Martin R. Infante established SELF in 1992 soon after he himself completed a drug rehab program in a Therapeutic Community (TC). Thus began his abiding passion to help others gain a second chance at a productive and rewarding life.
Coming from 20 years of abusing substances, Martin brings a deep compassion for the recovering residents that has fueled his unrelenting passion to improve SELF’s TC program and facilities. What has also served in good stead is his being a dreamer and a doer. Never satisfied with “good enough”, he has worked tirelessly and fearlessly, doing what it takes to develop and deliver the best possible services to clients.
Martin’s unwavering quest for excellence has attracted a team of like-minded and equally dedicated staff. With his forthrightness and fierce loyalty, he has inspired them to grow with him and the program, create a healing environment that is strict yet caring, and foster a culture that is invariably respectful, logical and practical. Thus, it comes as no surprise that some 25 years down the road, SELF has grown to become a leader in treatment and rehabilitation for drug abuse and behavioral disorders.
Martin has not confined his dreams to SELF and has also devoted himself to the overall development and propagation of the TC. In the Philippines, he served as Chairman of the Inter-Agency Committee for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Substance Dependents of the Dangerous Drugs Board in 1998 and is a founding member of the Philippine Federation of Therapeutic Communities. In Asia, he has actively served in the Board of the Asian Federation of Therapeutic Communities since 2002. He has also worked with the Colombo Plan Drug Advisory Program as a resource person and has co-authored several handbooks on the management of drug treatment programs. In the global effort, he has worked with the Executive Council of the World Federation of Therapeutic Communities (WFTC) since 2003. He eventually joined the Board in 2012 and is at present playing a key role in its effort to restructure and refocus.
Teaching is an essential element of Martin’s lifework. His initiative to share SELF’s best practices with other TCs led to the development of TC management courses. In 2013, SELF was officially designated as a TC Learning Institute by the WFTC. Martin’s current efforts to establish SELF as a TC Training Hub in Asia is well underway with the ongoing construction of a Learning Center that will house the International Institute of Therapeutic Communities.