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For Referring Professionals


This section is dedicated to counsellors, interventionists, human resource specialists, and medical professionals that are considering a referral to Sunshine Coast Health Center. We value your partnership and are committed to our shared responsibility of providing a continuum of addiction recovery services.

In practical terms, this means that if you refer a client to us, we will be sure to refer them back to you. It also means that we will keep the lines of communication open while the client is in our care, stressing the importance of keeping you, the referring professional, in the communication loop.

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Our mission is to cultivate resilience in people who seek a transformative experience so they can flourish in life.   By identifying, building and leveraging human strengths of character, our clients are empowered to live productive and satisfying lives.  Our meaning-centered approach is a scientifically grounded version of Viktor Frankl’s logotherapy.  By integrating existential-humanistic psychotherapy, applied positive psychology, and narrative therapy, we help clients acquire a renewed sense of purpose, vitality, and direction in life.  Our program also provides comprehensive medical services, fitness programs, and concurrent psychiatric treatment for co-occurring disorders (such as trauma). As an alternative to traditional addiction treatment, our residential well-being program is private-pay and for males only. For the family, we offer a strengths-based outpatient program designed to improve life satisfaction and adaptive functioning of mind, body and spirit.   Our therapists have at least a Master’s degree.


Our approach to our work and our clients is based on the following principles:

The Golden Rule – treating others as we would wish to be treated – is our guiding principle. The Golden Rule is shared by everyone in the organization, from senior management through to the front line staff. It allows us to treat each other, as well as our clients, with caring and thoughtfulness.

The Golden Rule is manifested in our clinical vision that includes the belief that:

1. We Partner with Clients in their Recovery

Partnering with clients is reflected in thought, word, and deed. We observe this philosophy when we are working with clients, their family members, and you, the referring professional.

1. A. Our Partnership is Mutually Beneficial

Clients come to us for help with their addiction, relationships, and other problems associated with their substance use. Clients provide us with the opportunity to give back and find meaning in our own lives. Clients also make it possible to make a living as part of a viable business.

1. B. We Are Growing Together

As partners, we recognize that we cannot expect our clients to grow if we are unwilling to continue our own path of personal growth. We practice good self-care so that we have the capacity to provide support to our clients. We maintain a healthy balance between work and our personal lives.

1. C. We Separate Our Personal Issues

We recognize that our attitudes towards our clients are manifested in how we interact with them.  We are skilled at distinguishing between our personal issues from those of the client. We avoid personalizing negative comments or behaviours.

1. D. We Trust Our Clients

We take our clients at their word and trust in their good intentions unless proven otherwise. We endeavour to separate the client from their substance-induced behaviour.

1. E. We Use our Authority with Discretion

As clinicians, we recognize that we do not have an equal partnership with clients. We use our authority carefully and with compassion. We recognize their vulnerability and the lingering emotional struggles our clients have in early recovery. We acknowledge that clients may look to us for leadership in these early stages of recovery. We endeavour to be positive role models.

1. F. We Recognize Client Accomplishments

We acknowledge our client’s accomplishments, no matter how small. We recognize that each client is unique and that comparing client progress to their peers or to a predetermined standard will only lead to disappointment. We recognize that life is about making each day a little better than the day before.

1. G. We Acknowledge our Humanity

As partners, we acknowledge that we are human and that we make mistakes. We acknowledge that we don’t have all the answers and strive towards a solution when we don’t.

1. H. We Partner With a Client’s Community Support

We acknowledge the critical role that community partners such as family members, employers, and you, the referring professional, play in successful treatment outcomes.

We offer separate programming for partners and family members designed to (1) promote a better understanding of addiction and the recovery process, and (2) begin the process of healing from living with a loved one’s alcohol and/or drug use. We provide ongoing support to families that includes telephone and online counselling as well as alumni events.

We partner with you, the referring professional, whether you are a counsellor, physician, psychologist, or interventionist. We encourage clients to open communication lines with their community partners prior to admission and during treatment. We assertively reconnect the client to their community partners prior to discharge. We recognize our role as partners and work constructively to create positive relationships with community partners.

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2. We Make the Client our Priority

We recognize that our time at work is best spent with clients. We recognize the initiative and courage of our clients when we are approached for assistance.

Administrative duties support, not dictate, our work with clients. We find ways to free up our work schedule so we can focus on the client. We make ourselves available for casual client interaction by visiting client areas during programming breaks.

We avoid bringing our personal problems to work as they impair our ability to focus on the client.

3. We Practice Flexibility with the Client

3. A. We Are Flexible with Rules

We recognize that rules are designed to support our clinical work. We are flexible. We avoid thinking in absolute terms. We balance our rules with the needs of the client. We balance the needs of the group with the needs of the client. We work as a team to find this balance.

3. B. We Respect the Client for the Path They Choose

Just as each client has unique perspectives and life experiences, so too are their unique paths to achieving sobriety. Therefore, each individual will find his own path to recovery.

We focus on what we can do to assist the client. We leave the ultimate responsibility for recovery with the client. We strive to continually learn where our responsibilities end and those of the client begins. We acknowledge that we cannot predict nor control whether our clients maintain sobriety. We recognize that our own path to recovery may not be the path our clients choose to take.

4. We Treat the Client as a Whole Person

We utilize a Biopsychosocial Model for assessment, treatment planning, and programming. We evaluate and treat the physical, psychological, and social symptoms of substance use and related disorders, and develop treatment plans that appropriately address these symptoms on all levels.

We provide Biopsychosocial programming and services that includes adjunct therapies, on-site fitness, and off-site recreation. We recognize the clinical value of providing clients the opportunity to experience recovery as more than mere abstinence. 

We recognize that addiction is a Biopsychosocial phenomenon and best approached with a team of professionals from a variety of backgrounds and competencies.

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5. We Maintain a Safe Treatment Environment

As clinicians, we recognize that treatment is not possible in an environment where clients do not feel safe. We screen out clients who are not sufficiently stable to function with minimal supervision, or have a history of violence or self-harm. We are aware of clients who are at high-risk for relapse or instability during treatment. We are skilled at containment issues when clients are exhibiting symptoms of substance use or abnormal behaviour. We are skilled at conflict resolution when clients are at odds with one another. We seek to turn a crisis into a teachable moment for the client and his peers. We work as a team and involve clinical management to ensure the best possible outcome.

We recognize that clients can be vulnerable during non-programming hours so we work as a team to provide periodic, on-site clinical support during off-hours.

6. We Commit to the Long-Term Sobriety of the Client

We recognize that chemical dependency is a chronic condition with no cure. We reflect this belief by providing a long-term commitment to our clients. We support clinical programming that assists clients in maintaining long-term sobriety. We recognize that a client’s long-term recovery has a positive impact on the financial viability of the organization and validates the work we do as clinicians.

6. A. Retention

We recognize the sense of achievement a client experiences when he completes treatment. We recognize that a client’s best chance at long-term sobriety is when they complete treatment. We discharge clients early only when the safety of the peer group is in jeopardy or after exhausting all other possible options.

We support clients who are discharged early in continuing their path to recovery by helping them locate alternate treatment services.

6. B. Re-Admission

If a client is discharged prior to completion, we encourage clients to return in a manner that does not negatively impact their peer group.

6. C. Programming

We provide clients with programming and services that aim for transformational change. When a client relapses after completing treatment, we offer flexible, affordable, and timely programming that re-engages the client and his family in the recovery process. If a client or family member is unable or unwilling to engage in Sunshine Coast programming, we assist in locating alternative treatment services.

We provide clients with relapse prevention skills during treatment. When a client relapses after completing treatment, we provide separate programming that focuses on high risk situations as well as personality and lifestyle factors that led to relapse. If a client chooses not to return for additional treatment, we assist that client in locating appropriate treatment services.

We encourage clients to experiment with the “real world” during treatment by issuing leaves of absence and day passes. We work with the clinical team to ensure that such privileges are appropriate.

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6. D. Continuing Care

We continue to support our clients after they return home to their communities. We commit to finding new ways to support them in their recovery in spite of the logistical challenges inherent in this endeavour.

We provide a continuum of care by working with other wrap-around services such as transitional housing, counselling (addiction, debt, vocational, mental health, etc.), and medical care. We seek out these services and assertively work with clients to engage them in these services.

6. E. Engagement

We encourage clients to stay connected after they complete treatment and we find ways to keep communication lines open. We promptly respond when discharged clients reach out to us from their home communities. We recognize that successful outcomes require continued engagement of the client to build and maintain the clinical alliance established during treatment.

7. We Work as a Team

We recognize that when we work as a team there is no problem that is beyond our reach. We recognize that the clinical team is more than the sum of its members (1+1 = 3). We employ a diverse, multi-disciplinary team of clinical professionals. We embrace our clinical team regardless of gender, race, religion, or history. We encourage competence by recognizing and supporting academic achievement, certification and continuing education.

7. A. We Are Committed to Finding a Solution

When we seek support from the team we are genuine with our emotions. We avoid assigning blame to external forces. We distinguish between a complaint and an opportunity. We find constructive ways to deal with problems involving our clinical team mates and avoid gossip at all times.

7. B. We Think Twice Before Taking Action

We build trust with clinical management when we involve them in client issues. As clinical management, we build trust with ownership when we involve them in client issues that impact the organization as a whole.

7. C. We Recognize our Own Limitations

We strive to balance responsibility with our abilities. We inform and seek the assistance of clinical management when we are unsure of our abilities. We consider reaching out for support as a show of strength, not weakness. We strive to learn from our experiences and continue to improve our clinical skills.

7. D. We Stay Connected With Each Other

We, as staff, spend time with each other, recognizing that faxes, emails, and phone calls don’t replace human interaction.

7. E. We Take Responsibility for our Actions

By being accountable, we recognize our contributions and acknowledge our mistakes. We make amends with those who have been negatively impacted by our actions. We learn from these events, consult with clinical management, and move forward.

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If you are considering a referral to Sunshine Coast, thank you! Our staff is committed to partnering with you and keeping you informed every step of the way.

To assist us in ensuring that we have consent to communicate with you regarding the arrival, progress, and discharge of your referred client please complete the Referring Professional Communication Authorization form. Experience has proven that consent is much easier to secure when completed prior to admission.

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Sunshine Coast Health Center has created a self-help resource for individuals and significant others who have been personally impacted by addiction. Topics include addiction treatment self-help, life after treatment self-help, and addiction self-help groups (AA, NA, Al-Anon, etc.)

For more information refer to the Self-Help section of this website.

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The Addiction Resources section serves as an addiction information center to assist you, the professional. Topics include addiction treatment, and addiction prevention (at the workplace, school, and for special populations).

For more information refer to the Addiction Resources section.

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If you are providing addiction services in Canada, we want to hear from you! By registering, our clients and your practice will benefit. Sunshine Coast Health Center is committed to helping clients embrace recovery in their home communities across Canada and the United States.

To register your practice or organization refer to the List Your Program section of our sister website, Canada Drug Rehab.

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If you have referred a client to Sunshine Coast Health Center or contacted our Admissions department for assistance, we value your feedback. Please visit the Satisfaction Survey section and complete our brief questionnaire.

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The entire center, the staff, the owners, you know I couldn’t possibly pick the best part. They were all instrumental in helping me turn things around.

- Len

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