How we work

Intake Process

The first step to becoming involved with AY is to meet with a therapist and participate in an intake session. An intake session is completed in person and takes approximately one hour. The purpose of an intake session is for our therapist to gather information about the youth’s past and current health and substance use as well as readiness for change. In addition, our services will be described in detail. Parents or caregivers and other support persons are encouraged to attend the first session with the youth.


Over a period of several appointments, an initial assessment will be completed with the youth which will include gathering of information, monitoring of youth’s substance use, provision of feedback on the impact of substance use on the youth’s life and development of a treatment plan.

Individual treatment

Individualized, client directed treatment is provided to youth to assist them in exploring the underlying reasons for engaging in substance use, in reducing or discontinuing use, relapse prevention and/or referral to residential treatment, and includes comprehensive education about the risks related to youth substance use. Parents/caregivers and other family members (as defined by the youth) are encouraged to participate in the youth’s treatment.

Your Rights, Our Responsibilities

With Alternatives for Youth you can expect a positive, recovery-oriented experience that is strength-based and inclusive. Our services use treatment approaches that are modelled after best practices in substance use and addiction.

Download the Rights and Responsibilities Agreement here

My AY therapist was always very kind, understanding, compassionate and caring, which means so much to me