SERVICES & ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES

Veteran Services

At Together We Can, we support our Veterans. By utilizing an integrated approach to treat addiction, PTSD, anxiety, grief and loss, as well as a number of other diagnoses, TWC offers former service members a viable path forward through the issues they’re facing. Individualized care plans are created for each client; advanced solutions like CBT and Neurofeedback are combined with intensive one-on-one counselling and support meetings. Comprehensive programs and supports have been put in place for our Veterans at TWC. In addition to our individually-tailored treatment plans, we have certified clinical counsellors who focus on treating PTSD, addiction, and any other issue that has presented itself. To ensure that a rapport is built and a continuum of care is achieved, Veterans will remain with the same counsellor during their entire stay at TWC. In addition to the support of their counsellor, Veterans at TWC will be mentored and supported by other former service members who have walked the path to recovery that they’ve just embarked upon.

The three counsellors who conduct Veteran one-on-one’s all have Master’s Degree level educations, as well as specific skill-sets that are utilized to maximize their effectiveness. Sarah Shaw Ross and Courtney Nichols both specialize in Trauma and related issues, while Georgia Schindler has advanced training in the field of Eye Movement and Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), a cutting edge form of psychotherapy. All three counsellors are experts in the field and are universally well received by the clients they help. Clients are offered the chance to get to the root of their problems, and then navigated towards a solution.

Our program strives to promote congruence, compassion, forgiveness and acceptance; by providing an environment where brotherhood and connection are fostered, men are offered the opportunity to re-establish purpose in their lives and embark upon a new mission. The “program within a program” offers former service members an intimate environment to regain their footing, focus their energy, and ultimately launch back into their lives; in a healthy and sustainable fashion. 

We are extremely proud to offer an advanced program that is tailored to serve the men who have served us.

What to Expect upon Arrival

Day One

  • Pick up by a senior Intake Coordinator from the location of your choice.
  • Tour of the facility, and settlement in your residence.
  • Meet and greet with Matt Rands, Reporting Manager at TWC.
  • Health assessment by Medical Coordinator or Client Care Supervisor to appraise current and future well-being needs.
  • Ability to thaw out and rest if needed and/or desired.
  • Transportation to and from a physician if required or desired.

Day Two

  • Intake assessment by your Intake Coordinator.
  • Formally introduced to other clients and welcomed in our daily big group.
  • Assigned a “senior” client; someone who will be available to answer any questions and take you to outside meetings eventually, should you wish to go.
  • First one-on-one counselling session.
  • Progress report conducted by Support Staff to ensure your needs are being met, and to address any concerns you may have.

Day Three and Beyond

  • Regular one-on-one counselling with your Master's Degree educated counsellor.
  • Appointments with our in-house physician if desired.
  • Access to our in-house psychiatrist if desired.
  • Regular progress discussions with Reporting Manager, Matt Rands.
  • Weekly Veteran & First Responders Support Group. This is a closed meeting specifically designed as a private, safe environment for people from similar backgrounds to confidentially discuss their experiences. See below for more details.
  • Daily 12 Step meetings, both at TWC and in the community.
  • Private driver for transportation to and from any outside appointments.
  • Continuous Neurofeedback, EMDR, and other therapies.

Veterans and First Responders Support Group

A weekly support group is held for ex-servicemen and first responders. Facilitated by Courtney Nichols, a Master’s level Therapist who specializes in PTSD, and Michael Cain, a former Naval Communicator; the meeting is a private environment where individuals can safely express themselves in the presence of others who understand their experiences. The group is conducted utilizing a “check-in” format, where participants are given the opportunity to share, without interruption, in a safe and therapeutic setting. One of the hallmarks of our Veterans Program, clients who participate in this group routinely report that they feel “comfortable and safe” amongst the other men who share their common background and face similar issues. The group emphasizes one of the core philosophies at Together We Can: supported recovery through fellowship.

As a means of ensuring organizational congruency and to see our mission statement through, this group is open to all Veterans and First Responders, regardless of whether they have completed treatment with us or not.

PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) Therapy

Led by Courtney Nichols–MC:AT, RCC, our exceptional team of clinicians are committed to the highest standard of clinical care for our clients with PTSD -a mental health disorder that causes a number of intrusive and debilitating symptoms. By combining years of clinical experience with the latest evidence-based approaches, our aim is to provide stability and relief for those living with the devastating effects of PTSD.

Medical Approaches:

  • Psychiatric Assessment & DSM diagnosis
  • Medication & withdrawal management
  • Access to Mental Health Services

Cognitive Approaches:

  • CBT psycho-educational group therapy
  • PTSD education: Seeking Safety
  • Individual Therapy
  • Lifestyle & Nutritional counselling
  • TWC Family Therapy Program

Neurobiological Approaches:

  • Auricular Acupuncture Trauma Protocol (AATP/Neuro-acupuncture)
  • Chiropractic assessment & treatment
  • Physical fitness/gym membership
  • Meditation/mindfulness practices
  • Bio-feedback (Neuro-feedback)
  • EMDR
  • Yoga
  • TCM Assessment & Treatment

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Male, 19 and over
  • PTSD clinical diagnosis
  • Detoxed and Stabilized

Reporting & Documentation:

  • Ongoing assessment of treatment
  • Progress reports
  • Review & discharge reporting
  • Clinical records

Additional Support:

  • TWC Continuing Care/Alumni Program
  • OSIS (operational stress injury support)
  • TWC Veteran Support Group

Neurofeedback Therapy

The human brain is a vastly complex and remarkably mechanism which has the ability to literally change itself. Quantitatively measuring brain activity clearly illustrates how an individual’s emotional state, thought patterns, and behavioural responses are intertwined.

Neurofeedback therapy relies on EEG (electroencephalography) feedback which displays electrical impulse activity in the brain. When electrical activity in the brain can be readily observed a situation is created where real-time “brain-training” can occur. Testimonials from patients show it is effective in treating a number of issues including anxiety, depression, obsessive thinking, and sleep problems.

This treatment is available to clients with anxiety disorders

Video on Neurofeedback and Addiction:

Videos on NeurOptimal Neurofeedback:

Art Therapy

Art Therapy combines the creative process and psychotherapy, facilitating self-exploration and understanding. Using imagery, colour and shape as part of this creative therapeutic process, difficult thoughts and feelings can be expressed. This therapy gives our clients the ability to ‘be in the moment’ and regain focus and attention which may have been lost due to the effects of addiction.

“Often with recognition of thought patterns & emotions, individuals can start to shift behaviours and gain empowerment to make changes over behaviours that aren’t working or strengthening those that are beneficial. The art process is a wonderful way to reflect on one’s life. Art can be used to help pull together and make sense of events from the past and present and helps us plan for the future.”

Music Therapy

Our Music Therapy program provides an opportunity for our clients to share their personal experiences through a creative medium in a safe, positive, and dynamic group setting. The facilitator’s main focus is to ignite passions, drive, and purpose through love and appreciation of music. The Music Therapy program currently runs on Wednesdays at Together We Can and encourages healing through music creation and appreciation.

The only requirement is a love for something that gives you a sense of purpose. In-depth individual sessions focus on how music can best benefit emotional, creative and spiritual needs. Group sessions give an opportunity for community building and shared musical experiences with the others in the community.

Our various tastes and abilities in music often help to describe us as individuals and can assist in identifying and achieving our goals in the life journey of recovery.

Many individuals who participate in this program go on to perform at TWC's "The Originals", bi-monthly musicians showcase held at the Vancouver Alano Club, and. It serves as a forum for those wishing to perform their artistic abilities.


All performers in recovery are welcome.

The program runs on Wednesdays from 10am-2pm for individual sessions and from 2-3pm we have our music therapy group.  

On Friday afternoons, our music group runs from 2-4pm.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a centuries-old technique which evolved into an essential aspect of Eastern medical practices. There is overwhelming evidence that acupuncture is an effective treatment for anxiety, depression and addiction.

Once a state of homeostasis is reached by tapping into specific power sources throughout the body, a greater level of healing and connectivity can occur. The men who participate in acupuncture report significant improvements in their overall health and many of them choose to continue treatment well beyond the early stages to support their ongoing recovery. Men who struggle with PTSD and other concurrent mental health disorders also demonstrate significant improvement when acupuncture is introduced to their specialized treatment programs. When combined with conventional forms of therapy, regular acupuncture treatments help the men in our program manage anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, and physical pain. The sessions also provide a time for men to practice meditation and constructive reflection that are essential to their spiritual growth.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Dr. Kim Graham at kgraham@twcrecoverylife.org. Kim has recently been named as one of the top fifteen acupuncturists in Vancouver.

Meditation

Meditation is introduced within the first month and is encouraged throughout treatment to help them stay centered and grounded, and as a way to cope with destructive thought patterns and unhealthy emotional states that are often present in early recovery.

We employ a number of certified counsellors and professionals that work to provide comprehensive therapy in the form of meditative and mindfulness techniques.

Clients who meditate and practice mindfulness regularly are well-equipped to confront their fears and face the challenges that lie ahead. The meditation program includes:

  1. Weekly acupuncture and guided meditation sessions facilitated by Dr. TCM Kim Graham.
  2. Group counselling with a central focus on learning and utilizing meditation and mindfulness techniques.
  3. Inclusive beginner yoga classes each week which are facilitated by our certified Yoga Instructor.

Yoga

Yoga is offered on Mondays and Saturdays as a complementary program available to our primary residential treatment clients. We offer an inclusive form of yoga which can be performed by individuals with limited ranges of motion, chronic pain, and poor flexibility.

Yoga is a calming and spiritually restorative practice which has garnered positive results for individuals struggling with substance use disorders and mental health issues. Yoga is described by many as “meditation in motion” and is a highly effective method for reducing stress and improving mental clarity.

TWC Athletics

Our philosophy is that recovery from substance use disorders continues outside of our group rooms and counselling offices, therefore we provide opportunities for clients and alumni to participate in athletic & outdoor programs that promote physical fitness, confidence building and socialization.

Accompanied by staff and volunteers, day trips to explore British Columbia’s wilderness are made to places such as Burnaby Mountain, Buntzen Lake, Alouette Lake, Stawamus chief and trails in Stanley Park.

Beginning in 2019, all TWC residents will be provided with a free, two-year membership  to the Vancouver Park Board’s programs and services, offered at its pools and rinks, participating fitness and community centers.

Other sports that will be offered include baseball and hockey.

Hockey Program

During their stay, TWC clients who have an in interest in hockey will have an opportunity to take part in “Friday Night Hockey” at Planet Ice in Coquitlam. They will be provided with all of the necessary equipment and join a team to play a full game. While many athletes may experience addiction in their lives, sports can play an important role in the healing process.

Participation brings people together to work towards a common goal and encourages physical fitness, both of which are integral to leading a healthy lifestyle and building a life in sobriety.