About

Dear you,

Welcome to The Refuge. We’re looking forward to meeting you.

The Refuge is the result of a longstanding vision inspired by the best practices in the field of healing and recovery for trauma and mental health. Combining the latest in trauma neuroscience, attachment theory, body-oriented approaches, and healing and personal growth, The Refuge aims to provide quality care for clients as well as training and consultation opportunities for healthcare and helping professionals.

Our psychotherapy and counselling services serve a clientele that extends into Guelph, Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and Toronto, as well as some distance clients who access services remotely via phone or videoconference.

Client Services

Clinician Services

Our Network

The Refuge: Trauma Therapist Network for Healing and Recovery is a collaborative affiliation of 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. For more information about our practitioners, click here.

Our Mission

The Refuge aims to provide a safe, validating atmosphere through attuned presence that helps people to establish internal safety and stabilization; have a more gentle and connected relationship with themselves; restore self-worth and personal agency; develop self-compassion; find the confidence to reach their goals; and build capacity for emotional regulation, embodied selfhood, resiliency, and healthy boundaries and relationships with others.

We support people in shifting out of limiting core beliefs, shame-based identities, ego defenses and physical constriction, into greater wholeness, embodiment, expansion, and authentic aliveness in the present moment. Our work is on moving from rigidity to greater ease and flexibility, from inner chaos to coherence, from fragmentation to integration, from dysregulation and disconnection to regulation and repair, and from disempowerment and fear to confidence, agency and triumph.

The Refuge’s practitioners are committed to supporting your personal growth, healing and transformation, through their own commitment to continuing education, clinical supervision and personal growth, in order to provide skillful, effective and clinically sound support.

Our Philosophy

We favour a strengths-based framework that focuses on ownership of what is within a person’s control. We operate with the understanding that it is NOT about “what is wrong with you” but about “what has happened to you”, how you have adapted to cope with life circumstances and the potential for growth and healing from this point forward.

The Refuge promotes a holistic understanding of people that takes your whole self into consideration – body, mind, emotions, relationships, spirit, and greater historical/cultural context.

Our Principles

  • Choice, Voice and Empowerment
  • Integrity and Accountability
  • Gentle Compassionate Care
  • Transparency
  • Safety and Stabilization
  • Commitment to Ethical Services
  • Trauma-Informed Practice

It is a pleasure and a privilege to have the opportunity to support you on your path, and we look forward to answering any questions you might have about how we might work together.

Warmly,

Kari

Kari Kokko, MSW RSW SEP
Somatic Experiencing Practitioner
Coordinator of The Refuge

© 2013 –   The Refuge.