Meet the team

The Imani Treatment Centre team is truly exceptional. Not only do they share years of world-class training and experience between them, they are just as compassionate as they are knowledgeable. At Imani we understand that everyone is unique, and work together to provide the right treatment plan for each client.

'I needed care and support of people who knew about ED so that I could not slip back into old behaviours.'

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Although each person is different, most eating disorder sufferers share various thoughts and behaviours. Many have even had similar life experiences. Our dynamic team is able to support you in dealing with these issues as they come up, in a safe and nurturing therapeutic environment.

As with any group, the key to our team’s success is communication. Each member lets the others know of important developments in client treatment, as soon as possible. Everyone is kept informed, so that they know exactly what kind of care to give at all times and are able to support each other’s efforts in working with clients.

Since so many diverse treatments and principles are offered at Imani, a collaborative, holistic team is even more important. We have found great success in our multidisciplinary, teamwork-based approach and have helped many clients take further steps on their road to healing. We have faith that we can do the same for you or your loved ones.

 

The key to our team’s success is communication.

Our core team

Alison Bloomberg-Green, Director

Alison Bloomberg-Green 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, Clinical Director

Firm but incredibly empathic, Vashti’s daily duties include overseeing our therapeutic programme and managing our counselling team. If she could choose a superpower for herself, it would be to show Imani clients how special they all are with a snap of her fingers. Since she can’t do that, she uses her impressive clinical skills to achieve the same outcome. A registered Social Worker, Vashti has worked as Senior Counsellor and Clinical Director in various treatment centres for over 15 years. She is passionate about what she does, and says the most rewarding part of her job is watching eating disorder sufferers begin to heal and practice self-acceptance.

 

Dana Tadmor, Senior Counsellor

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 centres throughout Cape Town, where she has also implemented numerous Eating Disorder programmes. 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.

 

Megan Hittler, Counsellor

Megan has been working in the field of mental health since 2015. Over the years she has worked in a variety of settings, including both private and non-profit organisations. Her interests and expertise are in the field of treatment of eating disorders, substance abuse and trauma-related disorders. She counts watching clients recover a sense of independence as the best part of what she does. In her own words, each little step towards freedom deserves to be celebrated! Megan runs group sessions, counsels individuals and facilitates family meetings at Imani, among many other tasks.

 

Michelle Templeton, Financial and Administration Manager

Michelle is the one who keeps operations at Imani running as smoothly as they do! Her many daily tasks include maintaining financial and staff records, reviewing, updating and opening contracts with external service providers, preparing budgets and invoices, and organising client transport to and from the airport and other appointments. Getting all this and more done, Michelle plays an integral part in making Imani work and enables us to keep helping clients. She has worked in finance and administration for many years, and counts the fact that she plays a part in restoring the futures of eating disorder sufferers as the biggest perk of her job at Imani.
 

Support counsellors

 

Jenni

Jenni has been working in the field of recovery for over four years. Though experienced and highly professional, she also feels that she is constantly learning and counts this as one of the best things about working at Imani.

She also loves helping people to “find their soul”, as she says, in her capacity as a recovery assistant. Her practical tasks include helping with new admissions, supervising meals and providing important support through difficult outings and appointments.

Jenni wouldn’t want to be able to eradicate eating disorders and addiction as her superpower, but rather to help everyone find recovery as part of their journey. Well, that or be able to fly so she could get to work faster!

 

Dave

An aspiring psychologist who loves being around people from all walks of life, David has been an important part of the Imani team for the past few years.

He has a particular interest in addictions and eating disorders, and values being able to help people unlock new parts of themselves in his daily work. By finding these new aspects of their identities, Dave says, individuals can allow their true personalities to shine through.

In his capacity as a recovery assistant he facilitates groups, checks meal plans, ensures that the treatment centre runs smoothly and creates a safe, judgement-free space for clients.

Therapy Dog Bob

Therapy Dog / Head Counsellor

Rescued from a life on the streets in Khayelitsha, Bob is one of Imani’s greatest assets. Bob is one of the best DBT tools we have. There is nothing quite like Bob's cuddles. Our resident dog Bob specialises in comforting and empathy and his promotion to Head Counsellor comes with hard-won effort on his part.

Other important team players

 

Registered nurse

Tasneem Daniels

Tasneem has 7 years of experience in mental health both working in state and private institutions.

In her words “my most rewarding part of my job is to make a difference in my clients holistic healing process.”

Tasneem’s duties are to ensure that clients receive their correct medication, are supervised during meal times and to attend to any medical concerns and give support to clients.

Sound knowledge of the basics of eating disorders

External practitioners

At Imani we use a team of highly qualified external practitioners, who are all widely respected in their respective fields. Registered dieticians, nutritionists, general medical doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists and other professionals are all on hand to deliver the optimal combination of care for each individual client.

Any other specialists, including endocrinologists for diabetes and other hormone imbalances or gastroenterologists for digestive issues, can be consulted as and when they are needed. These experts are also of the highest calibre, to help ensure their patients’ optimum physical health. In turn, this physical health facilitates our residents’ journeys of recovery and healing.

 

Recovery assistants

Our gentle, dedicated recovery assistants are an important part of our team. They provide important infrastructure, whether the counsellors are on duty or it’s after hours. Clients can turn to the recovery assistants on duty for the care they need, whenever they need it.

At Imani, our recovery assistants’ duties include supervising food preparation and meals, helping with shopping and other outings, and providing more support during group sessions or activities.

With a sound knowledge of the basics of eating disorders and Imani’s holistic treatment approach, they ensure that the atmosphere is always stable, nurturing and supportive of your recovery.

 

Dr Judy Bentley

Dr Judy Bentley has been a psychiatrist for over a decade, and treating individuals afflicted with addictions and eating disorders has become her primary area of interest. Several of her patients have given her the name “Wonder Woman” because of her ability to identify with and help so many people.

Dr Duncan Laurenson

Dr Duncan Laurenson has more than 15 years’ experience in addiction medicine, 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.
 
 

Melanie Harris / Julia Lovely

Melanie Harris and Julia Lovely have been practising as dieticians in Cape Town for roughly the same length of time. At Imani, they are both involved in individual nutritional assessment, counselling, meal plan formulation, and staff training. They also facilitate important group dietetic sessions with the entire community. By challenging faulty thinking patterns around food, both Melanie and Julia help eating disorder sufferers get the sound nutrition they need to heal.

 

“Every eating disorder sufferer deserves to find recovery. Let us light the way.”