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Philosophy – Ruby Retreat Addiction & Trauma (RRAT)

Our intention is to create a safe, nurturing, honest space for those seeking recovery from addiction, trauma and mental illness. We do this by utilising holistic therapies in our 12 step retreat in Nelson NZ where we can find ways to reconnect to ourselves and others, creating a set of life tools that can be used in the future to prevent regression.

In accordance with Te whare tapa whā our programmes offer:

Taha tinanaPhysical wellbeing

As our physical ‘being’ is our vessel and shelter, we learn that physical health is necessary to support mind, spirit and family aspects of wellbeing. At Ruby Retreat we use our bodies in healthy, sustainable ways, so we can connect and become physically well. Nutrition, exercise, yoga, nature walks and swimming are some of the ways we do this.

Taha wairua – Spiritual wellbeing

We believe that spiritual wellbeing is essential to maintain overall wellness. Through meditation, prayer and working the 12 steps we start to cleanse, recognise, and renew our inner being.

Taha hinengaro – Mental/emotional wellbeing

Through acknowledging the trauma of our past and accepting and making amends for the harms done, we can learn how to confidently face life’s problems. We learn to communicate our needs and to empathise with others, learning that our thoughts can be changed and so too, our actions. Through this shift, we begin to see ourselves differently, uniquely, and this shapes how we see the rest of our world, developing faith in ourselves and the wider community.

Taha whānau – Family/community wellbeing

We hope to discover where we are from, and what has kept us separate from our true nature and customs. We see we need family/community, and realise we can’t keep, or maintain wellness unless we give it away. We practice service/contribution to our family, friends and community, and begin to accept ourselves and others and feel that we finally belong.

Maori design done by tattoo artist Gordon Toi

We are 12 step programme based

“As the founder of Ruby Retreat, I honour the 12 step process and the tools and literature that are derived from Alcoholics Anonymous. I personally began my journey within the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous in 2008. Since that time I have learnt much about addiction and recovery through my own experience, and through those that have been on a similar journey.

The tools and the programme are so practical in their use allowing meaningful recovery from most addictions such as food addiction/eating disorders, gambling, narcotics, sex addiction etc. This simple programme was created and founded by alcoholics; Bill Wilson, a stockbroker, and Dr Bob Smith. They met and discussed the nature of alcoholism and a possible solution.

Apart from including the twelve traditions in 1946, which helped to give AA its present substance, structure, and unity, its message and structure have remained unchanged. This in itself is amazing as studies have found that the programme not only helps people to abstain from alcohol but that those that are part of the fellowship have higher rates of sobriety compared to those that just undergo therapies, such as cognitive-behavioural therapy.

With the foundation of the 12 steps in place, we believe recovery is possible and we hope to share this journey with you so you too, can live a life of your wildest dreams.”

Seija Brogi – Ruby Retreat Founder

Ruby Retreat Centre is an educated blend of therapies.

Our 12 step retreat in Nelson NZ is a collaboration of many proven modalities.

How do we do this?

The 12 step retreat in Nelson NZ will be facilitated by people who understand and empathise with the pain mental afflictions can cause. By not placing judgement and practising reflective listening, it is our hope that the client will feel heard and cared for. This will enable inner exploration and growth within a safe environment.

At the beginning of each retreat, we initiate a community agreement, which is a shared agreement between all involved in the retreat. It will cover such things as how we wish to work together, including guidelines of how one would feel respected, address sensitivity to diversity (in accordance with the Treaty of Waitangi), anonymity, and endeavour to speak from a non-judgemental space. In building such agreements we believe we can collectively make the space safe so each participant can express freely, whilst being held in positive regard. This process is influenced by Carl Roger’s client-centred therapy and Marshall Rosenberg’s adaptation, non-violent communication.

Additionally, we take inspiration from Abraham Maslow’s “Theory of human motivation”, the hierarchy of needs, and the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. Working with these influences and guidelines we work to uncover, discover and discard that which does not serve us anymore.

Through this process of examining our past experiences and trauma, in private therapy, group counselling, meditation/reflection and journaling we will see that our behaviours have sometimes hindered our need for safety, relationships, material wealth, physical and emotional health etc. Believing that these areas are vitally important for furthering our moral awareness and emotional maturity, we find ways to face then heal our past, so we can live with dignity, restore our esteem, and fulfil our potential; self-actualisation.

The purpose of the 12 steps is to attain spiritual awakening, through connecting to a higher power which will provide a “profound alteration” to their reaction to life. Humanistic psychologists, such as Maslow, Rosenberg and Carl Rogers assert that humans have a fundamentally good nature and a natural motivation to realise their own potential, if they are in a safe, nurturing environment, with resources at their disposal.

At Ruby Retreat we combine all these renowned therapies to fit each client’s preferred path. Knowing the most important thing is their journey to wellness, which starts exactly where we are! We also work with strength-based theory, which theorises that when people discover their inner strengths, they can meet life’s challenges, and deal with them courageously.

Aspiring to focus on positive attributes and build on them, with the hope of building inner confidence and knowing that what we focus on grows and becomes our reality. A way we foster strengths is by assigning service/volunteer positions specific to those in attendance, using skills they are familiar with. Postulating that contribution/service is an important part of recovery, and by using our experience to benefit others, we generally feel happier. Volunteering often provides a sense of pride, identity, and confidence that can inspire one to attain future goals and live a more meaningful and content life.

Discuss our 12 step retreat in Nelson NZ (3-day programme) and how it could benefit you

What do we wish for those who attend Ruby Retreat Addiction & Trauma?

We would like to impart tools of recovery, and relapse prevention/regression, through yoga, meditation and learning to express our feelings and needs with NVC. With an approach derived from Dr Gabor Maté, we will look at how trauma has affected our lives and perhaps contributed to our disease.

We hope to uncover individual strengths and talents so the participants can have the confidence to move forward into a new way of being that is somewhat familiar but empowering. We will introduce the 12 step community and other therapy groups and hope the comfort of knowing that others understand and care, will help to alleviate the feeling of loneliness, shame and isolation that can arise from mental afflictions.

By offering nutritional counselling and sharing food together at our 12 step retreat in Nelson NZ we hope to establish a routine of eating healthy, nutritious food that will support mind and body recovery. Along with implementing regular exercise and self-care rituals, such as meditation and yoga which can support our life as we move towards a positive future.

12 characteristics of self-actualised people

This is what our greatest aspiration is for those that choose the recovery path, the recovery to our true self.

Self-actualised people embrace the unknown and the ambiguous.

They accept themselves, together with all their flaws.

They prioritise and enjoy the journey, not just the destination.

While they are inherently unconventional, they do not seek to shock or disturb.

They are motivated by growth, not by the satisfaction of needs.

Self-actualised people have a purpose.

They are not troubled by the small things.

Self-actualised people are grateful.

They share deep relationships with a few, but also feel identification and affection towards the entire human race.

Self-actualised people are humble.

Self-actualised people resist enculturation.

Despite all this, self-actualised people are not perfect.

In the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous from pages 83-84:

  • We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.
  • We will not regret the past, nor wish to shut the door on it.
  • We will comprehend the word serenity, and we will know peace.
  • No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others.
  • That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.
  • We will lose interest in selfish things and gain insight into our fellows.
  • Self-seeking will slip away.
  • Our whole attitude and outlook will change.
  • Fear of people and economic insecurity will leave us.
  • We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.
  • We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.
Joyful man standing on a rock free from addiction with the 12 step retreat in Nelson NZ

“Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us – sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialise if we work for them.”

Whakapā mai

We would love to hear from you