​Our Team

Here at The Dawn, you can be ensured you are in the very best hands. We have hand-picked our team as much for their outstanding professional knowledge and experience as we have for their compassion and dedication to helping lives.

Our multi-disciplinary team of Western-trained clinicians is made up of psychologists, psychotherapists and mental health counsellors who all hold a Masters Degree or higher – and  update their skills with continuous professional training to offer clients the most effective treatment for mental health disorders and trauma The clinical team is supported by professional medical and support staff, available around-the-clock to ensure your stay is comfortable and successful. While our Wellness team will guide you in Eastern holistic practices and fitness to maximise your recovery.

Our low client-to-staff ratio differentiates our programme and allows our professional team to fully engage in the recovery of each client.

David Smallwood

Clinical Director

Masters in Addiction Counselling Psychology 


David Smallwood is a renowned British behavioural health therapist and author of the book “Who Says I am an Addict”. Over his illustrious 22-year career he has headed up two of the world’s most respected treatment centres – England’s Priory Hospital Addiction Unit and Switzerland’s Kusnacht Practice. 

In his role as Clinical Director, David brings to The Dawn the best of his world-class experience in managing and guiding The Dawn’s clinical team to provide truly high quality care in the context of a client-focused holistic, integrated and evidence-based programme.

David observes that the most common issue clients face – whether they are mental health or addiction sufferers – is feeling disconnected from others and the world around them.  He believes this problem can be resolved best by the power of the group environment found in residential treatment centres, combined with proper diagnosis and treatment of underlying issues.


As a practitioner, David specialties are childhood trauma, addiction, and gay and lesbian focused treatment.  David holds a Master’s Degree in Addiction Counselling Psychology, a Post Graduate Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling, and is a member of FDAP. He also trained in Post Induction Therapy (trauma) with Pia Mellody and is a qualified EMDR therapist.

Watch the video to learn more about David and The Dawn

Wei Ling


Masters in Applied Psychologyand ResearchEMDR 2 Certified, CSAC and CGAC

Wei Ling brings to The Dawn over 12 years’ of counselling experience – the majority of which she spent working with both mental health and addiction patients at Singapore’s main psychiatric hospital. She has also done extensive work with families and trauma sufferers.


Wei Ling holds a Masters Degree in Applied Psychology and Research and a Bachelors in Social Work and Southeast Asian Studies from the University of Singapore. She is certified in substance abuse and gambling addiction counselling as well as family therapy (CSAC, CGAC, Satir). Wei Ling is also an EMDR practioner, certified from Australia.


A Tai Chi practitioner for many years, Wei Ling has a calm, compassionate manner and is skilled in connecting with clients across the mental health spectrum. Asked what keeps her so devoted and true to her vocation, she says simply:

“I believe strongly that each person has a unique potential and capabilities that can be unearthed towards battling life’s struggles and disappointments. Being part of the process of someone realizing the root, their source of pain and then working through that to safety, hope and a new vision is rewarding. ”

John McGinn


Masters in Research
DipHE, BSc, BA,

John McGinn is a seasoned Counsellor (MBACP) specialising in the field of addiction. He has vast experience working in various residential rehab centres, on both national and international levels. His academic background includes Honours Degrees in both Psychology and Philosophy. Most recently he attained a Master of Research in Philosophy from the University of East Anglia, exploring links between addiction, psychotherapy, and existentialism.


John has a great deal of experience treating clients who suffer from both addiction and a mental health disorder. He approaches this task with the utmost care, as well as an appreciation for his role of working alongside clients.


John also values the opportunity to get to know each person in his care, and help guide them on the path to healing. “The most unique and welcoming aspect about The Dawn is that we get the chance to focus on the similarity between mental health clients and clients suffering from addiction. Since The Dawn has separate mental health and addiction tracks, we care not only about differences, but also the similarities of treating both addiction and mental health. This is the best part of working at The Dawn,” John says.


Having embraced total abstinence in his own life for more than sixteen years, John believes that his personal journey toward recovery can act as a valuable resource for the benefit of his clients. His counselling work is driven by a sense of personal integrity and a passion and for helping people find their way forward.

Don Paolo Veneracion


Masters in Mental Health and Trauma Counselling

Paolo is a certified counsellor (ICAP/CSAT) and recovery coach (RC). After receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, he pursued his Masters in Professional Counselling and Addiction Studies.


Paolo has over 16 years of experience in the field of addiction treatment, in both residential and intensive outpatient settings. Prior to joining The Dawn, Paolo served as the head counsellor of a treatment centre in the Philippines, and the treatment manager of an international rehabilitation centre based in Eastern Thailand. Paolo’s vast knowledge and expertise allow him to effectively treat clients with both addiction and mental health issues. “I find that most clients with addiction develop some kinds of mental health issues,” Paolo says. “I think that The Dawn is doing a great job by not only focusing on the addiction, but also the mental health and mental wellbeing aspects as well.”


As a person in recovery himself, Paolo is completely committed to helping those who suffer from addictions and mental health issues. With patience and compassion, he takes the time to guide each client through their journey from hopelessness to hope. 


“I strongly believes that, by adhering to the spiritual principles and recovery tools used at The Dawn, recovery is always possible – regardless of the client’s background and history”, Paolo says.


Due to current travel restrictions in some regions,

we are also offering a unique Virtual Treatment programme

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