Feel Good Factor - A View Into a Patient’s Journey - Cortijo Care

gemma1Gemma Wood, is the Head of Counselling & Psychotherapy at the Medical and Psychological clinic, Cortijo Care, based in San Pedro.

When Claire first arrived at our clinic she appeared a broken hearted young lady with many difficulties; our team at Cortijo Care reviewed her past psychiatric history to gain an idea of what individual treatment we needed to offer. Within her first few weeks here Claire’s internal suffering became clearer, allowing us to offer a more specific and realistic plan and institute goals for her recovery.

Claire’s diagnosis is complex, as she displays symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder, Depression, Anxiety and Bulimia Nervosa. With the support of the team and our leading psychiatrist, who spent many individual assessment sessions with Claire, it became clear that she also suffers with ADHD.

The strength, commitment and willingness of Claire to trust us and believe we could help, was the start of her journey. Claire’s diary entry for this month has been focused on her bulimia, due to it being a major part of learning new tools whilst reintegrating into society. The integration from inpatient therapy to home life I believe to be the hardest part of regaining full recovery, yet I truly believe it is possible.

I’m sitting up in bed watching TV in a lovely room. A normal thing to do, but the difference is I’m not in my own bed and this is not my TV; I’m in my private room at Cortijo Care. A nurse sits in a chair nearby. I’m being supervised after eating my evening meal to ensure that I do what other people do and digest my food. Before I came here I battled every day with everything I ate. I have an eating disorder called Bulimia Nervosa. As a 34 year-old woman, I feel a sense of indignity about being supervised during and after eating, but I know in my heart that if that kindly nurse wasn’t there, I’d be inclined to purge. This horrible illness makes you believe that by secretly binging on food and vomiting, or using laxatives, you gain a sense of control; it tells you that this behaviour will be the antidote to the chaos that your life has seemingly become. It lies and it can be fatal. Depression and anxiety can be fatal too; I have to acknowledge I’m also supervised because I present a high suicide risk. I have started a programme of residential care that I pray will help me get my life back. Suffering with this disorder, depression and acute anxiety climaxed in what you could call a breakdown. The team here say they can help and even though I’ve only be here for a few days, I believe that they can. Here, I have a menu plan that allows me to have manageable portions of food that are both delicious and verified by a nutritionist to make sure I’m getting what my body needs. There are other clients here with whom I’ve started to have group therapy. Some are addicts, others are fighting depression or overcoming a trauma. Talking with strangers about your fears, painful events and their bitter consequences initially feels unnatural, but there is something liberating about it; the sessions are skilfully led by members of the therapy team and I don’t feel so alone anymore. Finally, I’m starting to find a voice.

Courage is not about having the strength to go on, it’s about going on when you don’t have the strength.

Follow Claire’s next stage of her inpatient treatment next month. Cortijo Care Marbella: C/ Joaquin Turina, Cortijo Blanco, San Pedro de Alcantara, Marbella. Tel. 952 780 181 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it cortijocare.com


Please tune in to Talk Radio Europe on the 7th of August 1.15pm to hear more from Gemma and Claire.

They will also be available for any questions or concerns you may have regarding finding support or knowledge or you can also email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it at any time (for yourself or someone you love) regarding addiction, eating disorders and general mental health

Feel Good Factor - The Rock star of Nails - Golden Tarts

at the oscars


Manicurist to the stars, Liza Smith, whose client list included the  likes of Miley Cyrus and Queen of Style, Mrs Beckham, is now working with Golden Tarts to bring celebrity nspired treatments to Marbella.  When it comes to nails there is no higher authority than Liza Smith. A CND Education Ambassador and British Nail Professional of 2009, she has more than 25 years of salon experience and was nicknamed The Rock Star of Nails by the  one and only JLo. Come on - how cool is that? 

Liza can be spotted working backstage throughout Fashion Week, initiating future trends on campaigns such as those by Tom Ford, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Burberry, while her work has been  seen on the covers of Vogue, Tatler and  Harper’s Bazaar. As for her client list,  let’s tick off the heavyweights: Jennifer  Lopez, Kylie Minogue, Naomi Campbell  (who said, “I want to thank Liza Smith for  always giving me ‘beautiful nails’ - noone  

“Liza spotted something in us,” explains owner Sarah, AKA Golden Tart. “We will be her face in Marbella. Liza has been giving the GT team one-on-one training, passing on her lifetime of knowledge and skills. Not only can we now offer celebrity inspired CND treatments, she has also taught us how to produce show-stopping nails in a very short time  frame. As we know, celebs want to be in and out of treatments in as little time as possible, yet still expect high-end results.  We can now offer them a superior service.”  While Liza was training the Tarts this month, she took time out of her hectic schedule to give SOCIETY MARBELLA an exclusive interview.  What have been your career highlights?  Being voted Nail Salon of the Year three times in the last three years and being voted Best Nail Care Specialist by Vogue. Another was attending the Oscar Lounges this year, and working with Miley Cyrus during the European leg of her tour. Now that was fun!does nails like Liza”), Kate Moss and  Sarah Jessica-Parker to name but a few.  With many of her celebrity clients spending time in Marbella, and not being able to be in 10 places at once, Liza wanted to find a talented team of  therapists who she could take to the next  level. She wanted peace of mind and the knowledge that they could provide the same standard of service. After scouring the Coast she found the perfect match; a salon that was setting trends,  producing beautiful ‘in vogue’ nails and  offering exactly the style she was looking  for. Hence the collaboration between Golden Tarts and Liza.  inspired treatments to Marbella.  When it comes to nails there is no higher authority than Liza Smith. A CND Education Ambassador and British Nail Professional of 2009, she has more than 25 years of salon experience and was nicknamed The Rock Star of Nails by the  one and only JLo. Come on - how cool is that?

 Favourite celeb clients?  I enjoy working with many clients, though Victoria Beckham is always a particular joy to work with.

 Future nail trends?  The nail look of the season from A/ W14, was Sister by Sibling (now just called Sibling). It was a huge hit with the press. We created medium-length almond nails, painted them jet black, then applied a matte top coat. Lastly we used a blood red to paint a glossy  French tip. The contrast of the matte and gloss finishes epitomises the A/W14 trend for clashes of textures. As you would expect, autumn trends sway toward rich tones and I predict rich reds and teal  and olive green being the colours of the  season.

 Why did you decided to collaborate with golden tarts?  We were looking for a dynamic brand to take our nail service forward.  Golden Tarts is on trend and fashion forward, therefore complementary to the LS Nail boutique, as we both share the same vision.

 What will golden tarts now be able to offer the general public?  The Tarts will be able to offer celebrity inspired treatments exclusive to their salon, providing a luxury service and  specific looks inspired by current trends  on the catwalk.  So where is Liza off to next? Touring with Miley Cyrus. Of course she is!

 Puerto Banús  Tart-Phone: 952 811 820  22-23 Calle Jesus Puente,  Puerto Banús  La Cala  Tart-Phone: 952 493 768  Nº4 Jardin Botanico, La Cala De Mijas  goldentarts.com          

Feel Good Factor - Loving that natural feeling by Sofia Saide from Pure Skin Beauty

BEE VENOM_POT_50ml_Beethis a subject very close to my heart and something I truly believe in. What you put on your skin eventually ends up in your body. Certified organic and natural beauty products are made with ingredients that are grown free of synthetic pesticides, herbicides and genetically modified organisms. They also don’t include harmful additives such as petroleum waxes, fillers and artificial chemicals. Simply put, they are completely healthy and natural, synthetic alternatives are not. Gone are the days when you had to wade through an incense-filled fog to get your hands on natural beauty products, which didn’t work as well as high-tech potions. Nowadays, most high-end natural brands on the market have evolved from patchouli oil and hemp seed, incorporating luxurious new formulae which provide results without sacrificing your health.

Here are my recommendations:

Oskia - Georgie Cleeve founded OSKIA after witnessing first-hand the skincare benefits of MSM, more commonly known as the ‘Beauty Mineral’. A natural form of organic sulphur, MSM boosts collagen production, promotes circulation and helps decrease inflammation for a brighter, younger looking complexion.

Bedtime Beauty Boost - Luxury in a jar. I love it because it’s light, yet rich in nutrients. Containing vitamins and age fighting ingredients such as apple stem cell and hyaluronic acid as well as milk peptides, it brightens and improves the appearance of pigmentation, which is a common problem when living on the Coast.

Get up & Glow - A deliciously lightweight, revitalizing and energising serum which increases cell respiration and ATP energy to brighten and enliven skin. This serum is so rich in nutrients that it can be used on its own in the summer. It can also be used on top of make-up, which is why it can be found in many pro make-up artist’s kits.

Renaissance Mask - Designed to increase cell turnover, boost radiance and packed with OSKIA’s trademark blend of beautyboosting nutrients, this luxuriously-textured exfoliating mask leaves the complexion smoother, more refined and illuminated. 

Prtty Peaushun - Created by celebrity Make-up Artist Bethany Karlyn, Prtty Peaushun has graced the bodies of Hollywood’s A-List elite. This luminous, PETAapproved, skin-perfecting potion is a celeb essential. Available in five shades, Prtty Peaushun suspends light reflective particles in an ultra-nourishing, base, to refine limbs and diminish the appearance of bruises, blotches and the dreaded ‘orange peel’ effect.

Kure Bazaar - Glossy, long-lasting hues bring digits to life without such questionable elements as formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, and toluene. This product combines the ethics of an eco-natural formula with the vibrant colours of fashion. The brainchild of Brazilian model, Kartika Luyet, her good nail philosophy promises us all healthier nails day after day by preserving nail vitality. As we are now in flip-flop season, cracked heels are a big no no. At Pure Skin weincorporates Kure Bazaar’s organic foot mask booties into our pedicures, filling tootsies with their mask which is packed full of natural extracts - barley, aloe and avocado - to plump skin, hydrate cuticles and nourish your nails in just 15 minutes. They can also be bought from us for home use. Hand masks are also available.

Heaven - Heaven by Deborah Mitchell offers you the potent power of nature in perfect harmony with the latest breakthroughs in beauty technology. The range has been developed for a radiant, flawless complexion and to help heal skin conditions from blemishes to eczema.

Bee Venom Mask – Loved by royals Kate and Camilla, this is a definite MUST HAVE in my beauty regime. Nature’s alternative to Botulinum Toxin, the first product of its kind. This unique product has been specially created using natural and organic ingredients, combined to work in synergy for an instant anti-ageing effect.

Bee Venom Eyes - Containing Manuka Honey, renowned for its soothing and healing properties, it works to control muscles around the eyes for immediate lifting, tightening and firming.

After Soother – A universally soothing product: apply after waxing, electrolysis, shaving, bug bites, and sunburns. Leaves skin silky smooth and hydrated.

All products are available from PURE Skin Beauty at The Wellness Studio Los Naranjos Golf Club Tel. + 34 951 134 983

The Beauty Barometer - The Magic of Makeup

LJP 0516_450pxNicola McGeorge travelled to the United Makeup Artists’ Expo in London to bring you tips from Hollywood’s finest make-up artists and the must have products that they carry in their kits.

For a make-up junkie such as myself, the UMAe was like Christmas, birthdays and Easter all rolled into one. Not only was the place crammed wall-to-wall with the latest beauty products but it was heaving with talent - some of the biggest make artists in Hollywood had flown over to share their words of wisdom with us mere mortals. I had died and gone to heaven.

I have to say that even those of you who are not interested in make-up would have found it hard not to be in awe of what was created over the two-day event. Within five minutes of being there I had been greeted by a female vampire, snarled at by a human-sized rat and had the life scared out of me by a gnarly old witch. Welcome to the world of special effects. You see, make-up isn’t just about what lipstick colour is in vogue. It is also about the monsters from your favourite horror movie or the superhero in the latest blockbuster. At the UMAe, talented artists were bringing to life creatures, aliens and probably your worst nightmares in front of your eyes.

The whole experience was amazing, my only regret was that I didn’t clone myself, I needed two, or maybe three, of me as there was so much going on. There were talks and demos from the likes of the award winning makeup artist Mike Smith, think Avatar, Terminator, Salvation, Planet of the Apes and Oscar-winning makeup artist Greg Cannom - Michael Jackson’s Thriller music video Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Titanic and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

I have to say the highlight was meeting Robin Mathews, whose work in Dallas Buyers Club bagged her an Oscar this year. She spent an unbelievable three hours with us, not only showing us how to create her award winning look, but answering all our questions; I asked her so many that, by the end of the session, she was worried she had a stalker on her hands.

Now for the shopping; I went home with a serious dent in my pocket, if my other half hadn’t stopped me when he did, I would have had a nasty call from my bank manager when I got home - and don’t get me started on excess baggage.

Here are some of my best buys:

POINTED COTTON BUDS - a simple thing, but pointed cotton buds dipped in makeup remover are a girl’s best friend for creating feline flicks with eyeliner. www.screenface.co.uk

DERMACOLOR CAMOUFLAGE CREMEas this is an especially highly pigmented make-up designed to correct and cover skin disfigurements, discolourations and tattoos, I had never considered it for everyday use. However, after attending a talk with Sian Richards, who was the incredibly talented artist who turned Halle Berry white in Cloud Atlas using, yes you guessed it, Dermacolor, I completely changed my mind. She explained that she only carries three palettes in her kit, one of them being Dermacolor Camouflage Creme, which she uses for foundation, concealer, contouring and highlighting, blusher, bronzer and lipstick. Yes, I didn’t believe her either, until she started her demo. She created a flawless make-up using only this one product palette, selecting different tones for different needs. I was sold! The only problem was that by the time I made it to the stand, all the Dermacolor had sold out, all because of Sian’s demo. It tells you something though, doesn’t it? www.kryolan.com

BIODERMA SENSIBIO H2O - loved by one of my favourite make-up artists, Lisa Elderidge, this the outstanding solution gently cleanses and removes makeup on sensitive skin. It cleans quickly, but is also extremely gentle, so doesn’t aggravate the skin. As you do not need water to remove it, it’s brilliant for busy girls on the move. www.gurumakeupemporium.com

known to make-up insiders as the “24 Hour Miracle”. When you need a furiously fast flaky face fixer-upper, Lait-Creme Concentre magically transforms scaly, dehydrated skin into a visibly softer, smoother complexion. It’s formulated to soothe and correct by mimicking and reinforcing the natural surface oils and waterproofing barrier of the skin, slowing down moisture evaporation. It’s also a make-up artist lifesaver for quickly correcting peeling, sunburned skin. www.love-makeup.co.uk

LONDON BRUSH COMPANYhow much difference can a make-up brush make? A lot, is the answer, especially if you use the brushes from this company. Founded by celebrity make-up artist Sian Richards, this boutique’s collection of brushes actually had me mouthing “OMG!” when using them for the first time. The lip brush allows such precise application I didn’t need to use lip liner and the angled eye liner brush makes applying top liner a breeze. www.londonbrushcompany.com Beauty Blender Sponge – I have been very loyal to Body Shop’s make-up sponge for over 15 years now, so it needed to be something special to make me switch. Hello to my new BFF, the Beauty Blender Sponge. Unlike traditional sponges, the soft texture and elliptical shape of the Beauty Blender allows foundation to blend into skin with a natural finish and no streaks. When saturated with water, the sponge will expand to twice its size, making it easy to cover your whole face and still get into all the nooks and crannies. www.preciousaboutmakeup.com

SKINDINAVIA MAKEUP FINISHING SPRAYwow, did this product live up to its claims! It holds make-up flawlessly for 16 hours, keeping your look perfect all day and night. The hypo-allergenic spray can be applied in a micro-fine mist over makeup or directly onto a brush or sponge. First used on movie sets to hold makeup under hot lights and to minimize the need for touch-ups, they are still used in Hollywood and on Broadway stages. This great year-round mist keeps makeup from melting in the summer and drying out in winter. www.lovemakeup. co.uk Make Up For Ever Flash Palette – another multitasker. Create an array of looks for eyes, cheeks, and lips with this luxe palette that’s perfect for on-the-go touch-ups. I’ve managed to do 98 per cent of my face using JUST the MUFE Flash Palette (the two per cent is the gloss I used on my lips and a touch of mascara). Yes, that’s right, you can even create your own foundation with this baby. I mixed brown, white, yellow, red and peach to create my own foundation to match my skin tone. www.preciousaboutmakeup.com

For more information on the UMAe go to www.umae.co.uk

Feel Good Factor - Glow Fitness and Fun for all the family

JOM 1282 We all know that we need to exercise if we want to stay healthy, but all too often our virtuous plans come to nothing, largely due to lack of time, but also because many of us feel more than a little intimidated at the thought of all that gleaming machinery and those buffed bodies.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a friendly place where the whole family could go to enjoy a range of healthy and fun activities? Fortunately there is such a place; Glow Wellness & Fitness on Puerto Banús’s famous Avenida Playas del Duque contains all the equipment that the dedicated gym bunny could possibly require, but also offers a fabulous range of general fitness activities from water polo, weight training and kick-boxing to Pilates, aerobics and flamenco classes.

 With most families on a permanent timesaving mission, the philosophy behind Glow is bound to appeal. Since a full range of professional trainers is on hand, why not leave the youngest members of the family in expert hands and enjoy some time out, either pitting yourself against some very hi-tech equipment or enjoying an aerobics class with some friends? With the whole family in the same place you can stop being a taxi service for a while and join in the fun.

 In the past few months the Glow team has been working to ensure that the gym provides a five-star experience to its clientele. The new pool and spa area also contains comfortable dressing rooms and a further touch of luxury in the shape of Turkish baths and saunas. The spinning room – an essential feature for most serious fitness fanatics these days – has been extended and fitted out with brand new TOMAHAWK bikes and equipment that can offer audio-visual sessions with 6.1 surround sound.In the past few months the Glow team has been working to ensure that the gym provides a five-star experience to its clientele. The new pool 

The Glow team has also developed a variety of fitness classes such as ‘Cardio Free style’, ‘Body Power’ and ‘Toning’. If that sounds a little too high impact, why not try an Aqua Tono session instead? This gives quick and effective results and is great fun. 

For families who are especially adventurous there is plenty to do outside the gym as well, from kayaking to paddle surfing. These sessions take place at Puerto Banús and are suitable for all ages. It’s the perfect opportunity to spend some time together outdoors and enjoy the best of the summer weather.With the beginning of the summer holidays particular attention has been paid to the youngest members of the family. In July and August Glow will be offering intensive courses for children in areas such as swimming, dance and kickboxing, so when the inevitable cries of, “I’m BORED!” start, there is an easy solution.

Glow also has its own shop, where you can pick up the right gear for every activity from aerobics to Zumba, plus everything in between.

 The newly revamped cafe is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner to eat in or to take away and the menu has also had a makeover, with new products for sale, including healthy artesanal breads (some of which are gluten-free) containing nuts, cereals, olives and seeds and homemade and bespoke cakes.

Why not drop in and see for yourself how you could achieve that inner and outer Glow this summer?

 Tel: + 34 952 908 507 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it glowplayasdelduque.com

Feel Good Factor- Cortijo Care Marbella presents: A view into a Patient's Journal

It is an honour to be introducing what will be an ongoing diary, giving you an insight into the recovery of one of the bravest women I have ever had the privilege to meet. When I first met Claire I was shocked. What was this beautiful, highly intelligent woman doing here? When will I learn to stop judging a book by its cover? Underneath it all was someone to whom we can all relate. Someone who was struggling to cope with everyday life and needed professional help. The most incredible thing is that now that Claire is on the right path; this amazing woman wants to help others by sharing her story with you.

If you had told me three months ago, when living in the UK, that today I would have been putting a deposit down on a rental apartment in Marbella, I would have thought you were crazy. Not because, “It’s the start of the season and prices will double!”; it was because three months ago I was admitted to the Cortijo Care Centre feeling like no-one could feel as low as me.

 After struggling for so long with depression, extreme anxiety and, subsequently, the eating disorder bulimia, my life had become unmanageable. Not that I acted like it was; no one else had a clue. I had become a pro at acting like everything was just great. I had the dream job, dream car, dream handbag. Yet, beneath my perfectly blow dried locks was a person who felt unbearably low and suffered horrible panic attacks. I felt like a fraud. The appeal of suicide was growing within me and the anti-depressants the GP had hastily prescribed did nothing.

A psychiatrist, recommended to me by a friend in strictest confidence, (she practically whispered the details over the phone, as if the subject of mental health was not fit for polite discussion) gave me two choices: Ignore how utterly helpless I felt, or Enter into psychiatric, residential care.


So, full of fear, I flew to Málaga to check into the Cortijo Care Centre. I expected a sparse hospital environment but, instead, found a building that looked like a beautiful home and a welcome I’d only expect from friends. The professional team there worked together to get to know the real me. Even I wasn’t even sure who I was; I just felt like a walking illness.

After my stay I’m moving to Marbella because I’d like to continue finding out about who I am, whilst being near the ongoing support offered by the centre. It’s amazing how first class therapy and psychiatric support can make you realise that recovery is possible and the world awaits. Maybe this part of the world will offer me a great new start?  

Being able to offer someone a moment of happiness, can end up offering them a lifetime of hope.

Gemma Wood, is the Head of Counselling & Psychotherapy at the Medical and Psychological clinic, Cortijo Care, based in San Pedro.

 The opportunity to be part of Claire’s journey has been an honour and a privilege for all of the team at Cortijo Care. Today is an especially proud moment to start to share her story, as she reintegrates into society. When Claire arrived at Cortijo Care three months ago, we witnessed a brokenhearted lady who had been suffering in silence for a long time. The team was able to offer her intense in-patient care, psychiatric support, medical assistance and many forms of psychotherapy groups, one-to-one sessions and eating disorder care. This was the beginning of Claire’s journey with us. As a team, the first stage of care consists of two main areas: • Building a relationship of trust with the individual. • Helping to nurture the willingness of each person to be open to what we offer and to assist them with their own process. For weeks Claire was not able to hear nor accept that the improvements she was making were due to her own ability, believing that it was down to the Cortijo Care team. Only three weeks ago, Claire accepted her own journey, efforts and, most importantly “this walking illness” as she described it, was not who she IS. Claire’s acceptance of being ill has evolved over time but she has also accepted that her illness is only PART of her. She has discovered that she has many other facets that will help her in the future. In order to record her progress Claire kept a diary during her stay at Cortijo Care.

TUNE IN ON AIR On Thursday 3rd of July to listen and speak directly to Gemma and Claire

Cortijo Care Marbella: C/ Joaquin Turina, Cortijo Blanco, San Pedro de Alcantara, Marbella. Tel. 952 780 181 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it cortijocare.com

Next month, see how Claire’s journey began...

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