I was born in Iceland in 1976, to a simple life in a remote area. My father was a local fisherman, so I grew up pretty much with just my mother and two sisters. That was until my father passed away in an accident at sea when I was just seven years old. I struggled to fit in and dealt with this by learning to manipulate those around me. Becoming exceptionally angry with the world, I grew to be outwardly tough and somewhat insular with all of my emotions.
Even though I had always excelled at sports, I soon found alcohol at the age of 15 and shortly after found solace in class A drugs. This seemed to solve my problems, albeit only for a short time. Despite all of this, at this stage, I still oddly felt that I fitted in – even managing to successfully pursue my sports career as a key member of a volleyball team that went on to become Icelandic champions. This athleticism always stayed with me and I’m sure put me in good stead later on in my adult life when I subsequently became one of Iceland’s strongest men.
It was this sporting prowess that led me to complete an exceptional military bodyguard training course. I was one of only four recruits out of the initial 74 who managed to complete this rigorous SAS-style training. I quickly went on to join the UN in their Search and Rescue division, though ultimately my drinking and drug taking resulted in me having to depart. By this point, I had learned how best to exploit both my military skills and my recently acquired global connections for my own personal gain, running drugs between various countries and as a result becoming exceptionally wealthy.
It was during this period of my life where I felt the most lost, having grown hardened to my life of crime. I had a complete lack of regard for anyone. In particular, those who genuinely cared about me. Eventually, I found myself arrested and in court for smuggling and other drug-related offences. I was sentenced to a two-and-a-half-year jail term. At this stage, I knew I was nothing more than just another sad prison statistic. It was an all-time low, but what was to set me on my journey to recovery.
The journey to recovery
So, I began to embark on the 12-step program. As a result, I started a number of businesses and life became really good. However, I soon began to take for granted the huge progress I had made. I eventually took a wrong turn which resulted in a horrendous relapse. This time it was not just the drugs and alcohol that returned to my life, but my whole previous self-centred way of thinking and living. The drugs, the crime, and the wrong type of friends and associates were once again all back in my life.
Today I have a great life, but that’s because I STILL practice the program daily. I have no desire to drink and I have finally managed to find a way of living that is both rewarding and fulfilling in so many ways. The best times I have now are always when I am doing something for someone else. So, I started the Solice recovery to introduce people to what was given to me. I spend my time sharing what I know in a bid to help fellow addicts find both recovery and comfort. I try to help them avoid the potential pitfalls that can lead to relapse through often unforeseen circumstances.
Grétar is an experienced practitioner of the 12-step programme and the principal founding member of SOLICE. After competing as an Icelandic strongman, he then became a bodyguard and a solider. But during this time, Grétar struggled with addiction and this led him into the 12-step recovery programme. He founded SOLICE to pass on his experience and help others gain the same freedom and peace that he has been gifted with. Grétar enjoys working with clients with a ‘hands-on’ approach in all aspects of their stay. This includes meetings, group sessions, gym, excursions, cycling and making their stay as comfortable as possible.
Medical specialist, who has a Norwegian and Spanish medical authorization, in Ear, Nose and Throat Diseases, Head and Neck Surgery and Family medicine. She graduated as a Medical Doctor in 2002 and has worked in hospitals in Norway and in Spain. Since 2013 she started Clinica NorMed in Marbella, and she work on the physical aspects of the clients at Solice, all to make the journey towards recovery a more successful one. Dr. Beate speaks Norwegian, Spanish and English.
Asta is a licensed psychologist and clinical supervisor. She has been working in the addiction field for over twenty years, both in clinics and in her private practice based in Paris, France. Her special interests include comorbidity and multiple diagnosis, bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, trauma, ADHD, eating disorders, co-dependency and the special challenges faced by the addict’s family and loved ones. She intervenes at Solice as an external consultant for clients with complex cases and coexisting psychological conditions.
Louise is a certified drug and alcohol addiction counsellor (FDAP; ICADC) with 16 years’ experience of 12-Step recovery. She has studied counselling at the Westminster Pastoral Foundation (WPF); The Metanoia Institute; Action on Addiction; and The Schema Therapy Institute in London. She has a MSc. in Addiction Psychology and Counselling from London South Bank University (LSBU). Louise has worked at treatment centres in Spain and UK.
Steven is arguably one of the leaders in UK addiction therapy and education. He is highly sought after in the field of treatment through his experience of more than 25 years and his quality of service. He has worked in treatment centres from detox to after care and all types of therapy in-between the two. He has lectured to police, probation, social workers and key workers on how to work with addicts and challenging behaviour. He has extensive experience in battling drug and alcohol addiction, treatment and rehabilitation and therapy.
Stefan is a recovery coach and has over 14 years of experience from 12-step work and recovery. Helping others and seeing them change their lives and grow is an absolute passion for Stefan. He is also an experienced public speaker and has visited schools, companies and organizations in both Sweden and Spain to talk about addiction and its effect on the individual and the family around the addict. Born and raised in Stockholm, Sweden he has lived in different parts of the world until he came to beautiful Marbella 2012. He Speaks English, Spanish and Swedish.
Rebecca is a Solice Counsellor, Certified Recovery Specialist, Interventionist and has worked in the Medical Sector as a Patient Facing Medical Consultant for over 10 years. Her passion for helping those struggling with mental health and addiction issues has led her to work in Rehabs in the USA and Spain. She is devoted to empowering, guiding and educating individuals which is what has ultimately brought her to join The Solice Team.
Cissy is a group and individual therapist at Solice Recovery. She has been working in the field of addiction over the last decade. Cissy holds a diploma as Counsellor and Coach from the Academy for Counselling and Coaching in Amsterdam. She trained in addiction counselling with the Promis recovery clinic in Kent, England. Cissy first held group therapy sessions as a volunteer for the Cascade International addiction counselling service. After finishing her counselling training, she started working as a 12-step counsellor for Promis in London. The recovery centres she has worked with practice the Minnesota Model. Cissy has experience in holding group and individual therapy as well as in crisis intervention. She has working knowledge of English, Dutch and German. Cissy is compassionate, loves group therapy and enjoys being part of a team.
Joy has been working in the Health and Wellness industry for the last 17 years. Originally from Scotland, she has worked in West Africa, Asia and the Middle East training and teaching a wide variety of people on how to adopt healthier attitudes and behaviors and maintain healthier lifestyles. She is currently an undergraduate, studying a BSc (Honors) Psychology and Counselling Degree and has experience working with people struggling with their mental health and addictions. Joy has a heart for people and is passionate about the healing process that enables people to re-discover their true selves. Joy loves the outdoors and spends most of her free time hiking in the beautiful Andalusian mountains with her chocolate Labrador, Beanz.
Páll is Solice Programme Manager. He has a BS. in Psychology from the University of Iceland. Previously, he worked in centres for people with mental health issues and addiction. He himself has struggled with addiction and codependency. For over 12 years, he has practiced 12-step recovery. Páll believes in a healthy, balanced lifestyle and leading a fruitful life, helping others with similar issues.
Luke is Solice Admissions Manager. "Having personal experience of addiction for a vast number of years myself. I have also grown up with knowledge of the complexities that addictions cause within the Family through first-hand experience with various members of my own immediate family. I’ve come to the realisation that both pressures of modern life and our own inability to deal with & accept our own traumas can often lead to addiction and deeply affect family life. My view, is that we will all at some point, either love, know or have someone in our lives who will suffer with addiction. I feel exceptional lucky to have found this incredible role here in Spain. Helping recovering addicts to be able make a new start and to gain positive new memories through their own sobriety."
Graham Hellier MBE is a self-made entrepreneur and philanthropist who was awarded an MBE for founding and funding a village for 500 displaced families in El Salvador providing houses to 3,000 people. Graham is the founder of businesses such as the WCEA which provides educational services to doctors, nurses and midwives in more than 100 countries as well as sitting on the board of Social Energy which offers a global solution to the storage and distribution of green energy through grid balancing software. Graham is proud to be involved with the Solice recovery programme, changing people’s lives and promoting mental wellbeing.
David spent most of his life running corporate businesses and decided to move from London and take a different path. Working with an experienced team, David’s objective in life is to make a difference. As a founder, Solice has provided him that opportunity and his motivation is to provide a sanctuary where those who are in early recovery have a place to go which can ultimately improve their chances of discovering a peaceful life. He believes that the Spanish sunshine, a sober environment, practicing 12-step recovery and being around like-minded people can significantly improve an individual’s opportunity to reach their goals.