George Patriki, the Director of Gold Coast Addiction and Treatment Rehab, is renowned for his expertise in providing dual diagnosis training in alcohol, other drugs, and mental health. He extends his services to the healthcare, welfare, and social service sectors across the Gold Coast and throughout Australia.
With over seven years of firsthand experience as a former addict and more than a decade spent navigating various treatment and recovery programs to address underlying issues, George possesses a unique perspective. His journey out of the drug culture in 1983 ignited his passion for helping individuals struggling with substance abuse.
George boasts an impressive 29-year track record as a counselor, educator, and clinical supervisor, accumulating extensive clinical experience. Since 1992, he has dedicated his life to this noble cause, evolving into a dual diagnosis consultant on the Gold Coast and across Australia.
Throughout his career, George has devoted countless hours to assisting thousands of individuals grappling with drug and alcohol issues alongside concurrent mental health challenges. His commitment extends to those facing severe, life-controlling problems stemming from significant trauma.
George’s multifaceted role encompasses court advocacy, counseling, outreach efforts, community forums, seminars, and the facilitation of recovery groups for drug users, including those with dual and multiple diagnoses as well as their loved ones.
As a testament to his dedication, George has been delivering dual diagnosis training since 2000. Over the past 22 years, he has also served as an educator for both government and non-government organizations in Australia and across 116 countries worldwide through his online platform, Dual Diagnosis Training (www.dualdiagnosistraining.com.au).
Below are highlights of the interview conducted between World’s Leaders and George Patriki:
Describe who you are as a person, inside and outside of the workplace.
I am passionate about being a light in the community and the world in which I live and doing my part to make it better than I found it.
Walking this journey of love is how I try to live, both in my workplace and outside.
Tell us about the inception of the company. How did it all start?
39 years ago, I started helping people with complex issues, and 29 years ago, I started working full time in this industry. My company was formed through this journey and evolved into what it is today.
What has made you successful? What do you value?
Over the last 29 years working in substance abuse, addictions, and mental health, I began to observe issues that were not being addressed in a person’s treatment strategy and were causing relapses in their recovery.
Over the years, I evolved my clinical practice into the Integrative Holistic Framework, which brings together the biological, psychological, spiritual, and social dynamics in a person’s life to maximize treatment outcomes.
Which are the major services of the company and how do they the company to get ahead in the competition? What value-added services does the company provide?
We take a similar approach to treating addictions and mental health that Dr. Daniel Amen uses, i.e., bio-psycho-spiritual-social (www.amenclinics.com). Psychotherapy is complimented by allied health practices such as massage and acupuncture to help calm the limbic system, particularly for people who have significant anxiety and PTSD. We also use many modalities according to people’s individualized needs, such as EMDR, psycho-education, narrative therapy, solution-focused therapy, etc. In other words, we offer a smorgasbord of modalities and approaches that are tailored to a person’s individual needs.
We also encourage people to look at their individual biochemistry with integrative doctors who can address various epigenetic abnormalities that impact their mental health. Common culprits include zinc deficiencies, omega-3 deficiencies, anti-oxidant deficiencies (that cause oxidative stress to both the body and the brain), as well as other key nutrients such as B vitamins, vitamins C and D, probiotics, etc.
What are the most important aspects of a company’s culture? What principles do you believe in, and how do you build this culture?
These are well presented by Dr Stephen Covey in ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’. I try to live these principles and invite everybody that I work with, including clients, to embrace them too.
What is the significance of innovative ideas in the company?
There are many interventions that can help people suffering from either physiological health problems (e.g., low-density laser, hyperbaric oxygen, etc.) or mental health issues (e.g., neurofeedback, transcranial magnetic stimulation, etc.). Accessing these options can help people resolve treatment-resistant issues, and this research has been outlined by Dr. Norman Doidge as well as Bessel Van der Kolk.
We try to include as many innovative and helpful interventions as possible, including EMDR and other treatment approaches. We also support the introduction of neuroelectric therapy in Australia (for non-pharmacological options to detox), as developed by Dr. Patterson.
Give us your opinion on; do organizations rely heavily on individual heroics or team processes?
While individuals inspire and offer leadership by example, any effective organization will work together as a team through a carefully designed mission statement that reflects the principles and values of the company as well as its aims and objectives.
What are your responsibilities as the founder and CEO of the company? What is the happiest part of your daily routine?
To lead my company in implementing the Integrated Holistic Approach to Addiction Treatment. It always brings me joy to see people’s lives changed, knowing that many future generations of this person will also be blessed by these changes.
What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time?
Read Dr. Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ and ensure that you are committed to your personal growth, as explained by Dr. Scott Peck in ‘The Road Less Traveled and many of his books, as well as Dr. Victor Frankl.