The Imani Team
Alison Bloomberg-Green who has worked primarily with eating disorders for over 14 years is the Director at Imani. Her expertise and passion for recovery are evident in both her approach to our clients and her input in the programme at Imani.
Alison has built Imani from the ground up. Her dedication to the treatment of this life threating illness comes from personal experience of both the darkness of the disease as well as numerous years lived in the light of recovery.
Vashti Fairhead is the clinical director at Imani. Vashti is a registered social worker and for the past 15 years she has worked in various treatment facilities as a Senior Counsellor and Clinical Director. Vashti was Clinical Director for 3 years at Tabankulu where she was instrumental in developing and growing their eating disorder program. Vashti is hugely passionate about her work and has extensive knowledge and experience of working with both addicts and eating disorders. Her approach is empathic but firm and she has a wealth of additional experience.
Dana has worked in the field of addiction for the past 19 years. Currently, she runs her own private practice in Sea Point where she works with clients who suffer from all addictions ranging from drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, eating disorders and co-dependency. She has worked at numerous treatment centers throughout Cape Town, where she has also implemented numerous Eating Disorder Programs. Dana also lectures at The South African College of Applied Psychology. She teaches the Addiction module, which she co-wrote as well as an Introduction to Psychology module, she also is a guest lecturer at UCT.
Lauren began her career in the eating disorder and addictions field in 2009. Lauren works in an engaging way with her clients. She believes that it is through this mutual engagement and the client therapist relationship that clients are able to explore their presenting issues, traumas and/or challenges. Through this self-exploration she attempt to help clients arrive at a greater understanding of themselves – ‘it is only through awareness of ourselves that we can become fully aware of the challenges we face and thus tackle and overcome them in an informed way’.
Lauren is a registered Counsellor who graduated with honors in psychology Dip. (Counseling) UNISA, Dip. (Counseling) SACAP. Lauren runs a thriving private practice in the Northern Suburbs specializing in eating disorders and adolescents.
Carina Johnson holds a Master’s Degree in Psychology from UWC and has spent a decade working in the field of eating disorders. She has received training in various areas including mindfulness, Schema therapy, trauma therapy and DBT.
Dr Duncan Laurenson
MBChB PGDiploma Addiction Care (University of Cape Town)
Dr Laurenson has 15 years’ experience in addiction medicine, and is currently working clinically at two prominent Clinics in Cape Town, Kenilworth Clinic and Stepping Stones . He has recently completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Addiction Care at the University of Cape Town.
His interest focuses on medical aspects of addiction, particularly withdrawal treatment (detox) and he is currently engaged in a project monitoring treatment outcomes in various clinical settings.
He is also a member of the Service Quality Measures (SQM) committee, a South African Medical Research Council committee initiative to measure quality of treatment in South African substance abuse treatment centers. Additionally he is a member of InterRAI, a Canadian based outcomes measurement organization.
Dr Judy Bentley
Judy Bentley has been part of the Imani team since 2014. She is a psychiatrist in private practice at Vincent Pallotti Hospital, and provides psychiatric input and consultation to Imani when clients do not have their own psychiatrist. Her personal experience with an eating disorder and experience of addiction within her family help to fuel both her compassion and passion for recovery from these disorders.
We are privileged to be working with two leading eating disorder dietitians in Cape Town. Julia Lovely and Melanie Harris run a practice in Green Point and have been our dietitians and consultants for many years. They have a notable success rate and are involved in the daily running and activities at Imani. Julia has been in private practice for 16 years in Cape Town. Prior to that she lived in the UK and worked at Guys and St Thomas’s as a dietician.
Melanie’s background lies both in food and nutrition – prior to obtaining her B.Sc Medical Honours degree in Nutrition and Dietetics, she obtained a degree majoring in food product development.
Melanie has practiced with Julia Lovely for the past 15 years with a special interest in eating disorders. Before joining Julia, she was involved in private practice, consulting as well as in-patient hospital work with a large focus on the gastrointestinal tract.
She consult both in rooms in private practice as well as to various clinics, treatment – and rehabilitation facilities in and around Cape Town, working with individuals who have both acute and chronic eating disorders as well as those with disordered eating.
The aim of her work is to help individuals move from using their eating disorders as a coping mechanism and being able to separate their food and their feelings and embark on a path towards eating intuitively
Adah Emeh Abru-Charles
Adah has worked extensively with addiction and eating disorders for many years now. She has a wealth of knowledge, a firm but empathetic approach and is a great new asset to the Imani team.
Hazel provides containment with compassion but remains grounded and boundaried at all times. Hazel has worked at Imani for numerous years and has the knowledge and understanding required to make her excel at her work.
Finance & Admin Manager
Michelle is the Finance/Admin Manager for Imani. Michelle has many years’ experience working across different fields, from the hospitality industry to events management, key account manager for a corporate company, PA to director and bookkeeper for a non-profit organisation.
Suzanna Van Der Wath
Sue has worked as a Recovery Assistant at Imani since 17th March 2017 Her primary responsibilities include the containment , support and general supervision of clients assisting the counselors and other professional staff. She provides instruction around meal plans and meal supervision and administers medication to the clients. Sue observes and reports back on behavior and physical state of clients, and provides written handover for the team as well as completing any other tasks and related duties required as a recovery assistant. She also transports clients to appointments when necessary.
Anthony Fry has been working as a recovery assistant at Imani 1st January 2010. As well as doing work as a recovery assistant, Anthony has been running Eating Disorder Groups for Imani clients and the wider eating disorder recovery community since 2010. The groups are held at Imani on Tuesdays at 6pm.
Anthony graduated from Leeds Beckett University with a degree in Social Sciences majoring in psychology in 1997. He also studied undergraduate psychology for non-degree purposes at UNISA in 2013. In July 2010 He completed an Addiction Counseling Learnership at Kenilworth Clinic. He has been a member of the Council for Counselors since 2012.
Robyn works as a recovery assistant at Imani. She has an Honours degree in Social Sciences majoring in Anthropology and an undergraduate majoring in Psychology from the University of Cape Town. She worked as a researcher and independent documentary filmmaker before moving into the field of addiction and eating disorder treatment. She has been in recovery working a twelve-step programme since 2014.
David is Currently working as a Recovery Assistant at night. Dave is an aspiring psychologist who has a great interest in addictions. He is an outgoing individual who enjoys outdoor activities and just generally being around people from all walks of life.
Felice has been working in Addiction Treatment for 10+years in various capacities from Counsellor, Support Counsellor, Reception and most recently Recovery Assistant. She has been working at Imani intermittently since 2010 and looked after the Eating Disorder portfolio at Tharagay House for 5 years. She has extensive experience working with clients with dual diagnosis and is committed to supporting and caring for them in their recovery journey.