Concurrent Trauma and Addiction Program

Combined PTSD and addiction treatment created just for Military, Veterans, and First Responders

This program is designed for members of the Canadian Armed Forces, Veterans Affairs Canada, RCMP, healthcare professionals, any other first responders as well as anyone covered under Presumptive Legislation for the treatment of PTSD and/or Operational Stress Injury, with addiction present. 

When you turn to EHN Guardians Nanaimo for treatment, you join an exceptional community dedicated to your trauma and addiction recovery. During your stay, you’ll receive support from medical experts and fellow first responders, military members, and veterans who are familiar with trauma and addiction. Our clinical team will provide the guidance and care you need to address past traumas and abstain from substances to build healthy habits that last. 

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Primary diagnosis related to operational stress injury (DND, VAC, RCMP, Police, Firefighters, Paramedics, any First Responders)
  • Operational trauma must be present

Program Info

Treatment Program Info

  • Exclusively for military members and first responders struggling with both addiction and trauma
  • Evidence-based treatment led by clinicians specialized in trauma and addiction

  • Location: Nanaimo, BC
  • Category: Inpatient

  • Length: 63 days

More than just addiction treatment

Our trauma and addiction program consists of bio-psychosocial, spiritual, and environmental approaches. This differs from EHN Canada’s general addiction programs as the clients receive specific group times that involve working with their workplace-specific trauma symptoms,  separate from the addiction. 

Our therapeutic approaches include CBT, DBT, CPT, Somatic Therapy and Accelerated Resolution Therapy. In addition to these therapies, we also provide IFS (Internal Family Systems) therapy, trauma-sensitive yoga, art therapy, therapeutic boxing, virtual reality, and sound therapy.

An addiction program for service members that provides long-lasting results

The Concurrent Trauma and Addiction program at EHN Guardians Nanaimo is designed with the following goals in mind for clients:

  • Stabilize trauma symptoms and establish a sense of safety
  • Make sense of traumatic experiences and their impact on life
  • Reduction of trauma-related symptoms and behaviours connected to addiction
  • Learn how to manage trauma symptoms to support ongoing therapy following therapy and improve quality of life
  • Integrate into a long-term trauma peer support network for ongoing recovery

EHN Guardians Nanaimo’s approach to treating PTSD and addiction concurrently

Our B.C. inpatient trauma and addiction treatment program helps build the foundation for lasting recovery through a number of evidence-based treatments. The program consists of, but is not limited to:

  • Stabilization, grounding techniques, and self-regulation
  • Specialized trauma-focused groups including psycho-education, cognitive processing therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, symptoms management, trauma and emotional processing
  • Weekly PTSD/OSI group therapy as well as exposure and activation therapy
  • Weekly one-on-one sessions with a trauma certified clinician
  • Comprehensive groups that focus on issues pertaining to trauma such as emotional regulation, negative core beliefs and community integration
  • In-vivo exposure sessions to assist in community integration and symptom management
  • Expressive Art Therapy, Trauma Sensitive Yoga, Accelerated Resolution Therapy
  • Sleep and personal hygiene sessions
  • Somatic Body Movement Therapy, Internal Family Systems and Sensorimotor Therapy
  • Therapeutic boxing sessions
  • Forest bathing
  • Narrative therapy sessions
  • Biopsychosocial and spiritual approach
  • Clients learn how to manage trauma symptoms which supports a new healthy lifestyle
  • Discharge and Transitioning Home planning

About the Team

All trauma counsellors are master’s level practitioners who value professionalism, integrity, and the well-being of the clients that arrive for treatment. The counsellors have their own daily routine which includes meditation, mindfulness, and a profound sense of self-awareness. Our aim is to help our clients recover from the ongoing effects of their traumatic experiences, and help them to rediscover their sense of self, free from the bond of addiction.

A Day at EHN Guardians Nanaimo

For every client, recovery at EHN Guardians Nanaimo is a holistic experience providing the far-reaching support and guidance needed to heal and grow. No two stays are the same, but this is a glimpse at a regular day in our Concurrent Trauma and Addiction Program for Military, Veterans, and First Responders.



Before attending an educational lecture about distress tolerance in our Ferguson Building, you’ll start your day with a healthy, freshly-prepared breakfast. There will also be time for you to set your intentions with some self-reflection and a walk on our lush grounds.



You’ll kick off the afternoon with a delicious lunch. Then you’ll attend a lecture about how the mind-body connection affects trauma recovery or a one-on-one counselling session.



In the evening you’ll participate in specialized, trauma-centred peer support groups focused on symptoms management, emotional processing, or returning to work. You’ll get moving before dinner with a visit to the gym or by participating in a group fitness class, like circuit training, yoga, or somatic movement.

About the Facility

Our EHN Guardians Nanaimo facility is situated on the EHN Edgewood Nanaimo Campus in a quiet setting. Having a separate, self-contained space allows for the development of a supportive community amongst clients dealing with similar issues and experiences. This space fosters an environment of growth and bonding between clients. This milieu enables clients to become emotionally vulnerable, and open without the fear of being judged. 

The environment is strategically designed and managed to foster an atmosphere of calmness and relaxation. The environment also encourages self-regulation, grounding and sleep hygiene amongst the client population. Comfortable, private accommodations allow for alone-time when needed and desired, while equally comfortable common areas are conducive to communal leisure activities, food and informal interactions. 

The building provides a safe refuge for clients when they are triggered and/or emotionally dysregulated. Dedicated trauma staff are in the building 24/7. All clinicians’ offices are located immediately adjacent to the clients’ accommodations and common areas for ready accessibility. In addition to the EHN Guardians Nanaimo building, our patients also have access to many of the facilties of EHN Edgewood Nanaimo since both locations are on the same campus.

Explore the EHN Edgewood Nanaimo Campus

Related Programs

Many people who struggle with trauma also face concurrent mental health challenges. EHN Canada offers a number of recovery programs – both online and in-person in Nanaimo and our other facilities across the country.