Addiction Rehab Clinics ©