The Anchorage: taking charge of your life

The Anchorage is a residential therapy program of which the main purpose is the rehabilitation of men with drug and alcohol addictions. Its goal is to help them break free from the cycle of addiction and assume once again their rightful place in society.

According great importance to community therapeutic approaches, it has adopted the community reinforcement approach, which, by extension, involves cognitive-behavioural and reality-based methods. Ultimately, it takes into account the biopsychosocial and spiritual dimensions of the human being.

More specifically, it aims at the following objectives:

  • Obtain follow-up from a medical professional (doctor or nurse);
  • Break the cycle of addiction;
  • Improve the management of emotions;
  • Develop social skills;
  • Establish or extend healthy social networks;
  • Learn to resolve difficult situations;
  • Attain a higher level of personal and interpersonal maturity;
  • Meet spiritual needs;
  • Develop a sense of responsibility.

The Anchorage’s philosophy of intervention (mission, vision, values)

The values underlying the philosophy of intervention in the Anchorage are in a continuum with those of The Salvation Army and the Montreal Booth Centre:

Respect, dignity, self-actualization, responsibility and honesty.

Overall, the Anchorage’s philosophy is to balance the needs of the body with those of the spirit. The program encourages total abstinence, rather than moderate or social consumption of drugs and alcohol, or harm reduction. It follows the same line as that of Alcoholics Anonymous, which maintains that the hope or desire of even moderate consumption feeds the person’s addiction. The first step of recovery is to recognize one’s powerlessness over the addiction.

The Salvation Army favours the community support approach. Tried and tested, flexible, it can be used alongside other related treatments. The goal of this approach is to help the user identify and eliminate positive reinforcement related to addictive behavior, and, on the other hand, favour positive reinforcement related to sobriety. The intervention worker accompanies the resident as he learns and puts into practice the following tools: reinforcement of motivation, entering into a period of abstinence with a realistic timeframe, completing a functional analysis of addictive behaviour and that of non-use, and doing behavioural exercices. As well, the intervention worker tries to increase positive reinforcement in the client’s environment, and when possible, recruit close friends and family of the resident to help him progress through the steps of his therapy. The intervention worker is flexible as to the choice of elements that are most helpful to the client.

In parallel with this approach, Anchorage residents are strongly encouraged to participate in Alcoholic Anonymous meetings and the 12-step program. In the context of this program, the user is incited to recognize his powerlessness over his consumption. He is guided in completing an initial moral inventory of himself and encouraged to continue to do so as a daily exercise, and incited to confess his faults to a person he can trust. He must accept to change and ask for help. When ready, the user will make a list of those people he has hurt and make amends when possible. Finally, he commits to improving his spiritual life and participating in AA groups.

As a program of The Salvation Army, the religious and spiritual dimension is also taken into consideration during therapy, although services are offered on a voluntary basis and without regard for which religion the client follows. The importance given to this dimension follows from the following principle: meeting spiritual needs can deeply modify the lifestyle of a user by giving him hope, the desire to live and a new interest in life. The Anchorage resident has the option to attend spiritual workshops and be followed individually by a chaplain.


“My name is Denis. I am an alcoholic and a drug addict and am writing to share my experience at the Ancrage... Throughout my therapy, I learned to analyze my character traits... I realized, with the help of the intervention workers, that I escaped from reality to avoid experiencing pain. Gradually, I realized that you can be happy without drugs or alcohol... The teaching of the 12 steps helped me accept my illness and develop my spirituality. I am very grateful to the Salvation Army, the Booth Centre and the Ancrage.”

Denis D.

Therapy for addiction treatment program is certified by Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux (CIUSSS)
du Centre-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal (CCSMTL).

For the Salvation Army Booth Centre certification applies to therapy for addiction treatment program.

Member of:

Partners with:

The Salvation Army’s Booth Center
880 Guy St., Montreal (Quebec) H3J 1T4

© Armée du Salut, 2013. All rights reserved.

Update: August, 2017