Aurora Recovery Centre


Step 1

24-7 medical detox

24-7 Medical Detox

ARC is one of the only treatment centres in Canada with a 24/7 supervised medical detox unit.

Medical detoxing is the safest and most comfortable way to manage withdrawal from any active substance addiction.

It’s also an essential first step in the journey to recovery.

As part of ARC’s treatment program, every new member admitted to our centre must successfully undergo this stage of their recovery plan, since substance withdrawal is often accompanied by challenging physical and emotional symptoms.

Step 2

personalized treatment green

Treatment Programs

ARC’s Personalized Treatment Plans meet the specific needs of every member who participates in our programs.

Our skilled, professional clinical staff combine a variety of different individual and group counselling sessions, along with a number of advanced psychotherapies and techniques for our therapies, treatments, and activities.

Everyone is different. We come from different backgrounds, have different stories, and live by different values. And, no one has the exact same mental state or addiction. Each member receives personalized treatments, so they will succeed in their personal recovery.

24/7 Medical Detox

Aurora Recovery Centre is one of the only private treatment centres in Canada with a 24/7 medical detox unit. Medical detoxing is the safest and most comfortable way to handle going through withdrawal from any active substance addiction. It’s also an essential first step in the journey to recovery.

As part of ARC’s treatment program, every new member must successfully undergo this stage of their recovery plan. Since substance withdrawal is often accompanied by challenging physical and emotional symptoms, as well as potentially life-threatening, certain medications may be used to safely assist a new member in their detoxification.

Possible symptoms include:

  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations
  • Anxiety/paranoia
  • Nausea
  • Tremors

Our detox unit manager and nurses follow detailed policies, procedures and protocols to provide the safest and most comfortable withdrawal possible. We understand that there are different protocols for detoxification for every form of addiction with added complexity for those using combinations of alcohol and multiple drugs, so we ensure to give the best care to our members while in this phase of their recovery.

From Detox to Transition

What to expect in detox:
  • Medical assessment to initiate a safe detox
  • Nurses and doctors check on members within first 24 hours
  • Staff provides 24/7 service and attention
  • Members receive comprehensive assessments to determine their Personalized Treatment Plan
  • Clinical and addiction assessment
  • Mental health assessment
  • Members leave detox and receive preliminary treatment in our Transition Group
Transfer from DMU to transition after:
  • Medical clearance
  • Clinical and addiction assessment and clearance
  • Mental health assessment
  • Comprehensive personalized treatment plan
  • Orientation
Receive Welcome Package containing:
  • Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous
  • Daily Reflections
  • Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
  • Guidelines for Life
  • The house rules for ARC
  • Other useful information

Personalized Treatment Programs

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Personalized Care is vital for everyone because we all have different needs. Catering to specific needs allows us to help solve members’ addiction and mental health disorders.

While providing personalized care is challenging, because it relies on many resources and the expertise of medical professionals to deliver quality programming in an effective way, we have the size and scale to invest in high-quality, dedicated professionals to deliver the necessary programming needed for our members.

Our staff and resources are flexible, adaptable, and continuously improving our programs. We promise to deliver the best programming for each and every member who comes to us for help.

Case managers become the single point of contact for the member and their family to the interdisciplinary team. Addiction & clinical counsellors, therapists, family program director, nurse practitioners, doctors, psychiatrists, and member care specialists.

Psychiatric consults with a nurse practitioner and/or psychiatrist are available. Our counsellors are continually evaluating members’ progress and adjustments are made as necessary. Counsellors may also refer members for additional therapy and/or psychiatric consultation if they determine that more advanced treatment would be beneficial for a member.

We also offer at least 10 adjunctive therapies and nutrition planning. We make sure we meet any special dietary needs to our members, along with traditional teachings and special outings. At ARC, and at our outpatient services office, we also have family programming and workshops.

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.

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.

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

Core Twelve Steps Group

The Twelve Steps philosophy and group work is the core component of addiction treatment programming, which helps members understand and apply these principles as a design for living a new life. 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 practiced 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.

Mind–Body 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).

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.

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

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

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.

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

Case managers lead each member’s treatment team; manage their progress; make referrals to therapists or psychiatrists; and provide the member with counselling sessions. 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 case manager meets with the member to put the tools into action during The Twelve Steps and 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

Individual Therapy 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 practices, 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 Reprocessing (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 available to meet with members (on the recommendation of the nurse practitioner and therapy team). 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 mental health team perform mental health assessments and work collectively with the 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.


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