Former teenage addict turns counsellor

A FORMER addict who turned her life around is now working as a counsellor and using her experiences to help those who are in difficulty.

Natalie Green, aged 39, started taking drugs in her late teens and became an addict.

She came from her home in London to a treatment centre in Weston where she successfully completed a rehab programme.

She then enrolled at Weston College and has just graduated with a foundation degree in counselling.

She said: “I feel blessed. My life in London was very troubled and I lived the chaos of an addictive lifestyle.

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“However, my experience with addiction helps me with clients because I’ve definitely been there and done that. In that sense I wouldn’t change a thing about my life, because it has taken me to where I am today.”

Using her new qualification and her personal experiences, she has started full-time work as a counsellor at Western Counselling, a residential rehab centre in Oxford Street. She is now helping people manage and overcome various addictions.

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Natalie said: “When I was on drugs I learned to rely on my instinct about situations and people, developing a strong instinct has helped me with my counselling work.”

During her treatment in Weston, Natalie volunteered at the Badger Centre, assessing people for their suitability as volunteers. Once at Weston College, she did her placements at New Dawn House counselling services based at Emmanuel Church and Western Counselling, where she also worked as a volunteer.

She said: “I have severe dyslexia and college was sometimes a struggle, but I received a lot of support and am very proud to have got my degree.

“It just proves that anything is possible. There is life after addiction. I’ve been in full-time work for five months now and I’m enjoying every minute of it.

“I would like to thank all the staff at the college for making this possible, as they have been so supportive throughout my education.”

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