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 with 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 programme. 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 practise the programme 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 a 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 guests 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.
Asta 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 guests with complex cases and coexisting psychological conditions.
Francis Boyd has several years in the direct sales and marketing sectors and has developed key skills working with and acquiring high net worth clients by having both an honest, open and enthusiastic approach. With almost 13 years of recovery experience, constant sponsorship, sharing at meetings, conventions and workshops, he has amassed a vast body of knowledge to pass onto guests.
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 combatting drug and alcohol addiction, treatment and rehabilitation and therapy.
Louise is an expert in the field of advanced clinical hypnotherapy and a highly sort after International Wellbeing Practitioner. Louise has 28 years’ experience of dedicated work in private practice. She is passionate and committed to helping guests achieve fast, effective, life-changing results.
If something is holding you back and you are struggling to achieve your goals or if you need support with any mental, emotional or physical wellbeing issue such as anxiety or addictions, then Louise is here to help. She offers her understanding, expert knowledge and unique way of working, helping you to achieve the best outcome.
Andre started out life in India and was raised in a multicultural background where he was exposed to various dishes from around the world. This in turn led to a keen interest in gastronomy from a very young age. Travelling internationally as a youth, he was lucky enough to be exposed to a variety of different cultures and cuisines. As an adult, his love of travel continued and with that he became extremely knowledgeable in global cuisine. Andre has operated in and run many restaurants from basic bistros to the more exclusive fine dining facilities in the world of exclusive catering.
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.
Steve spent most of his life building up and creating a successful insurance company and running a multi-national investment portfolio business. It was the fellowship and his own 12-step work that first got him involved in Solice. His belief in that remains strong and Steve is a vital member of the team and he is passionate about helping others. He currently helps to run a worldwide global education portal offering CPD to those in the undeveloped world.
Having personally experienced addiction through various members of his own family whilst growing up, Luke has come to the realisation that the pressures of modern life can often lead to drug and alcohol dependence and greatly affect family life. He believes that we will all, at some point in our lives, either know or come into contact with someone who has an addiction.
As a relatively new member of the team, Luke feels exceptionally lucky to have found this incredible role in Spain. He is immensely proud to be a part of helping recovering addicts to make a new start and create positive new memories through their own sobriety.