Patient Experiences

Testimonials Castle Craig

Patients sharing their experiences

This page contains a small selection of the thank you notes we frequently receive from former patients. Some names have been altered in the interests of patient confidentiality (most recent at the top).


‘Thank you so much for your help over the last week, I have been blown away by your kindness. I am going to be starting rehab with The Nelson Trust for three months starting next Monday. I truly believe you and your team saved my life; so thank you for your belief in helping a stranger– it really has meant the world to me.’ ~ Georgina

‘The atmosphere and support within the community has been excellent’

‘24/7 concentration on sobriety’

‘The total package is on a whole other level compared to other treatment centres. Thank you’

‘All staff from groundsmen, housekeeping, kitchen, nurses, carers, therapists all do amazing things. They do not judge and they speak to us with respect, dignity and share their things to build trust’

‘I’ve found forgiveness of self and others and calmness inside and am no longer at conflict with myself’.

‘Because the therapists have travelled the path I am on now I felt a good connection with them all’

‘It stabilised me mentally, emotionally, cognitively and physically’

‘Nursing, medical, household, therapy and maintenance staff all excellent.

‘The therapists are outstanding’

– Patient Satisfaction Summary Report, July-December 2016


‘Excellent for bringing theory into practice’ 

‘Words cannot say how grateful I am to have been able to be a patient at CC’

‘The overall care and community goes far above excellence.’

‘All the staff we have been close to have always been very helpful, polite and reassuring to help with my care and my family’s care’

‘I like the balance between structure and freedom and the ‘enrichment’ of therapy 
with mindfulness, yoga, sport, hikes, etc’

– Patient Satisfaction Summary Report, January-June 2016


Castle Craig has been a perfect experience and I have no negative comments.’

‘Thank you for providing me with the opportunity to rebuild my life.’

‘The best thing I have ever done.’

‘Castle Craig has given me hope that I can have a good life and future.’

‘… coming to Castle Craig has been the best decision I have ever made so far.’

‘100% satisfied.’

‘Castle Craig is changing my life for the better. It is a gift. Thank you.’

‘The most outstanding treatment for me.’

‘Keep doing what you’re doing right now and God bless you all!’

‘Castle Craig has changed my life.’

‘It has been educational, mind opening, structured and very professional, empowering individuals to take the responsibility to change their lives’

‘This Castle is a wonderful place to begin the journey into recovery’

‘ … the best place to recover from addiction issues …’

– Patient Satisfaction Summary Report, July – December 2015


‘Great start of a recovery journey.’

‘Medical and nursing care is brilliant.’

‘Staff are concerned about everything, great.’

‘I lived like a King.’

‘Great experience. I am very grateful.’

‘Staff are very warm and welcoming.’

‘Very good attitude, not easy with the diversity of patients.’

‘Discharge planning is thorough.’

‘Medical care is excellent.’

‘Nursing care is very reassuring.’

‘Group therapy is rewarding.’

‘Individual therapy is challenging, gentle and compassionate.’

‘Family therapy is hard but good.’

‘Housekeeping staff are brilliant.’

‘Staff attitude is caring and supportive.’

‘Catering is nutritious and lovely.’

‘Living conditions are clean, pretty and very comfortable.’

‘Discharge planning is excellent.’

‘Keep up the good work!

‘The programme works, the staff is great.’

– Patient Satisfaction Reports, 2012-2013


“I was pleased to see last night on the programme debating the issues raised in ‘The Scheme’ that Castle Craig was mentioned as having worked a miracle. I am still eternally grateful for the help that I received.” – Received from a former patient who saw Castle Craig mentioned in a national tv debate and was reminded of her own time in treatment. June 2011.

Dear Dr. McCann, Just to let you know I am doing well, and coping better than I have ever done. I am working part time. Thanks for all your help and care. Castle Craig was a great benefit to me, even though it took time. But you just keep working at it. Love Benji

I went through treatment over 21 years ago and it has worked for me, O.D.A.A.T. [One Day At A Time] Tom

A great phenomenon, indeed! I still feel very privileged to be one of CC’s patients. I started there recovery for the very rest of my life, got in fact a new life with new horizons full of hope, belief and love. And my mantra’s from there ‘Let Go, Let God’, Easy does it’ connected with the Serenity Prayer every day work as ‘stimula’ to go my blessed way forward with strenght and enlightment. Thank you, Castle Craig. I take part in being proud! June

I firmly believe that CC saved my life and i see many people on a daily basis that could benefit from the care that CC provides. Fred

If it if was not for CC and my peers i would certainly be 6 feet under, I personally think CC is a place where magic happens… I see people every day mad with it and no help so we are living proof that CC receives this recognition along with the outstanding therapists they provide, but us, the patients, are the stars… Naomi

I stay clean and sober now because I don’t take anything moodaltering. Not even a nosespray, or caughmedicine. Nothing that might work on my brain. I accpet that my brain doesn’t know the difference between drugs and medication! Before CC I used drugs instead of alcohol and eventually used both. The wrong anti-depressant. I constantly craved for more. Now I’m almost 2 years clean and sober and don’t crave for anything! Total abstinence is the only way I believe! Lisbeth

Hi George! I wish you a good time in Castle Craig, keep it up, I hold dear memories of Castle Craig. Please say hello to the staff and therapists. Daan (by email)

Life is good at my end. I celebrated six years of sober life on the 29th September this year and it gets better and better. Dad has been off the drink over a year now. Amy is doing well and a very happy go lucky little lady! Anna.

Audrey – thank you for always telling me the truth! Not only for being my therapist, but also for being my friend! Love Laura

Thank you very much Dr. McCann and family for helping me in my Recovery at Castle Craig Hospital. It’s a fantastic place, thanks for all your care and love, may God bless you. See you at the Reunion. Karen

Dear staff members and all the therapists and personnel at Castle Craig Hospital. It is now 5 years ago that I left for treatment at Castle Craig and today I am 5 years clean. Life becomes more and more a pleasant journey and I am day by day more grateful to have a life. Thanks for treatment, it was so good. Andrew

Love and gratitude to you all. Words are not enough. I started to think about the names of all who helped me change my life – what a list! It would distress me to leave anyone out in error so please forgive me for generalising. I hope to visit and thank you all again in person. Sven

Happy New Year to everyone of the staff at Castle Craig, may all of you have a great, beautiful, exciting, rich and healthy year ahead of you. Thank you all for the beautiful life I have back. I wouldn’t be in this position without the support you all provided, each of you in your own special way. 9.5 months clean and sober. keep up the good word. Mark (by email) 

“All I can say is Castle Craig works, and the whole set up of the therapeutic community works. This is because of the commitment from all members of staff.”
A quote from our Service User Questionnaire, 2008

“The staff and management at Castle Craig have treated me with the care and respect that a patient should be treated with. They are very professional in their approach to addiction and also have a very good personal touch… I have no doubt if I fully enclose what I’ve learned from them about the programme into my everyday life, I will have a good recovery.”
A quote from our Service User Questionnaire, 2008

“Words cannot express how much gratitude I feel. You make people know that there is a wonderful life out there and I certainly intend to enjoy it now. Thank you for helping me to see this.” Amelia

“Thanks to all the therapists who helped me come to terms with the loss of my beloved wife. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.” Robert

“Thank you for giving me my Mom back! Before my Mom came to Castle Craig life was pretty horrible, I was constantly worrying about her, and to be honest I felt like I had lost my Mom. But coming to Castle Craig was the best decision she could have made.” Elly

I would like to offer my everlasting gratitude to you all for the thankless work you do at the castle. I will be celebrating eleven years of sobriety this year and I cant thank you enough for giving me the privilege to do this. Since leaving the castle I have furthered my career and will graduate as a beauty therapist in November and hopefully specialise in relaxation therapies, that’s a miracle for someone who couldn’t hold a cup without spilling the contents when I first came to you all at the castle. I also took driving lessons and have been driving for seven years. The list of all my achievements is too long and would take forever write them. I hope all your patients will be successful and as full of gratitude as I feel today in their sobriety. Elizabeth

“Thanks for the tools I have received to live a life without fear and guilt and shame. I’ve spent 12 months of my life here and will never forget it. I hope that I can come back one day and do this terrific job you all do.” Josh

“The castle is an amazing place. Before I went there I was an alcoholic and an addict in despair. Without getting the fantastic care from all the staff I would still be a wreck. Castle Craig saved my life and for that I will be eternally grateful.” Donna

“Thank you for all the help and guidance you’ve given me throughout my stay here. You’ve given me back confidence and hope and the faith to go on.” Nadja

“I don’t feel sorry anymore about anything, I don’t feel guilty anymore and most importantly I don’t feel so lonely and misunderstood. After that 45 year long struggle I am free!” Nicholas

“I celebrated four years of sober living at the end of September and am living a simple and contented life. I will never forget those who helped me in the Castle.” Mary-Jane

“When life seems hopeless, when things seem to go wrong, when my mind is haunted by memories of the past, I only have to think of you and what you taught me in that miraculous place called Castle Craig. Thank you, again and again, one day at a time, for this new life shown by you.” Yuvraj

“I thank you and your staff for making my life possible after I became powerless over alcohol and my life had become unmanageable. It was a gift that through you I could find a programme such as the twelve steps in which I never have to be alone and hiding again.” Markus

“Your kindness has kept me here…. you’ve treated me like a human being and that’s what I’ve become. I will never forget you all. Thanks for showing me a way out!” Richard

“You all mean so much to me. Thanks for all your help and support. Castle Craig is a very special place, it will stay in my heart.” Sarah

“I came here six months ago to do something about my addiction. To be honest I didn’t know what I was letting myself in for! But I took a risk in coming to Scotland as a last resort as nothing else had worked in the past. On arriving there I found it hard to accept my addiction but with the support of all the staff and because I got ‘pushed’ to try harder, I ended up being willing to change. Because of Castle Craig and all the team that makes Castle Craig work – it has given me the tools to lead a ‘normal ‘life without drugs or alcohol. I would like to thank you all, as without you my recovery would not be possible. Words cannot say how much this means to me and my family.” Paul

“Thanks of giving me this chance – I will be forever grateful! I wont forget what this place did for me.” Jim

“Thank you for making my time here at Castle Craig as positive as it has been, you all help to make this place as magical as it is.” Deidre

“Thank you for everything that you and your wonderful staff have done for me. My time there has constantly held a warm and cherished place in my heart and through my everyday walk of recovery.” John


Renewal Workshops

“This course is wonderfully healing. I felt released from the fears that held me in the past and placed firmly on my own feet in the present moment. Since the course, I have gone forward empowered with the tools it gave me, to make healthier relationships with others and particularly with myself. I believe this course would benefit everyone of us, regardless of whether we think we have a problem or not, so if you have the opportunity to do it, take it!” – Caroline

Patient Testimonial (Transcription)

Louise C, former patient

So into my early 30s, and it caused all sorts of problems in the family. My heavier drinking which gradually got worse and worse. My sister spoke to my husband, and my husband spoke to my friends and my family, and eventually they all ganged up on me and decided that I was probably an alcoholic. And what could be done but take me to Castle Craig? They had phoned Castle Craig and at that time, the McCanns just opened their arms at Castle Craig. And they could drop you off and that’s what happened. They just dropped me off.

Quite a memorable day. My father, my husband and my brother dropped me. It took three men to drop me at the door of Castle Craig. And the car doors were locked because they knew I would jump out. Even on the motorway they knew I would jump out. I know I went kicking and squealing but they did it, the best thing. Still, the best thing to do with alcoholics is to gang up on them and give them no option but to try treatment and face up to their addiction. Once you face up to it, then you’re halfway there.

There’s always going to be the fight, the denial, but once you get past that and if people are there to help you get past that bit, the denial… and you accept that you are an alcoholic or accept that you have cancer, you’re a diabetic. Then you give in and you’re free to understand your disease or your illness and start to get better. And that’s what Castle Craig did for me. They gave me time and their understanding, and the patience to show me what was the matter, it wasn’t my fault, and how we could mend it. And that’s what we did in the six weeks that I was there.

I had wonderful therapists and after they “broke me”, as they said, and made me understand, I was a very welcome guest there. And I owe them my life, I guess, I do.

I employ people here, at this factory, and I know many of them are plagued with, either themselves or close family or friends. One in five people in Scotland are plagued by this disease – it affects them. Whether it’s a friend, a relation, or a family.

They have family weekends and other things. And with some families, it’s very much needed because to survive after Castle Craig, you do need support. You need understanding emotionally as well as physically, but you need understanding of the people around, about you, to be there and to support and to make it all worthwhile. Family needs that time as well – six weeks is about right for families to mend a little before this alcoholic goes back into the family, bosom if you like. My husband always says it took a year before he didn’t think about… late in the afternoon, would he be coming home to a wife that had been drinking. And he said, after a year, he didn’t think about it. And that’s how long it took… now, that’s a long time. That’s a lot longer than six weeks at Castle Craig.

So Castle Craig is only the start of your healing in yourself and your family.