Treatment Programs


Group Therapies

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) Groups

CBT group programming is a widely used, evidence-based practice that helps members develop effective coping strategies, new patterns of thinking and behaviour, and emotional regulation. Group work also enhances connections and relationships with others through exploring people’s emotions and facing being vulnerable, then becoming trustful of each other. Aurora Recovery Centre (ARC) has several CBT-based options and also offers Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Mind-Body Bridging (MBB).

Group work sessions occur every day of the week. Each group has a specific program delivery on a four-week cycle, with those in treatment for 45 or 60 days or longer moving into different group programming after the first 30 days. The morning groups are gender-specific clinical topics while the afternoon groups are mixed and focus on the 12-steps or alternative philosophies.

Our group programs consist of the following:

Transition Group

Transition Group is to allow new members coming from detox to adjust to our programming and culture at the centre. The group builds a sense of connection, encourages the members to be active participants, understand basic recovery principles, and to stabilize members mentally, physically and emotionally. Topics in this group emphasize skill development, awareness of substance use and mental health issues, and developing core strengths.

Members typically spend from two to seven days in this phase, depending on their specific needs. Some members may continue in the group for longer if they have higher mental health needs and/or they benefit from smaller group interactions.

Core Clinical Group

The Core Clinical Group is the standard clinical group program, which most of our members participate in. The groups cover a variety of topics covering issues such as:

  • Communication
  • Understanding the disease
  • Emotional regulation
  • Coping strategies
  • Triggers
  • Other mental health issues
  • Gender specific topics
Core Twelve Steps Group

The Twelve Steps philosophy and group work is the core component of addiction treatment programming. The groups meet daily to gain an understanding of the philosophy underlying the steps, how to work the steps, and study the book Alcoholics Anonymous. Members work thoroughly on steps one to three with a counsellor while in the core Twelve Steps group.  

The steps are “a group of principles, spiritual in nature, which if practised as a way of life, can expel the obsession to drink (or use) and enable the suffer to become happy and usefully whole.”- Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

The purpose of this group is to help members understand and apply these principles as a design for living a new life.

Readiness Group

The Readiness Group is for returning members, people who are in programs longer for more than 30 days, and step-resistant members. This group takes pays close attention to the causes of relapse and relapse prevention. It consists of a four-week structured program of three group sessions per week and is customized to the needs of the members of the group. Examples of a few topics are:

  • In-depth study of recovery and relapse prevention material in a facilitated peer-to-peer group
  • Topics including spirituality, steps one to six, cross additions, healthy relationships, positive self-talk, acceptance, coping skills, recovery and relapse and relapse prevention actions


Twelve Steps Alternative Group

The Twelve Steps Alternative Group is for members who do not believe in the Twelve Steps philosophy. Counsellors help these members find other forms of spirituality to connect the member to their own concept of a higher power. With this approach, members have been able to adapt and learn about traditional ceremonies that have allowed them to connect with a higher power. This group engages in book work and do a variety of assignments during the Twelve Steps group times.

Twelve Steps Meetings

Meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous happen six days a week while at the centre. When members leave the centre, they must attend one meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous. The formats of these meetings vary from day-to-day to provide members with a variety of different formats after discharge. These meetings’ activities include speakers, discussions, topics, step studies and book studies.

Dialectical Behavioural Therapy

Dialectical Behavioural Therapy Group (DBT) can be done for our members by having one-on-one sessions with a counsellor, depending on the member’s needs. DBT assists people who struggle with volatile emotions. The therapeutic approach especially helps people with co-occurring disorders like post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or borderline personality disorder.

The sessions introduce:

  • Skills of mindfulness
  • Distress tolerance
  • Emotional regulation
  • Interpersonal effectiveness

MindBody Bridging

Mind-Body Bridging (MBB) is an additional form of intervention that assists the treatment of our members who are suffering from substance use disorders and PTSD by reducing cravings, trauma symptoms, and sleeping issues. As a result, MBB boosts our members’ well-being, mindfulness and self-compassion. We offer MBB in an individual setting for our members at ARC. 

MBB has been certified as evidence-based intervention by The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The Mind-Body Bridging Substance Abuse Program MBBSAP is listed on the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs (NREPP).

 The MBBSAP profile can be viewed at SAMHSA’s website.


Individual Counselling

Individual counselling provides a safe and trusting environment to aid our members to dig deeper into the underlying causes and conditions of their addiction and mental health disorders. One-on-one counselling uses a variety of clinical and the Twelve Steps practices. Each member has a clinical and Twelve Steps counsellor who they meet with at least three times a week while at ARC.

Counsellors work collaboratively with the medical team and therapists so that members can reach the goals outlined in the Personalized Treatment Plan.

Clinical counsellors lead each member’s treatment team, manage their progress, make referrals to therapists or psychiatrists, and provide the member with a minimum of two one-on-one counselling sessions per week. The counselling focuses on consequences of substance abuse, co-occurring disorders, trauma, family dynamics, and the member’s basic needs for recovery capital (housing, financial support, etc.) as it relates to the body, mind and spirit.

The Twelve Steps counsellor meets with the member at least once a week for a one-on-one session. This session enhances the member’s ability to put the tools into action during The Twelve Steps. The Twelve Steps counsellor supports the member’s preparation to become sober based on their Recovery Plan and assists the member to get a temporary sponsor and ARC Buddy when they complete their program.

Individual Therapy

Therapy at ARC focuses on trauma and mental health issues. Our therapists are psychotherapists with masters in marriage and family therapy (MMFT). They conduct a variety of psychotherapy practises, attachment methods, and trauma-informed treatments including motivational interviewing, emotional freedom technique (EFT) and EMDR.

Our therapists cater their treatments to address our members issues with addiction, anxiety, depression, parenting, grief, loss, relationship distress, and emotional expression.

Members are referred to therapy by the counselling team based on the members needs detailed in their intake assessments and by observing the member’s participation in clinical programming, interactions with other members, and one-on-one sessions. We also use Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), which is helpful in addressing event-driven trauma.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reproccessing (EMDR)

At ARC and at our outpatient services office, our therapists use EMDA, a non-traditional form of psychotherapy designed to diminish negative feelings associated with memories of traumatic events, with our members. EMDR focuses on the disturbing emotions and symptoms that result from those traumatic events. The therapists guides their hand to guide the client’s eyes movements from side to side while talking about their trauma.

EMDR processes past negative experiences and helps sort out the emotions attached to those experiences. Negative thoughts and feelings that are no longer useful are replaced with positive thoughts and feelings that will encourage healthier behaviour and social interactions. EMDR shows that the mind can, in fact, heal from psychological trauma just like how the body recovers from physical trauma. Once the psychological block is removed, healing resumes. We use EMDR for cases of severe trauma and at the discretion of the therapy team.


Our psychiatrist is on call 24/7. They meet with our members who have more acute forms of trauma and mental health.  Those with more intense forms of trauma or other mental health will also meet with our nurse practitioner who specializes in mental health. The medical and counselling staff collaborate on members referrals, to evaluate if they need to see a psychiatrist. 

Members may receive a consultation with a psychiatrist if it’s determined that it would be best for the member to address their mental health concerns and any changes to medications. Our registered psychiatric nurses perform mental health assessments and work collectively with the counsellers and therapists to provide the best care before and after psychiatric consultation.

Our medical doctors and nurse practitioners address the immediate medical needs of our members and work in conjunction with the member’s existing mental health care providers to obtain important information that will assist in an accurate holistic treatment approach.

Adjunctive Therapies

Members participate in a variety of adjunctive therapies including yoga, meditation, auricular acupuncture, physical fitness, nutrition and expressive art therapy as well as traditional sweat lodges and ceremonies. These therapies, along with our core programming enhance mindfulness and self awareness, and build a strong sense of safety and well being. It also allows our members to learn how to relax and open their mind for learning new actions and behaviours.  Read more about Adjunctive Therapies at Aurora.

Aurora Recovery Centre’s philosophies are consistently reflected in the way we value our members and staff. Everything we do is in the interest of our members’ recovery for life.

Aurora’s treatment process is built upon a member-first culture and stands on three pillars that reflect our philosophy toward our members’ recovery: Heal, Connect and Recover.

From initial contact with Aurora, you begin to experience our Member-First Culture. Our highly experienced Addiction Specialists help you navigate the complex, emotional decision to admit to treatment.