Cherrywood House is a rehabilitation facility for persons suffering from substance abuse disorders and process disorders . It is located in the tranquil, semi-rural environs of Constantia Cape Town and provides a safe, comfortable and restorative environment for residents to build upon and solidify their sobriety.

Our objective has been to create an environment that is beautiful and relaxing with high standards for catering and accommodation, but which is also conducive to structure, and imposes the rules and routine that must necessarily facilitate the journey back from the chaos and destruction of an addictive lifestyle.

The offering is therapeutic in nature and is based on a daily program, implemented by experienced counselling staff and coordinated by a practicing psychologist with over 30 years’ experience treating addiction in both institutional and private settings. Cherrywood House provides ongoing support to departing residents through aftercare support services and other community meetings. Aftercare support services are provided free of charge for 12 months following residential treatment. The aim is to offer membership in a community that supports an individual’s recovery through the difficult months that follow the initial intervention.

Treatment Philosophy

We employ a flexible approach in our residential addiction treatment, placing the individual and their specific needs and capacities at the center of the individual treatment plan.

Cognitive and mindfulness-based therapies are the preferred methods for individual work. We also incorporate elements derived from the Matrix Model and the 12 Steps.

Every effort is made to ensure that Cherrywood House provides an environment that is enjoyable, relaxing and conducive to health and recovery. Patients can expect:

•  Top quality meals prepared by our in-house chef according to a nutritionist-approved menu
•  Accommodation in comfortable double rooms (there is also a double-volume single-occupancy option on request)
•  A large and tranquil garden with facilities for swimming and exercising
Patients undertake meditation, physical fitness sessions, yoga and other mindfulness-based activities as part of the formal programme.

Time is also reserved for pure recreation in which patients enjoy the unique natural experiences that Cape Town has to offer – including hiking in the mountains, beautiful beaches and guided foraging and foraged cooking sessions.

Core Team

Peter Powis

Peter has been a clinical psychologist for nearly four decades. For much of his career he worked primarily with people in recovery from addictions and co-dependence. He currently also focuses on helping people manage stress and anxiety, relationship difficulties, and supporting people in their psycho-spiritual growth.

He co-founded and was Clinical Director of Stepping Stones Treatment Centre for 12 years, where he co-created a programme that at the time was internationally recognised for it’s excellence. For the last 10 years he has been in private practice, where he works with people individually, in couples/families, and in groups. He has given and received extensive training in many areas of his field.

He has a particular interest in the interface between psychology and spirituality, as well as positive strength-building practices which enhance resilience and growth in individuals and human systems such as organisations.

He draws inspiration from his family, nature, exercise and his own spiritual practice.

Declan O’Riordan

Declan holds a Dip in Nursing Studies and a BSc (Hons)/ DipHE Substance Use and Misuse studies which he achieved in the United Kingdom.

Declan has worked in the field of addiction since 1999. He has worked extensively in both the public and private addiction treatment sectors in the UK and in a wide variety of settings from detox and rehabilitation units to community services and within the criminal justice system. He also has extensive experience in working with clients who have mental health issues or complex needs.

Declan has also created and managed his own outpatient addiction treatment service in Cape Town, South Africa. Declan views addiction as an illness that affects the entire family and his dedication for including family members in the treatment journey reflects this. He also uses his love of motivational interviewing as a method of helping the client to achieve their goals without feeling confronted.

One of Declan’s key strengths is his adaptability, providing addiction intervention for clients regardless of their circumstances or background

Ielhaam Petersen Barby

Ielhaam is a counsellor who has worked in the field of mental health for more than thirteen years and
in addiction settings from in-patient primary through to tertiary, outpatient and private counselling.

Her experience spans various roles within the mental health field and has enabled a deep understanding
of the client’s individual process – from initial treatment seeking (whether inpatient or out-patient)
and the all-consuming fears that go along with this, through to interdependent living and the joys of

Ielhaam has extensive experience dealing with addiction in co-occurence with various types of
personality disorders, mental disorders and at times, developmental disorders.

In 2011, Ielhaam developed a programme that targeted victims of gender-based violence. The programme
focused on self-development, self-esteem and individuation. It was successfully implemented at a shelter
for abused women and children. Ielhaam holds a certificate in counselling and communication from the
South African College of Applied Psychology, and is more than 16 years sober.


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