Social worker and Edenvale resident Karen Griessel has bid farewell to Wedge Gardens after being part of the therapeutic team at the rehab centre for over six years.
“I started at Wedge Gardens in 2015, doing my practical work there during the last year of my social work studies. I was blessed enough to start working there full-time in 2016 and over the years, gained much experience and knowledge.
“The most rewarding part of my time as a Wedge Gardens therapist was seeing men come into treatment as broken and lost souls, with the belief that they had no hope. Despite their many troubles and traumas, I witnessed their healing and saw them blossom into the authentic human beings God intended them to be. In many cases, they reconciled with their families.
“As you can imagine, successful outcomes cannot be guaranteed in substance abuse rehabilitation and, therefore, these successes and victories are what gave me the energy to keep on hoping and helping,” she says.
Karen believes another important part of her job was educating patients, families and society at large about the different aspects of addiction, to help lift the stigma that still exists.
“Now I know more than anyone the destruction caused by substance abuse disorder and respect the feelings involved; however, I believe knowledge and understanding can bring insight and comfort.
“During my time at Wedge Gardens, I decided to do my Honours in Psychology to continue with my personal development as I like studying and wanted, metaphorically, to keep my knife sharp in dealing with the psychological issues and dual diagnoses often found in patients so I can ultimately understand and help them better.
“So it is no surprise that my next step is a Master’s in Psychology, while I still have the study muscle. While I may get involved in part-time therapeutic work, I want to have more balance in my life and the time to practise self-care while continuing my education.
“I want to thank my manager at Wedge Gardens, Adel Grobbelaar, who was not only a great boss to me but also a mentor. She and the team have a challenging job and they do it with dedication.”