Counselling Service – Group Programs

Substance use

Alcohol and Drug Awareness Seminar

This is a 3 hour psychoeducational seminar designed for individuals who are uncertain whether they have concerns about alcohol or drug use, but someone else has suggested they seek help. Information on physical effects of alcohol and drugs is presented. Participants complete several brief self-assessment instruments, which are scored with interpretation guidelines provided, so participants themselves can identify their level of problem severity. Handouts include problem solving strategies, refusal skils, risk factors and indicators to consider for changing alcohol and/or drug use. The participants are encouraged to contact the agency if they would like an individual appointment to discuss their situation in more detail, or to schedule a substance use assessment, following the seminar.

(Offered in daytime in both Kitchener and Cambridge offices; separate seminar for youth and for adults)

Changes Group

This is a 4 week group for individuals at the start of their recovery process, who want more information and support on how to make changes to their alcohol/drug use and reduce or stop using one or more substances. This group is suitable for those having difficulty achieving 5 to 7 days clean time from all substances, or who may want to make changes in preparation to attend a residential treatment program. Participants should be able and wiling to commit to all sessions and have an interest in sharing with and hearing from group members who are in similar situations.

(Offered in daytime in both Kitchener and Cambridge offices)

Relapse Prevention Group

This is a 9 session structured program for individuals who identify abstinence of alcohol and drugs as their goal. A variety of screening instruments are used to help participants develop greater awareness of their personal substance use and to set realistic goals. Homework assignments and check-in are conducted weekly. Group members learn how to recognize and improve their ability to cope with urges to avoid relapse. High-risk situations are identified and strategies to avoid, eliminate or manage the situations are discussed and planned. Individual goals are assessed and monitored to maintain the commitment to change.

(Offered in daytime in both Kitchener and Cambridge offices; evening in Kitchener office.)

AfterCare Group

This is a process group forindividuals overthe age of20 w ho have successfully com pleted an addiction specific residentialtreatm entprogram orcom m unity treatm entprogram . Criteria include a minim m of two months abstinence w ith a continuing goalofabstinence from all substances. Topics covered are relapse prevention and confirm ation ofeffective strategies to m aintain abstinence. More in-depth group process covers self-esteem , self-im age, stress m anagem entand relaxation, self-care, balancing leisure and w ork activities, communication, relationships, and problem solving skills. Participants have the option of committing to an 8 or 16 w eek cycle of group.

(Offered in daytime in both Kitchener and Cambridge offices; evening in Kitchener office.)

Parent Group

This is a 6 w eek group forparents experiencing problem s in theirrelationship w ith an adolescentoradultchild w ho is actively using ordependenton drugs and/or alcohol. Participants will access supportto address family dynamics, boundary setting, positive com m unication and self-care. They must be wiling to attend all sessions as well as to modify any alcohol/drug use them selves forthe duration ofthe group and be wiling to share feelings and experiences in a group setting.

(Offered in evening in Kitchener office)

Foundations Group

This is a 5 session group forthose experiencing relationship difficulties with a fam ily m em beror friend w ho has substance use problems, and is seeking to enhance the healthy functioning of relationships damaged by substance use and/ordependency. Participants will access support to address self-care, family dynamics, boundaries and positive communication, have an interesting increasing know ledge of addiction and recovery, and must be wiling to exam ine and modify personal behaviour to one’s stated goals.

(Offered in evening in Kitchener office)


Problem Gambling Group

This is an open, ongoing group, for those who are experiencing problems because of betting on lotteries, casino games, cards, horses, bingo, internet, sports or any other form of gambling. Participants must have a goal of stopping all forms of gambling, be wiling to attend group on a regular basis and to share with and hear from other group members in similar situations.

(Offered in evening in Kitchener and Cambridge offices)

Family and Friends of Problem Gamblers Group

This is an open, ongoing group for those who are experiencing problems in a relationship with a family member or friend who has gambling problems. Participants will access support to address family dynamics, boundary setting, positive communication and self-care, and must be wiling to modify any gambling involvement themselves for the duration of the group.

(Offered in afternoon in Kitchener office)

If you need help, call

St. Mary’s Counselling Service
Telephone:519-745-2585 ext. 232