Our Helix Recovery program grew out of an unwavering determination to fill a void in the industry for those suffering from substance abuse and addiction challenges. Through their own journey to recovery, Co-Founders Mark Rivkin and Dr. Jesse Hanson, realized that the mind-body connection is a missing component in many traditional addiction programs.
Together, they built an innovative treatment model to connect the mind and body, address the root causes of addiction, and create lasting change – without having to leave home and disengage from your daily life.
Today, Helix Recovery is transforming the treatment of substance abuse, behavioural addictions and eating disorders. With a focus on individualized and compassionate care, our team will guide you on your unique journey of recovery.
Your addiction treatment program will be personalized to suit your specific needs and meet you exactly where you are in your recovery journey. Your program may include: Somatic (Body-Centered) Psychotherapy, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR), and other therapeutic interventions. We also incorporate Sound Therapy, yoga/movement sessions, hypnotherapy, bodywork, and other wellness therapies, which can be instrumental in accessing areas of the brain that psychotherapy can’t effectively reach.
Your personalized recovery program will take you through a journey of healing and self-discovery. Together, we will explore the following areas of treatment :
A successful recovery is as much a journey of healing the mind and spirit as it is about healing the body. While most other facilities ascribe to one or the other, Helix Recovery is a program that merges Western medicine with traditional Eastern practices for optimal results. We offer an array of complementary holistic treatments, including Sound Therapy, Yoga/Movement Therapy, Hypnotherapy, Bodywork, Reiki and a variety of others. While psychotherapy often serves as the foundation of recovery, a more integrative approach to treatment can be instrumental in accessing areas of the brain that psychotherapy can’t readily reach.
Millions and millions of people have used the 12-step method — the recovery blueprint used by members of Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and other derivative support groups — to overcome their addictions. Even though this method has worked for many, it doesn’t work for all. Instead of making it the foundation of Helix Recovery, we have created a unique program that takes key elements of the 12-step method to the next level, while being much more versatile and adaptable.
The 12-step method is based on the idea that recovery is as much about spiritual cleansing as it is getting sober. While working the steps, members of Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step programs must contend with their vulnerability to chemical substances and take personal responsibility for the repercussions of their actions. As well, there’s an emphasis on making amends to people they’ve harmed and acknowledging the character defects that contributed to their addictions. Of course, these concepts are important and addressed in Helix Recovery, but there’s much more to overcoming addiction than making amends and taking personal accountability.
Rather than focusing only on the spiritual side of recovery, we utilize cutting-edge research, which, when used alongside our inventory of Eastern practices, make Helix Recovery an experience that is unique, well-rounded, and engaging.
Widely considered one of the most dangerous and addictive substances, alcohol remains a major threat due to its availability and accessibility. In the simplest terms, alcoholism is a brain disease characterized by physiological dependence on alcohol. Upon developing alcoholism, there’s high risk for a number of health problems, including liver disease, heart disease, and cancer. As well, individuals with alcoholism are at risk of delirium tremens, a life-threatening form of alcohol withdrawal. While overcoming alcoholism on one’s own is difficult, Helix Recovery provides a wealth of resources to make recovery from alcoholism a reality.
Characterized by compulsive sexual thoughts and acts, sex addiction is a progressive intimacy disorder that affects between three and five percent of North America. Like other behavioral addictions, sex addiction has been quite controversial despite the tangible effects of this illness. Many people who suffer from sex addiction inadvertently damage important relationships and risk their own well-being through uncontrollable sexual behaviors. However, by teaching impulse control and uncovering the source of intimacy issues, Helix Recovery is an effective solution for sex addiction.
Typically, a person goes shopping when there’s a particular need or when he or she has some extra money to spend. When a person frequently feels an uncontrollable urge to buy things — even when he or she doesn’t have the financial means of paying for them — there’s a strong chance that the individual suffers from shopping addiction. Compulsive shopping has major consequences and is disruptive to a person’s life, causing undue financial hardship and potentially damaging relationships. Although it’s difficult to overcome shopping addiction by oneself, Helix Recovery aims to address the underlying cause of compulsive shopping while emphasizing impulse control.
Often mistakenly believed to be synonymous, food addiction and eating disorders are two related yet very different types of problems. With food addiction, the act of eating food — usually unhealthy food that’s high in fat or sugar — causes similar neurological processes as the use of illicit drugs. Meanwhile, eating disorders involve several different patterns of unhealthy eating behavior, including anorexia and bulimia. The main similarity between food addiction and eating disorders is the indication of a destructive relationship with food. Through eating disorder treatment, Helix Recovery can address the emotional distress that an individual has with food as well as any co-occurring traumas or mental health challenges related.
When a person substitutes one addiction or destructive behavior with another, it’s called addiction transference. This is most common among individuals in recovery as it’s much easier to replace the harmful compulsion than to overcome it completely; however, Helix Recovery can help address the root cause of destructive and addictive behaviors to help an individual achieve balance in his or her life
Cocaine, MDMA, heroin, benzodiazepines — these are just a few of the many drugs that claim countless lives around the world. Although nobody intends to become addicted to such substances, overindulging quickly leads to physiological dependence, resulting in patterns of self-destructive and maladaptive behavior. In many cases, substance abuse develops from an inability to cope with unhealthy relationships, past traumas, and undiagnosed psychological disorders. It’s our objective to get to the root of drug addiction and offer coping strategies that are conducive to lifelong sobriety.
Much like sex addiction, relationship and love addiction are behavioral manifestations that indicate deeper issues, particularly those that relate to abandonment. Addiction to relationships or love is characterized by a compulsive need for another person to be the center of one’s life. Although relationship and love addictions are often experienced with romantic partners, family members, and close friends, the subject can also be a role model, celebrity, religious figure, or sponsor. For someone addicted to love or a relationship, it’s vital to identify the cause of the fixation and learn how to build healthy relationships.
Known also as compulsive gambling, gambling addiction is an impulse-control disorder characterized by the compulsive need to gamble. This form of addiction can begin the first time a person places a bet or gradually develop into an addiction over a period of time. Unable to control the intense urge to gamble, a gambling addict inadvertently puts his or her survival in jeopardy as well as risking the well-being of his or her family and loved ones. Helix Recovery can address gambling addiction by rewiring and retraining the brain, helping individuals to overcome destructive behaviors like gambling with healthier and more productive ones.
We often hear the term “workaholic” and fail to realize that work addiction is a real problem that many people experience. When suffering from work addiction, a person derives a sense of identity and self-worth from his or her career. Although it has many similarities with other behavioral addictions, the adrenaline triggered by work warrants comparisons with alcoholism and drug addiction, too. Fortunately, our unique combination of industry-leading psychotherapies and Eastern-influenced practices allow us to ascertain the cause(s) of work addiction so that a healthier work-life balance can be achieved.
Due to the increasingly digital nature of today’s cultural landscape, internet and video game addictions are a major concern. Characterized by a level of internet or video game use that interferes with an individual’s daily life, these digital addictions — which are particularly common among young people — inhibit psychosocial development and put relationships and careers at risk. For individuals affected by internet or video game addiction, our curriculum can help individuals develop impulse control skills and with identifying the sources of these addictions.
If you’re reading this, then I want to be the first person to congratulate you on having the courage to find a way to change and improve your life. You have now taken the first step on your journey to recovery.
Please know that you are not alone. Being addicted to substances is hard work. It is mentally, physically and emotionally exhausting. Most people probably don’t realize the amount of energy and time it takes to fuel substance abuse and more importantly, that most people who abuse substances are often high-functioning individuals. We are doctors and lawyers, executives and entrepreneurs, young professionals and students, seniors and retirees. We come in different sizes, colours, ages and ethnic backgrounds. However, we have one thing in common – we have turned to substances to cope with life’s challenges.
I know how you must feel at this moment in time. For several years, I suffered from a debilitating addiction to opiates and other substances. I had completely lost track of who I was and, more importantly, who I wanted to be. I had one overriding desire, and that was to feed my addiction. It was an extremely challenging time in my life, yet I wouldn’t go back and change a thing.
Many years ago, I was what I would refer to as a “sleepwalker”. I was doing merely what is socially prescribed and accepted; in other words, what I ‘should’ do. I began to study Philosophy in College and Undergrad, which helped to open my mind, but I still didn’t feel ‘connected’ to my body.
Over the course of my awakening, I was confronted with a number of overwhelming challenges. Within a short timeframe, my marriage fell apart, a close friend and business partner betrayed me, and my father passed away, all of which occurred over a six-month period. So I did what many do in the face of overwhelming grief and emotion: I turned to drugs and alcohol to cope, to deal, to get through. I was willing to do anything to avoid feeling the pain – even if that meant hurting myself, the ones closest to me, or, as it happened, both.
I feel blessed to have met and begun working with a Native American teacher just a couple years later. As well, I began to engage in a body-centered therapy (somatic psychotherapy) taught me how to control my fast-paced and anxious mind as well as to emotionally connect with my body.