Our day program operates Monday to Friday from 9:00am to 5:00pm.

Beyond our holistic, wraparound philosophy, our treatment approach is two-fold.

The first component is therapeutic.  On a daily basis we provide clients with a range of groups and individual therapy sessions spread throughout the day.  These groups, both psycho-dynamic and psycho-educational in nature, include life skills, anger management, mindfulness, smoking cessation, relapse prevention, goal setting, art therapy, spirituality, parenting and building community skills. In regular meetings with their primary counselors, clients can discuss any issues or concerns of which they are unable to speak freely in group.  In addition, and if necessary, “primaries” help clients deal with issues arising out of their personal treatment plans, to help them achieve their desired goals in a timely fashion.  To ensure this, initial treatment plans are evaluated once clients have been at Vitanova for three months, and subsequently, on an as needed basis.

The second component is what we refer to as the teaching of hands-on life skills. This begins with each client, when he/she enters treatment, being assigned a chore alongside a group of peers.  These chores relate to the maintenance of what is now the client’s own living environment.

Maintenance Responsibilities
In order to keep our facility tidy, sanitary, and beautiful, it is necessary that each client participate in the maintenance and upkeep of our centre.  To that end, chores will be assigned to every client, to be completed at specified times during the day.  These may include the vacuuming of carpets, the cleaning of bathrooms, or the emptying of trash cans. Other chores may be assigned from time to time, on an as needed basis. More senior chores—such as being responsible for the dish crew before and after meals, or becoming a kitchen lead, responsible for overseeing the preparation of meals for the entire house—will be assigned as time goes on and individual clients demonstrate the ability to lead others to task completion.

Participating in Activities
Monday through Friday there are scheduled activities in which all clients are expected to participate.  These may include lectures, films, guest speakers, workshops, or recreational activities—all designed to give clients an opportunity to learn more about themselves and their situation.

Family Participation
Substance use is considered a family illness, since loved ones are always affected by the situation, and for that reason a family support program is provided.  Clients are asked to encourage their loved ones to attend, so that they can learn how best to support client recovery and to work through their own feelings about the family situation.

There is no set time for discharge.  We ask clients to keep an open mind and continue to work through the issues that arise in the course of treatment.  This can mean from three months up to a year and more.  Nevertheless, preparation for discharge is discussed regularly in group and individual sessions, in keeping with our shared goal—our clients returning to society as  healthy and productive persons.  When the client and his/her primary believe the client has successfully addressed these issues, both will prepare a discharge plan—a program of actions the clients will commit to, to sustain recovery after discharge.  Sticking to this plan is what we term “aftercare”.

Aftercare can include many things:  weekly attendance at the Tuesday evening or Saturday morning support group; occasional attendance at a morning group on days when the client is not working; or attendance at an Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meeting near where the client lives full time (if that is some distance from Vitanova).  Aftercare can mean a commitment to call one’s primary counselor when feeling vulnerable; a session with him/her when tempted to relapse; even a few group sessions when a former client is going through a “rough patch”.  All discharged clients are strongly encouraged to keep in touch, by keeping us up to date with their contact information, attending Vitanova events, or just dropping by when in the area.