Bonjour, Ahnii and Welcome to The Refuge
- Find yourself struggling with intense emotions and reactions?
- Triggered by past trauma/abuse, old wounds, or stuck in toxic relationship patterns?
- Struggling with a loss of intimacy or connection in your couple or marriage?
- Limited by shame, low self-worth, self-criticism, codependency or a sense of not deserving more?
- Noticing physical tension, pain, frequent illnesses or strange symptoms you don't understand?
- And realizing that the old ways of coping are not working anymore?
Our team of specialized and experienced therapists can help.
Originally founded by Sarah Schlote, The Refuge has expanded to meet the growing demand for the combination of specialized therapies we provide, the diversity of our programs, and for our commitment to our own personal growth and continuing education in the latest treatment techniques. We are proud to offer such a range in services that can meet more of your specific needs.
Holistic and Integrative
We aim to foster healing and growth on multiple levels - emotional, physical, mental, relational and spiritual. This is why Sarah and the other practitioners at The Refuge offer a variety of mind-body approaches, including body-oriented therapies (Somatic Experiencing, Focusing, Gestalt, touch and table work for trauma), mindfulness-based approaches (Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, trauma-sensitive mindfulness, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy), Emotion-Focused Therapy, Expressive Arts Therapies, Psychodynamic and Relational Therapies, attachment-based approaches, and nature-based therapies (animal-assisted therapy, equine-assisted therapy, sessions outdoors, etc.)
We have trained in approaches that address all phases of trauma healing, from building safety and stabilization (through emotion regulation, distress tolerance, impulse control, and relational trust through the therapeutic alliance) to trauma processing, renegotiation and resolution. For more information about our trauma services, please click on Trauma Therapy and Trauma-Informed Care.
Looking to access multiple services at once?
Sarah and the other practitioners at The Refuge offer a team approach that can accommodate individual therapy, couples and family therapy, trauma therapy, as well as group therapy. Sharing similar training, approaches and expertise greatly facilitates the coordination of care if you are accessing multiple services at once. We also offer a number of retreats, workshops and healing intensives as well.
Multilingual and Diversity Sensitive
Services are provided in English, French and Danish. We welcome clients from all walks of life in an inclusive manner, and have experience in working with a variety of cultures, sexual orientations, gender identities, physical abilities, and religions. We are also familiar with the particular struggles associated with Canada's aboriginal peoples, colonial trauma and residential schools.
Quick Response Time
Sarah or one of the other practitioners from The Refuge will typically respond to your message within 1-2 business days. There have been occasional issues with email sent to us from the contact form in this Theravive directory listing - if you do not hear from us within this timeframe, please call 1-855-7REFUGE directly or contact each of the practitioners on our website, where email addresses and phone numbers are listed.
Want to learn more?
Please scroll past the welcome message below for more information about us or simply visit our website at www.healingrefuge.com, which will give you more of a feel for the work that we do. The website also has a list of Frequently Asked Questions and directions to our location.
The Refuge is both our location and a place inside you, where safety and compassion provide the foundation for healing your relationship with yourself and with others. We offer holistic, trauma-informed care that seeks to foster your embodied healing, growth and self-expression from the inside out – body, mind, spirit and relationships.
You're not going crazy. It's not what's wrong with you, it's what's happened to you - how you've coped and adapted to survive life's stressors and trauma.
Our mental and physical health are interconnected. Chronic stress, traumatic events, relationship conflict, poor attunement from our caregivers as children, neglect, abuse, compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma or other overwhelming life transitions can create a number of emotional changes, body symptoms and medical conditions that may be causing you concern. You may have even found yourself resorting to unhealthy coping strategies, such as addictions or eating disorders, as your best attempt to manage your pain, distress, emptiness or shame.
Trauma and stress create dysregulation, disorganization, disconnection and fragmentation in our experience of ourselves and our connection with others. Most "disorders" can be simplified and understood in terms of these features. Our practitioners can help with restoring greater regulation, organization, integration and wholeness.
What you're experiencing doesn't have to be a life sentence.
- Want to feel more grounded, stable, balance and ease?
- Would you like more clarity, focus, and clear steps to reach your personal or career goals?
- Seeking greater self-esteem, confidence, authenticity and empowerment within yourself and your relationships?
- It begins by healing our relationship with and within ourselves.
Unique in Canada, our work is inspired by the treatments offered at some of the top mental health, trauma and addictions facilities worldwide, and offer a refreshing alternative to the "same old, same old." We take a non-pathologizing, strengths-based, diversity-sensitive, and anti-oppressive view of life struggles that is trauma-informed and also aligns with the Four Directions of the teachings of aboriginal peoples.
Restoring your sense of self-worth, self-care and self-compassion is possible. It's time to come home to yourself. True refuge is within.
We look forward to meeting you. Should you have any questions about our therapies, services, philosophy and policies, don't hesitate to contact me personally or to reach out to any of the practitioners on the team.
Sarah Schlote, Founder of The Refuge
- Individual psychotherapy
- Couples and family therapy
- Trauma therapy, renegotiation and healing
- Touch and table work
- Group therapy
- Healing intensives, workshops and retreats
- Post-discharge support following in-patient mental health and addictions care
- Life skills and career coaching
- Support for spiritual crises (following religious involvement, yoga, meditation or silent retreats)
- Trauma/PTSD, abuse, neglect (including pre-verbal trauma / birth trauma, ritual abuse, first responders, motor vehicle accidents, medical trauma, genocide, war/veterans, etc.)
- Chronic stress, anxiety and panic
- Health symptoms and complex syndromes
- Addictions and self-harm
- Dissociation and identity issues
- Family of origin issues
- Anger and aggression
- Relationships and parenting
- Bipolar and Borderline Personality
- Shame and self-criticism
- Grief, loss and transitions
- Compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma
- Spiritual crises
- Career transitions
For more information about each of these approaches, please visit our website.
- Somatic Experiencing for trauma renegotiation and resolution
- Dialectical Behaviour Therapy for emotion regulation and distress tolerance
- Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness
- Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy
- Emotion-Focused Therapy for couples
- Focusing and Gestalt Therapy
- Expressive Arts Therapies (drawing, movement, dance, SoulCollage)
- Psychodynamic Therapy
- Inner Child, Self-Parenting and Attachment Work
- EquuSpirit: Healing with Horses (equine-facilitated therapy)
- Animal-Assisted Therapy
- Nature-Based Therapy
- Life and Career Coaching
Feel free to click on each practitioner's personal page on our website, and to reach out to any of them via their direct contact information, or to contact Sarah directly to process an initial intake by phone. Each of our practitioners works independently from The Refuge, but work in collaboration with one another in offering aligned services.
Sarah Schlote, MA, RP, CCC, SEP
Angela Herzog, MA, RP, CCC
Kristina Bare de Vos, MSc, RP, RMFT
We look forward to getting to know you better and to supporting you in service of your goals.
Sarah Schlote ReachesGuelph ONHalton Hills ONKitchener ONWaterloo ONCambridge ONOakville ONFergus ONBreslau ONRockwood ONMilton ON