Dear you,

Bonjour, Ahnii and 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 addictions at some of the top treatment and training facilities worldwide. Combining the latest in trauma neuroscience, attachment theory, energy and bodywork, spirituality and personal growth, The Refuge aims to provide quality care for clients as well as training and consultation opportunities for healthcare and helping professionals, in order to help shift the face of mental health and addictions care in Ontario, Canada and globally.

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

Client Services

Clinician Services

A Nature Sanctuary

Our offices are located on the peaceful grounds of the Ignatius Centre in Guelph, Ontario, a community of other like-minded alternative health and wellness professionals, surrounded by woodland walking trails, a meditative labyrinth and sweat lodge, creek and wetlands, orchard, community shared agriculture and farm, quiet sit spots and gardens. The EquuSpirit: Healing with Horses program is delivered at different private farms around the area.

The Refuge is home to a growing group of professionals who share its mission and philosophy, and have committed themselves to embodying its principles. 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 therapy, in order to provide cutting edge and clinically sound support.

Our Philosophy

We favour a strengths-based, diversity-sensitive and anti-oppressive framework that focuses on ownership of what is within a person’s control, within a harm reduction model. We operate off 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
  • Holistic and Integrative Approach

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.



Sarah Schlote, MA, RP, CCC, SEP
Registered Psychotherapist
Canadian Certified Counsellor
Somatic Experiencing™ Practitioner
Founder and Director of The Refuge

EQUUSOMA The Refuge sarahschlote.com

© 2013 –   Sarah Schlote.

The Refuge and EquuSpirit are registered trade names of the Schlote Psychotherapy Professional Corporation