Group Treatment

Some groups or information sessions are open to the public and you can simply attend if you are interested. Some groups are only available for registered clinic clients. For some groups, participants are expected to attend all sessions of the group programme. If you are interested in any of the groups listed below, please call the contact person to discuss if this group is a good match for your needs. You can also get information by calling the main clinic number: (902) 543-5400.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for Anxiety&Depression

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Offered three times a year, ACT is an exciting new approach that uses mindfulness, acceptance, and values to help people to live full and meaningful lives. Research from numerous studies done worldwide have demonstrated that ACT is an effective approach to helping people with anxiety and depression.

Mindfulness skills help people to observe their experience in the present moment, and without judgment. When mindful, people 'defuse' or distance from unhelpful thoughts, feelings, and body sensations so that these have less impact and influence. Through acceptance we free ourselves to attend to what is truly important so that we can take actions which enrich our lives (values-based living). ACT helps to foster a more compassionate and kind approach to ourselves and our problems.

The ACT for Anxiety group runs for eight weeks meeting once a week for two hours. There is a workbook that participants use between sessions and which helps people understand ACT, and develop the skills to move towards living the life they want. Before beginning the program, we meet individually with all participants to answer questions they may have and to help them decide whether the program is appropriate for them or whether some other approach would be better.

WHERE: Dawson Center, Birch Room

WHEN: Tuesdays once a week for 8 weeks from 6 – 8 P.M. starting March 1, 2016



Community Support Drop-in

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The "Drop-In" is a casual social/recreational/educational group that meets weekly in Bridgewater, Lunenburg and Liverpool (18+). It is a place for people who identify with a mental illness to socialize and have some fun. Particpants watch movies, go on outings, play games and have speakers/educational sessions. No referral is needed; as the name says: just drop in!

Here is the information about when and where the groups happen

Guerilla Gardening Group

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The Guerrilla Gardening Group's goal is to improve quality of life by assisting people to overcome barriers and learn coping skills. This helps people  function as actively and independently as possible. The purpose of this group is to gain interpersonal and coping skills using gardening as the metaphor. Cultivation = self care.

This Group is designed to run seasonally. There are 4 ten-week groups, with a break between. Gardening activities will be season-specific. 

Who can participate?

Everyone is welcome, although the group is intended for adults who live with chronic mental illness who

>are psychiatrically stable or able to particpate with supports

>are not currently suicidal or violent

>do not have severe problems with communication or intellectual abilities 

>willing to participate.

What will we do?

In addition to doing fun gardening projects, some of the lessons that the group will focus on are:

Lesson #1 - Turn off the news and stop complaining
Lesson #2 - Now that it's quiet, plan, practice mindfulness. (setting values, goals)
Lesson #3 - Why Gardening? (finding a passion)
Lesson #4 - Where to Start? (planning, setting priorities)
Lesson #5 - What to do about blight, slugs and frost. (problem-solving)
Lesson #6 - Let the Seasons guide you. (mindfulness, self-awareness)
Lesson #7 - How to use what you grow and celebrate!
Lesson #8 - Why it's important

Contact Jan Porter at (902)354-3677 or 543-4604, ext 2463

Referral Procedure: Names and contact information can be sent to Jan Porter directly by either clients or clinicians. Staff will contact people to explain expectations and confirm interest prior to each beginning of each season. This group is not limited to people registered with Mental Health Services.

Mindfulness Based Relapse Prevention for Addictions

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The Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP) program is for people who are
• in recovery from addictions
• are motivated to maintain treatment goals
• are willing to make lifestyle changes

The MBRP program will teach mindful awareness and relapse-prevention skills.

The group will run for eight weeks, starting with an info session Tuesday January 10th at 9:30am and then the program runs Tuesday mornings from January 17th to March 14th, at The Dawson Centre, 197 Dufferin St., Bridgewater, NS. If you are interested, call 902-543-5400 BEFORE December 29th, 2016.

Mindfulness: A Depression and Anxiety Relapse Prevention Program

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This program is provided to people who have experienced depression or anxiety and have been doing reasonably well for three months.

The mindfulness program helps individuals to develop the skills necessary to prevent relapse.Research has indicated that relapse can be reduced by up to 50% for those who complete and practice these mindfulness skills.

The program meets once a week for two hours across nine weeks. Participants also do 50-60 minutes of daily home practice during those nine weeks. Participants learn a number of mindfulness practices, how to reduce self-judgment, increase self compassion, how to be with difficult thoughts, feelings and body sensations, and how to move towards living the life that they want for themselves.

Offered three times a year in Bridgewater

Where: Dawson Center Birch Room
When: Feb 11, 2016 – April 7, 2016

Liverpool Mindfulness Meditation Group

Where: Liverpool,Queens General Hospital - Murray Mosher Room
When: Winter 2016



Mood and Anxiety Management programme

The Mood and Anxiety Management Program is an educational course focusing on lifestyle changes and self-directed ways to manage depression and anxiety.  The 5-session group includes general information and it will introduce specific ways to manage mood, physical tension, anxiety, low energy, and worry in a supportive environment. This is the link for the upcoming group.

Group topics include:

--Understanding mood and anxiety cycles and habits that maintain mood difficulties

--Changing behavioural habits

--Setting smart goals

--Cognitive habits that maintain mood difficulties

--Maintaining positive change


The next group running will be:

Thursdays in September from the 1st-29th, 2016





Nicotine Addiction Treatment

The Nicotine Addiction Treatment Program offers counselling in a group setting for people who are interested in quitting or cutting back on their use of tobacco. During each group session, people are given opportunities to share concerns, successes, ask questions, and gain support from others. No pre-registration and/or referral required.  Group Leader: Gary Goodwin


When: Every Monday from 4:00 –5:00pm
Where: Elm  Room, Dawson Centre, Bridgewater

When: Every Wednesday from 2:30 – 3:30pm
Where: Elm Room, Dawson Centre, Bridgewater

When: Every Tuesday from 5:00 – 6:00pm
Where: Assembly Room, Fisherman's Memorial Hospital, 14 High Street, Lunenburg

When: Every Thursday from 6:00 – 7:00pm
Where:Lloyd Frelick Conference Room; Queens General Hospital, 175 School Street, Liverpool

Outpatient Addiction Wellness Clinic

We are now offering a number of new recovery educational and support programs at our Outpatient Addiction Wellness Clinic. Here is a brochure

When: Groups and Programs:9:00 a.m to 4:30 weekdays; 9:30am-3:30pm Saturday and Sunday.  Also Urine Drug Screen, Outpatient Withdrawal Management and Crisis Assistance 9:30am-7:30pm weekdays ; 9:30am-3:30pm Saturday and Sunday
Where: Fishermen's Memorial Hospital, Floor 2, Addiction Services.
Who: Anyone affected by substance use. Family and friends welcome.
Some of the education and support programs being offered are:

Pet Therapy

Cravings Management

Post-relapse Support

Stress Management

Mindfulness Meditation

Boundaries Management

Services and lengths of stay with us are completely up to you. We can arrange an appointment for the same day you call. An Addictions RN will be on duty; however, please note that medical services will not be available via the Wellness Clinic. We can, however, help you with the first steps on your path to recovery.

Recovery Group (for addiction to drugs, alcohol or gambling)

The Recovery Group is for anyone whose gambling and/or use of alcohol or drugs has created problems in their lives. The Group provides a positive place allowing each person to grow in their recovery, to share what they learn, support all members in their experiences, and learn topics of personal interest to the group. No pre- registration and/or referral required.

 Note that this is a NEW location

When: Every Tuesday from 6:00 – 7:30 pm
Where: Wellness Clinic, Fishermens' Memorial Hospital



Self-Focus (for those affected by another person's addiction)


The Self-Focus Group is for any person who is or has been affected by the addiction of another person. The Group is a place where all members can provide support to other members of the group through the sharing of experiences and through education. No pre-registration and/or referral required.

When: Every Tuesday from 6:00 – 8:00pm

Where: Addiction Services Group Room, Dawson Centre, Bridgewater (use side entrance)
Group Leader: Sally Hutchinson