Based on the latest understanding of trauma and addictions from a neurobiological and holistic lens, The Refuge has adopted a harm reduction approach when it comes to recovery from addictions and other self-harming coping behaviours. The emphasis is on healing the underlying emotional and physical dysregulation and trauma that are often motivating the addictive or self-harming behaviours, in order for the need for these behaviours to decrease over time.
While the focus for some clients may be on complete sobriety or abstinence, others may benefit from a more gradual approach to reducing addictive or self-harming behaviours. In the case of substances, this might look like noticing yourself shifting from abusing based on an impulse to stop the pain, to more balanced and healthy using that is less habitual, less frequent, and more consciously chosen and boundaried as you heal what is motivating the substance abuse. A similar approach applies for addictions related to people and behaviours as well.