About Us: Our Network, Our Philosophy and Our History

Us Now

The Refuge: Trauma Therapist Network for Healing and Recovery is a collaborative affiliation of passionate, skilled, and experienced therapists. Our network came together over a shared vision of providing excellent trauma therapy in a variety of modalities to clients in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph and beyond. Each of our practitioners has years of experience in community and clinical settings, and is highly trained in multiple modalities. We believe in supporting each other to support you. We collaborate on ongoing training, consultation and resources, and work collaboratively in an environment of ongoing learning and mutual support. Each practitioner affiliated with the Refuge has their own location and private practice.

The Refuge and its practitioners have earned a reputation for providing skillful trauma therapy that is compassionate and effective. Our Network is home to an exceptional group of therapists who are able to work deftly with a wide variety of issues and presentations through a multiplicity of lenses and modalities. Most importantly, we all love what we do, and value and honour the privilege of getting to do this work with clients who choose to connect with us. We are committed to the healing, recovery and growth of our clients, and to working within an environment of ongoing learning, collaboration and mutual support with this collaborative network of skilled peers around us.

As a Network, The Refuge is a collaborative affiliation of therapists. Each practitioner has their own location, practice and policies. Please see each practitioner’s page for more information.

  • For more information on each or our practitioners, click here.
  • For more information on the issues we offer support with, click here.
  • For more information on modalities we offer, click here.


Our History

The Refuge in its current form as a Trauma Therapist Network evolved from a previous organization. The previous organization was The Refuge: Centre for Healing and Recovery, a centre founded by Sarah Schlote (MA RP CCC SEP) in 2011. Sarah built this centre with dedication and care on the grounds of the Ignatius Jesuit Centre in Guelph, with a focus on Somatic Experiencing and other cutting edge trauma therapies that go beyond talk therapy (such as EMDR, Brainspotting, touch work, and parts work, among others). The Refuge Network has now expanded its focus to incorporate an even wider variety of trauma and trauma-informed therapies, continuing the vision of working with trauma beyond a cognitive level.

In the fall of 2019, Sarah retired from private practice to pursue other opportunities, and passed The Refuge torch on to Kari Kokko (MSW RSW SEP). Kari had worked with Sarah at The Refuge Centre since 2016, with the same focus on Somatic Experiencing as her primary approach, while also continuing to train in and incorporate numerous therapy modalities. Since the fall of 2022, the Refuge has continued without Kari at the helm, and instead continues through cooperative ownership between the majority of affiliates connected with the Refuge. The original values and spirit of the Refuge that Sarah and Kari began continue to this day.

© 2013 –   The Refuge.