The Addictions Health Associates of Halifax presents a new perspective and approach in working with challenging issues.

 

Our Mission

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.


The domain of addictions is where we constantly seek something outside ourselves to curb an insatiable yearning for relief or fulfillment. The aching emptiness is perpetual because the substances, objects or pursuits we hope will soothe it are not what we really need…We haunt our lives without being fully present.
— Dr. Gabor Maté, In the Realm of the Hungry Ghosts

Mindfulness-based METHODS

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.

Interdisciplinary

 

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.

Immediate accessibility

 

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

 

DEEP EXPERIENCE

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.  

Research

 

Seeing addictions only interns of problems and issues must be balanced by the view that everyone has inherent strength, insight, courage and kindness.

Strength-based perspective

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.

Target population

Community based clients without need of intensive detox services.