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 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. 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 several businesses and life became 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-centered 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 was 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 soldier. But during this time, Grétar struggled with addiction and this led him to the 12-step recovery programme.
He founded SOLICE to pass on his experience and help others gain the same freedom and peace he was gifted with. Grétar enjoyed working with clients with a ‘hands-on’ approach in all aspects of their stay. This included meetings, group sessions, gym, excursions, cycling and making their stay as comfortable as possible.
My experience, qualifications and philosophy have enabled me to work confidently with a number of different therapeutic approaches to facilitate each individual’s journey from addiction to recovery. I am interested in the treatment of all forms of addiction and relationship problems caused by both chemical and behavioural addictions.
I have more than 20 years of experience working in substance misuse and criminal justice, both in the community and in residential settings. With a Masters in drug intervention strategy and a Diploma in counselling, I have developed both an academic and professional knowledge of motivational interviewing and cognitive behavioural therapies.
I spent 13 years working with one of the largest social care providers in the UK, gaining experience in a number of different areas including the rough sleeping communities, structured day programmes, alcohol services, and residential services. In addition to this, I have managed a number of residential services and drug intervention programmes across the UK, including an integrated alcohol service in the London Borough of Camden.
Having launched my consultancy business in 2009, I have developed a number of group work programmes for the criminal justice service as well as residential services, in addition to launching a youth peer mentoring programme. In 2015 I co-founded Charterhouse Clinic Flore, a specialist alcohol and substance misuse residential service offering bespoke treatment programmes.
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.
Shelly is a Certified TRE Global Provider, Certified Neurogenic Yoga Instructor and EYT-500 with over a decade of experience. She specializes in helping clients release trauma through TRE. This healing modality utilizes the body’s intrinsic therapeutic tremoring mechanism to let go of built up tension, stress, and buried emotional trauma stored within the body.
As a person also in recovery from alcoholism, addiction, and Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Shelly shares a deep empathy for those suffering from dissociative illnesses and knows firsthand how important it is to release and process trauma in order to maintain long term sobriety.
Her knowledge of the body from a long career as a professional dancer as well as a honed intuitive perception support her mission and joy to share this healing work, bringing relief, connection, and embodiment, as well as the ability to experience the profound benefits of TRE over time as she has.
Elizabeth is an accredited life coach and Reiki master and has worked in the health and wellness industry for 18 years empowering others to live happy, healthy and fulfilling lives, (whatever that means to them), physically and emotionally.
Elizabeth’s lived experience of addiction and recovery as a broken individual and mother has provided her with a valuable insight and perspective into the deep pain and disconnection that this disease creates as well as the recovery process and gifts that it can bring.
‘I am honoured to be able to pay forward what has been given to me, a sense of inner peace and a second chance at life.’
Arbresha Sejdiu, born and raised in Sweden. I moved to Spain 21 with my family.
I have a bachelor degree in behavioral science (3,5 year), advanced special education in counseling from Lund university (1 year) and also advanced education in mental wellness (2 years) from Gävle universitet.
Beside my academic experience I have been certified as a life coach, laughteryoga instructor, repulse treatment (cbt manual based program, for anger management) and I’m also an master reiki healer.
I have 7 years of experience as an counselor in Sweden, and still have missions in this field. I have experience with children, adults and family, all from lighter mental illnesses to, eating disorders and different kinds of addiction. Beside the individual work I also have a lot of experience with preventative work.
I combine my experience and provide an holistic approach to help people heal and speak, Albanian, Swedish and English.
Deb is a licensed Counsellor with over 25 years experience in the mental health sector.
She specialises in sexual violence, abuse and trauma, eating disorders, addiction and Couples Therapy. She also works with the subconscious mind helping to change negative patterning into finding a positive way forward.
She has worked in Private Practice in the UK and with the Police commissioner in working with survivors of sexual assault going through the court system. Having moved to Spain 2 years ago, now has a thriving Private Practice in Marbella working with clients from all over the world.
Sam is a support worker. He is impassioned about helping people with a life of addiction re-enter society as sober individuals, he is able to help them make the transition into a life of healing, growth, and positivity.
Sam helps people struggling with all sorts of addictions to a happy positive path towards sober living. He has a level 2 qualification in counselling and a level 2 qualification in understand mental health first aid and mental health advocacy.
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.”
Steven has been working both in Spain and the UK.
“I have worked in a number of rehabs for many years now. I have extensive experience both as a client and a support worker. I specialise in delivering Workshops and Recovery meetings, also General 1 to 1 support & our current residents Continued Care Plans. I have a got a lot of experience in Drug and Alcohol misuse both inside and outside the LGBT Society.”