The Addictions Health Associates of Halifax presents a new perspective and approach in working with challenging issues.
We are an interdisciplinary group of clinicians who are dedicated to help clients and communities with addictions and mental health issues. Our view is that everyone is addicted to something so that having an addiction or addictions is part of the human experience.
However, some addictions have become so entrenched and harmful that useful and powerful interventions are called for. We aim to provide those interventions, with a combination of caring and strength. We aspire to cultivate, in ourselves, our clients and our communities, the natural determination, resiliency and compassion necessary to overcome addictions.
Our methods are based on but not limited to mindfulness: the mind's inherent ability to be present, with kindness. This is the most fundamental antidote to the tenacious human tendency to avoid discomfort and seek pleasure at any cost. But we will also work in a practical way with whatever is necessary--body and energetic practices, cognitive behaviour therapy, "circle of care" work involving significant others, trauma informed approaches, supplemental medication, and so forth. In our experience, there is always an issue of anxiety underlying addictions. This too is very much part of the human fabric, especially in the our current times of speed, stress and demand. So it is essential to work as well with anxiety, to ground oneself in the body, to calm the mind to some extent and overall to "take the edge off the anxiety." Then it is possible to work more deeply with the mind itself, so as not to be slave to its demands and distractions, and to get out of autopilot.
Path to Recovery
The path of recovery is tough but doable, many have mastered their addictive tendencies in the past and many more will do so in the future. Ironically, when substance abuse or behavioural addictions decrease, emotional upheavals often increase.
The client discovers what the addiction was attempting, unsuccessfully, to mask: pain, anxiety, sadness, boredom. All this is part of the path of recovery and is workable, with guidance, patience, compassion and strength.
Being genuinely on the path can bring out a whole new way of being and living one's life; it is an opportunity to be more vital, sensitive and engaged with all activities.
Features of our approach
Bringing together a variety of professional disciplines, perspectives and approaches to deal with addictions and mental health issues.
Because of financial challenges, clients, if not covered by insurance, can pay what is reasonable, to be negotiated between therapist and client.
Sliding scale of payments
We will make every effort to see clients within 48 hours, which is crucial for addictions interventions.
The staff is committed to the path of quality and lifelong learning in addictions and mental health to continuously upgrade how it sees the challenges in this field and what it does about them.
State of the art interventions
Each member of our team of clinicians is steeped in the view and practice of the interventions they provide, particularly mindfulness, which requires a regular personal practice as well as more extended periods of practice and study.
Individual and group therapy
The beginning of the path of recovery is based on individual treatment and client responsibility for making progress; followed by possible group intervention which can deepen an individual's commitment and resilience.
We are committed to document, evaluate and provide evidence, wherever possible, around the complex issues of mental health and addictions.
Seeing addictions only interns of problems and issues must be balanced by the view that everyone has inherent strength, insight, courage and kindness.
Harm reduction model
We believe in a non-punitory perspective on addictions, which allows for, in a practical way, what is truly useful for clients, e.g., reduced addictive behaviour versus abstinence.
Community based clients without need of intensive detox services.