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The Addiction Specialist

Mandy Saligari

To pigeon-hole Mandy Saligari as an addiction specialist is a little limiting – the founder of Charter, a specialist private addiction outpatient clinic based in London, is far more than this. While it’s true that she has successfully counselled hundreds of teenagers and adults as outpatients over 20 years for a range of broad-spectrum addictions ranging from nicotine to screens to drugs and alcohol, she is also the go-to expert for anyone in search of resolving family conflict, or wanting to learn more about co-dependency.

Having gone through treatment herself many years ago while working in a former career as a tv producer, her compassion, understanding and practical approach makes her a popular speaker on television, and with TedTalks.

For Ikigai, she will share her passionate approach to helping people live healthy, happy, and well-balanced lives.

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What gets you up in the morning?
A love of what I do.
If you had to describe what you do in a sentence…
I help people move away from self-defeating patterns of coping into self-respect, reacting, or behaving with self-respect – working with hope and change.

“Working with hope and change.”

What makes you an expert in your field?
Experience – I’ve been there myself.  Curiosity – I have studied extensively and am able to think laterally, seeing things three dimensionally and outside the box.  Compassion – I really feel for peoples’ pain, when they’re honest about it.

When and how did you receive your calling?
There were two points.  One when I was sitting in a treatment centre where I was being treated, looking at the therapist and thinking, “Can’t you see what should be said and done right now?” and then… “I could do this.”  And the other was in my job as a producer which I went back to, and I looked at this director pouring milk into a glass and then throwing it out because it wasn’t at the right level, over and over, in order to get the perfect shot. The contempt I felt told me I was living the wrong life and doing the wrong job.   

“Be kind to yourself. Be your own best friend. ”

What is the most misunderstood thing about your profession?
You have to be really bad or messed up to enter therapy.  You have to really have some serious problems to enter therapy.  That’s not just true, you can come in when you want change. People will try everything – getting their hair cut, getting a divorce, moving country – and when nothing works they’ll come in and ask for help.
If there was one thing you could pass on to everyone, what would it be?
Always bank the good stuff when you’re trying to face difficulty.  What are you grateful for today? What actually worked today? Sustainable change will come from banking the incremental positives or successes so that you have a new platform to live on little by little.

What one thing should we stop doing now?
Criticising yourself.  Be curious instead.
What one thing should we start doing/do more of now?
Be kind to yourself.  Absolutely treating yourself like somebody you like.  Don’t join the ranks of the bullies; champion yourself.  Be your own best friend.

What is your “ikigai”?
Forgiving myself the flaws and being open to learning.  I am immensely grateful for my relationship with my three children.

To learn more about Mandy Saligari,visit: charterharleystreet.com

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