santina camilleri SENIOR ASSOCIATE - COUNSELLOR - DIRECTOR of addiction recovery services
Santina has been working in the field of addiction since 1998, facilitating both individual and group sessions. Over the years she has heard thousands of stories from people who struggle with various addictions, in various chapters of their life journey. Some of which she met in the counselling space, others on the streets, in mental health hospitals, prison and others in rehab. Santina managed various units at Caritas Malta from 1998 to 2021. In 2018 she then started her own private practice where she now sees people from all walks of life. Over the years Santina reflected on quite a few observations while working in the addiction field. The most prevalent observation is that many of us have addictions beyond illicit drugs that we fail to see. Of course the most prominent addiction is illicit drugs, but there are many more that people choose to remain oblivious to. Just to mention a few, prescribed medications, food especially carbs and sugar, porn, 'love', sex, thoughts, media, money, greed, consumerism and relationships, all of which could cause alienation resulting in a disconnection, a fragmented self. Another observation she noted was an enormous quench for authenticity, for connection, for happiness. Why would a human being want to remove all sorts of emotions, the very element that makes us human? How can we function and find happiness and comfort with no feelings? What is left in a human being if we remove our feelings and emotions? Why so much discomfort and pain that medicating ourselves comes to make sense? Why does it scare us to stand still for a moment in time, to be alone with ourselves? This journey took her into a deep curiosity of all the accumulated buried traumas experienced but never addressed. How can a person function from such a fragmented self? Her main areas of interest today go beyond addiction (anxiety, depression, attachment, trauma, self-esteem, self-development, stress, trauma, relationship issues etc.,) where she works with a person's relationship with the self, with others and with the world around the person. At the end of the day everyone deserves a life worth living, and Santina joins the Polaris Team in helping people achieve goals and create lives full of meaning and value.