Lotus Youth Development

Drug Education, Holistic Lifestyle Training Centre and Therapeutic Community

Book photography
(NPO Registration No. 137-639 NPO)
Book photography

Lotus Youth Development Drug Education, Holistic Lifestyle Training Centre and Therapeutic Community is a Registered Non-Profit Organisation (NPO Registration No. 137-639 NPO)

Mission & Vision Statement 



We are dedicated to compassionately helping South Africans of all shapes sizes from all walks of live  and our communities to overcome the devastating effects of addiction. We seek to restore personal dignity through a balance of individual autonomy and participation within our programming and therapeutic community. Our program is a closed and isolated residential environment in which clients adhere to a highly structured and demanding daily regimen. Professional counselors and case managers guide residents through our abstinence-based 12-step / bio-psycho-social / community-as-method program.  Our clinical, case management and support staff team assist residents in acquiring or regaining the skills necessary to reintegrate themselves as positive citizens within society at large.  Our program is affordable to all South Africans and is made possible by the ongoing assistance and support of the local community, and generous corporate and individual donors from around the province of South Africa and beyond.



Lotus Youth Development Drug Education, Holistic Lifestyle Training Centre and Therapeutic Community will be the premier therapeutic community in  Cape Town / South Africa catering to socially marginalized individuals suffering from addiction. Our unique combination of treatment modalities including community-as-method, 12-step and cognitive behavioural therapy will facilitate rehabilitation within a safe and predictable community – a healing force – where personal growth and recovery will occur. We see recovery as not only abstinence from alcohol and drugs but the gradual return to positive citizenship. We will be recognized for our commitment to abstinence based lifestyle, distinguished from other approaches by the use of the community as the primary method of recovery to bring about positive biological, psychological, behavioural, and social changes in individuals.


Therapeutic Community "CREED" 

“I am here because there is no refuge, finally from myself. Until I confront myself in the eyes and hearts if others, I am running.
Until I suffer them to share my secrets, I have no safety from them. Afraid to be known, I can know neither myself nor any other, I will be alone.
Where else but in our common ground, can I find such a mirror? Here, together, I can at last appear clearly to myself, not as the giant of my dreams, nor the dwarf of my fears. But as a person; part of a whole; with my share in its purpose.
In this ground, I can take root and grow, not alone anymore as in death, but alive - to myself and to others.”



The basics of the Therapeutic Communities treatment program is group therapy sessions, role modelling, job assignments and a hierarchy of peers. As residents progress, they receive more responsibilities,  duties, and earn more privileges. Those coming after them can see that others like themselves are gaining respect, and that life without drugs was possible. These are the basic elements of TC / therapeutic community.


Therapeutic Communities

Pioneered in the late 1950′s, the Therapeutic Community (TC) movement brings a way out of self-destructive behaviour for those who were thought often to be beyond recovery.


What is a Therapeutic Community?

Pioneered in the late 1950′s, the Therapeutic Community (TC) movement brings a way out of self-destructive behaviour for those who were thought often to be beyond recovery. The primary goal of a TC is to foster individual change and promote positive growth. This is accomplished by changing an individual’s lifestyle through a community of concerned people working together to help themselves and each other.

Being part of something greater than oneself is an especially important factor in facilitating positive growth.  TC’s offer a holistic approach in regards to treating the whole person and not just the addiction or problem.

Clients in a TC are members, as in a family setting, they are not patients, as in an institution. These members play a significant role in managing the TC and act as positive role models for others to emulate.

High expectations and a high level of commitment from both TC members and staff are needed to make this positive change a success. Insight into one’s problems is gained not only through group and individual interaction, but also by learning through experience, failing and succeeding, and by understanding accountability – all considered to be the most integral influences toward achieving a lasting change.

The goal of the TC is to help the individual gain the ability to return to society and lead productive normal / sober / clean (not using)  lives.

Members of Therapeutic Communities in America are actively involved in research studies which have determined the efficacy of the Therapeutic Community. Treatment improves the relationships, career prospects, and health of those directly impacted by drug addiction or alcoholism.


The Core Values

These Core Values were identified through a process of consultation conducted by the  Members of over one hundred TCs across sectors and client groups agreed ten value statements that underpinned their practice and shaped the TC approach in America.

Attachment - Healthy attachment is a developmental requirement for all human beings, and should be seen as a basic human right.

Containment – A safe and supportive environment is required for an individual to develop, to grow, or to change.

Respect - People need to feel respected and valued by others to be healthy. Everybody is unique and nobody should be defined or described by their problems alone.

Communication – All behavior has meaning and represents communication which deserves understanding.

Interdependence – Personal well-being arises from one’s ability to develop relationships which recognize mutual need.

Relationships – Understanding how you relate to others and how others relate to you leads to better intimate, family, social and working relationships.

Participation – Ability to influence one’s environment and relationships is necessary for personal well-being.  Being involved in decision-making is required for shared participation, responsibility, and ownership.

Process – There is not always a right answer and it is often useful for individuals, groups and larger organisations to reflect rather than act immediately.

Balance - Positive and negative experiences are necessary for healthy development of individuals, groups and the community.

Responsibility – Each individual has responsibility to the group, and the group in turn has collective responsibility to all individuals in it.


Core Standards for Therapeutic Communities – Service Standards for Addiction Therapeutic Communities

1)     The whole community meets regularly

2)     All community members work alongside each other on day to day tasks

3)     All community members share social time together

4)     Members of the community share meals together

5)     Community members take a variety of roles and levels of responsibility

6)     Informal aspects of everyday living are integral to the work of the community

7)     All community members can discuss any aspects of life within the community

8)     All community members regularly examine their attitudes and feelings towards each other

9)     All community members share responsibility for each other

10)  All community members create an emotionally safe environment for the work of the community

11)  Community members are involved in the selection of new staff members

12)  All community members participate in the process of a new client member joining the community

13)  Community members are involved in making plans with a client member for when he or she completes the program

14)  There is an understanding and tolerance of disturbed behavior and emotional expression

15)  Positive risk taking is seen as an essential part of the process of change

16)  The therapeutic community has a clear set of boundaries, limits or rules which are understood by all members


14 Basic Components of a Therapeutic Community (TC) – Therapeutic Community Curriculum: Trainer’s Manual, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

1.   Community Separateness

·          TC programs are housed separately from other agency or institutional programs.

·          TC programs are located in settings that allow residents to disconnect from networks of drug using friends and to relate to new drug-free peers.

·          TC programs have their own names.

2.   Community Environment

·          The TC environment has many common areas for holding group activities and promoting a sense of community. These areas include the dining room, recreation room, family rooms, and group rooms.

·          Displays and signs throughout the TC illustrate the philosophy or creed of the program and messages of recovery and right living. The displays serve as constant reminders of TC practices and principles and promote affiliation with the community. Examples of displays include the daily schedule and a bulletin board that list participants’ names, seniority, and job functions.

3.   Community Activities

·          Treatment and educational services take place in the context of the peer community. Virtually all activities occur in groups or meetings where residents can interact and learn from one another.

·          Group activities include:

·          At least one daily meal prepared, served, and shared by all members

·          Daily group meetings and seminars

·          Jobs performed in groups

·          Organized recreational activities

·          Ceremonies and rituals, such as birthday celebrations and phase graduation celebrations.

4.   Staff as Community Members

·          Each staff member is a part of the community. He or she is a manager or a elder in this community and helps residents use the community. A staff member is not a “holly-er” who stands apart from the community.

·          Staff members function as consistent and trustworthy rational authorities and as role models, facilitators, and guides in the community-as-method approach and the self-help and mutual self-help learning processes.

·          Staff members must be oriented to the TC through initial and continuing training.

5.   Peers as Role Models

·          Senior residents are expected to demonstrate the desired behaviours and reflect the values and teachings of the community. They serve as role models for new and junior residents.

·          The strength and integrity of the community as an arena for social learning depend on the number and quality of its peer role models.

·          Residents serve in leadership and teaching roles in the community.

6.   A Structured Day

·          Each day has a formal schedule of therapeutic and educational activities with prescribed formats, fixed times, and routine procedures.

·          Order, routine activities, and a rigid schedule counter the characteristically disordered lives of residents and leave little time for negative thinking and boredom—factors that often contribute to relapse.

7.   Stages of the Program and Phases of Treatment

·          The TC treatment protocol is organized into three major stages (orientation, primary treatment, and re-entry) and phases of treatment that reflect a developmental view of the change process.

·          The program stages and phases of treatment allow for individual goals to be established and incremental learning to take place.

8.   Work as Therapy and Education

·          Consistent with the TC’s self- help approach, all residents are responsible for the daily operation of the facility, which includes cleaning, meal preparation, maintenance, schedule coordination, and meetings.

·          Job assignments provide residents with a sense of responsibility and affiliation with the TC.

·          Jobs provide opportunities for self-examination, personal growth, and skill development.

9.   Instruction and Repetition of TC Concepts

·          TC concepts embody the TC values and belief system, which are antidotes to the values and beliefs of drug and prison / gang subcultures.

·          The concepts, messages, and lessons are repeated and reinforced in group sessions, meetings, seminars, and peer conversations, as well as in suggested readings, on signs posted in the TC, and in writing assignments.

10.       Peer Encounter Groups

·          The peer encounter group is the main therapeutic group format, although other group formats are used.

·          Encounter groups are conducted to heighten residents’ awareness of attitudes and behaviours that need to be changed.

·          The peer encounter group process includes confrontation, conversation, and closure.

·          Encounter groups provide an opportunity to teach TC recovery principles, such as:

·          Feeling compassion and responsible concern

·          Being honest with self and others

·          Confronting the reality of addiction and one’s behaviour

·          Seeking self-awareness as the first step in making behavioural changes

·          Using other people for emotional support and caring.

11.       Awareness Training

·          All therapeutic and educational interventions involve raising residents’ consciousness of the effect of their conduct and attitudes on themselves and others.

12.       Emotional Growth Training

·          TC residents learn to identify feelings, express them appropriately, and manage them constructively in stressful situations.

·          The interpersonal and social demands of living together in the TC provide many opportunities to experience this training.

13.       Planned Duration of Treatment

·          A period of intense treatment is needed to ensure the internalization of TC teachings.

·          The length of time residents must be in the TC program depends on their progress in achieving individualized behavioral goals in each program stage and phase of treatment.

14.       Continuation of Recovery After TC Program Completion

·          Completion of primary treatment is followed by aftercare services (e.g., vocational, educational, mental health, and family support services) that must be consistent with the TC views of recovery, right living, self- help, and  support of a positive peer network..



Abstinence-based recovery is the foundation on which our program is built. We are dedicated to providing the highest caliber of individualized programs, with four phases of programming to ensure each resident is supported in their stages of recovery.  Programming includes the following:

·          12-Step Groups

·          Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

·          Process Therapy Groups

·          Psycho-Educational Groups and Lectures

·          Individual Counselling

·          Work Therapy

·          Therapeutic Community Responsibilities

·          Educational Upgrading

·          Meditation and Relaxation Training

·          Spiritual Development (including New Age / Holistic / Yoga)

·          Transitional Planning upon completion of programming


Program Phases
A resident’s stay at Lotus Youth Development Drug Education, Holistic Lifestyle Training Centre and Therapeutic Community is broken down into four phases. Each resident’s journey is supported by the primary team that provides group facilitation and one-on-one therapeutic sessions in conjunction with the Work Therapy Facilitator. Therapeutic groups are offered three times per week and work therapy is offered outside of the group and one-on-one settings. Below are the phases:


Intake Phase – Each new resident begin in Phase I, Intake Group.  During Phase 1 each individual is provided with an opportunity to stabilize in the community, become orientated to the programs and expectations and engage in assessments with the staff team.  The individual is assessed by professionals and Support Workers, such as a Primary Counselor/ Worker, the Health Nurse, a Medical Doctor or a Psychiatrist if identified as needed.  A recovery plan is created in consultation between the staff team and the individual.

The core focus during the Intake Phase is 12 Step Recovery Work, self-reflection and self-discovery.

As well, the Individual will be assessed on work skills, educational background and create a skill development and vocational learning plan.  Each resident will be given the option of working towards completion of Grade 12 aka the 12th step.


During Phase 2 the individual will continue to build upon skills and experiences from Phase 1 and participate in an Intermediate group.  Three group focuses are available.

Intermediate Group – This group offers a combination of elements and techniques commonly used in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, 12 Step Recovery Work and Smart Recovery.

Concurrent Disorder Group - The Concurrent Disorder Group offers a group process to individuals assessed with co-occurring mental health and addictions challenges.

Awareness Group – In this group, individuals have an opportunity to understand their behaviors and how to make changes that will result in positive outcomes.


Phase 3 is the final therapeutic stage of the group process.  The therapeutic group process is a strength based, client centered approach and uses expressive therapies, such as art and journaling.

Self-Awareness Group – This group provides an opportunity for individuals to create an awareness of themselves, both in recovery and in the world around them.  In this group, such therapies as cognitive behavioral, narrative and solution focused as well as other techniques are utilized.

Therapeutic Group – The therapeutic group is a closed eight week group and is the final phase of the group process.  This group primarily focuses on expressive and narrative therapies.  Individuals who enter the therapeutic group will have completed Phases 1 and 2 as well as the self-awareness group.  Completion of the therapeutic group allows entry into the fourth phase of Vocational Training.


Vocational Training – During this phase the individual is encouraged and supported to develop life skills, skills training, vocational training, and participate in pre-apprenticeship programs that are provided by Community Partners when available.


Work Therapy Program

The Work Therapy Program is an integral part of the therapeutic community and the therapeutic process within the community.  Work therapy has three overall purposes:

1.    Facilitates development of the resident’s skills and abilities.

2.    Provides routines, responsibility and daily structure.

3.    Maintains the facility and grounds of Lotus Youth Development Drug Education, Holistic Lifestyle Training Centre and Therapeutic Community while allowing for individual pride in their role of the work.

Work therapy phases are designed to correspond to the therapeutic group process phases that the individual is engaged in.



1.            Work Habits

Individuals are closely monitored and mentored by Leaders in the community to learn the essential skills and routines that will be required throughout the entire program.

2.            General Work Therapy

Residents are provided opportunities to try new skills as well as perfect existing skills.  Responsibilities and independence are increased.

3.            Focused Work Therapy

Individuals will identify their work strengths and focus on the skills best suited to their ability and interest.

4.            Vocational Training

Individuals will have access to skills training, certification, education, and other programs offered through community partnerships to promote strong future career opportunities


Health and Fitness

Lotus Youth Development Drug Education, Holistic Lifestyle Training Centre and Therapeutic Community has a fully equipped gym with free weights, bicycle machine, and resistance gym. A variety of sporting equipment is available.  Our facility offers Yoga, and other options are available if facilitation is available.


Spiritual Growth

Individuals are encouraged to commit to spiritual growth and explore new ideas. We believe in providing a number of on-site spiritual opportunities and will work with the residents to connect to spiritual beliefs of their choice.


Resident-Led Programs

Lotus Youth Development Drug Education, Holistic Lifestyle Training Centre and Therapeutic Community encourages leadership among the residents and works with the individuals to support them in becoming mentors and leaders in every part of the community.

Client Facilitated Learning Sessions:  Residents in Phase 3 and 4 are encouraged to facilitate teaching skills that they have with others.

Leadership Group:  Residents who have completed the first three phases of group therapy are invited to join the Leadership Group when they have demonstrated role model behaviour. This group is involved in mentoring new residents, assisting with 12 Step Recovery Work, leading work therapy crews, and developing the community.

Resident Facilitators:  Work Therapy groups are supervised by Resident Facilitators.  Residents who have successfully completed their year-long program and commit to remaining in the community are invited to give back to the community by becoming a facilitator to new residents.


Skills Training Programs  

A variety of skill training programs, certificates for vocational training, pre-apprenticeships for vocational training and education opportunities are made available to residents based on availability.   This may include basic certification such as first aid to more in-depth opportunities such as pre-electrical apprenticeships, carpentry or plumbing.


After Care: The Continuum of Care

Addiction Aftercare Begins Before Treatment Ends

While you are transitioning out of our program, it doesn’t mean the end of our relationship.  Our entire dedicated staff remains available to you after you’ve left Lotus Youth Development Drug Education, Holistic Lifestyle Training Centre and Therapeutic Community - Our Aftercare Plan offers individualized collaborative plans and recommendations facilitated by the Clinical Team that begins before programming is successfully completed.  The focus is on lifestyle changes and relapse preventative maintenance for your ongoing sobriety / New Life. Similarly to diabetes and the requirement of daily healthy lifestyle choices and insulin shots, recovering addicts or alcoholics need a maintenance program that includes 12-step meetings, a spiritual component to enhance sobriety, and a strong supportive well-balanced aftercare program.

Remember that the goal of any successful aftercare plan is to assist the addict in sustaining his self-worth by keeping in touch with his thoughts, feelings and behaviours, to reconnect with family, return to gainful employment, and have a strong sense of community—life!

This might include:

·          Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous or other 12-step meetings like Sex Addicts Anonymous, Co-dependents Anonymous or Adult Children of Alcoholics

·          Sober-living housing

·          Addiction aftercare groups

·          Addiction counselling

·          Psychiatric services

·          Family or couples counselling

·          Vocational counselling

·          Continued education

·          Volunteer work

·          Medical appointments

·          Physical rehabilitation

·          Leisure activities

A Truly Individualized Aftercare Plan

Since our clients come from all over the country, we work diligently to create a support structure for each client within his or her own community. Each aftercare plan defines and clearly delineates the standards (the goals and actions) that an alcoholic and addict should follow to continue personal growth and sober living. Our clinical team helps the client follow their aftercare plan by addressing concerns as they come up. The goals of the aftercare plan include:

Sober Living

·          Handling craving

·          Identifying dangerous situations

·          Maintaining abstinence from all substances

·          Coping with daily stresses and triggers

·          Spiritual development and growth

Social Relationships

·          Having fun without drugs and alcohol

·          Developing new relationships

·          No criminal activity

·          Issues of the recovering family

·          Using the recovery community for support

·          Avoiding active addicts or users 

·          Continued self-development


·          Continue family counselling

·          Options for handling crises within the family

·          Family members finding outside sources of support from 12-step groups such as Al-Anon or Co-dependents Anonymous


·          Addressing work history, if necessary

·          Plans for entering the work force, if necessary

·          Evaluating the type of work to pursue

·          Evaluating the role that continuing education offers




Our Intake Administrator can speak with you to determine your specific situation, addiction history, and health status. Admission requests can be made by individuals, families, physicians, psychiatrists, referral agents and concerned others. To start your application process, please contact our Intake Administrator:

Phone: 0764559916

Email: lotusyouthsa@gmail.com and request an application form.


We will work supportively with prospective residents, their concerned other, or referral agents to ensure they properly complete the application package and understand and meet our admission requirements. In general, new residents:

·          Must be willing to commit to a long-term supportive recovery program (1 year)

·          Are not on any Benzodiazepine medications or prescription narcotics

·          not be on a Methadone protocol

·          must be a male of legal age of 18 yrs or older

·          must pass a TB test and chest X-ray and proof of those results must be submitted

·          ready, willing, able and capable of participating in all program aspects





Your generous gift will ensure Lotus Youth Development Drug Education, Holistic Lifestyle Training Centre and Therapeutic Community continues to expand and enhance its campus and programming.



Dries Grobler 

Cheryl-Ann Mesias 

Graeme Kuit

Clayton George Lesar