778-678-7776 matthewgardner@shaw.ca

Addiction and Recovery


I have considerable experience and expertise working with a wide range of substance use, addiction and problematic, compulsive behaviours. I take the opposite of a one-size-fits-all approach, tailoring the combination of strategies I use to perfectly fit the unique needs of each person I help.

My Experience

In 2012 I created a new Addictions Program for the Salvation Army, for use with convicts on parole.  The 8-week Skills for Recovery Program combined the most effective and up-to-date research, theories and strategies, and met with universal acclaim. I facilitated the program for three years, working with hundreds of addicts, and further refining my knowledge and expertise. For the last few years, work with addictions has been the back-bone of my full-time private practice.

My Approach

If you see me for help with substance use or problematic behaviours, I will do the following:

  • Prove that you can trust me absolutely, that I have no judgments, assumptions, or hidden agendas
  • Help you to be entirely honest with me and with yourself
  • Encourage you to locate, embrace and speak from the part of yourself that is most in touch with your authenticity and values
  • Listen to your story and help you to understand it better
  • Help you to formulate and clarify your goals
  • Help you to find the motivation necessary to undertake the demanding process of change
  • Help you to identify and deal with your triggers
  • Encourage you to find and use a support network
  • Help you to tailor-make and continuously refine a recovery plan that is built upon your own unique needs, goals, history, circumstances, personality and beliefs. This plan will involve the blending of numerous tried and tested strategies
  • Encourage you to start imagining  and working towards the life you would like to be living
  • Help you to understand addiction in general, and your own addiction specifically
  • Help you to identify and examine the underlying root causes that led you down the path of addiction in the first place
  • Address and remove those root causes using the most effective and appropriate counselling strategies (as presented on the My Approachpage)
  • Help you to create and execute a Maintenance plan

For more about my beliefs on addiction and recovery see my blog post


I tailor the combination of strategies I use to perfectly fit the unique needs of each person I help