Skip to content Scroll to top
Photo of the White Buffalo Treatment Centre sign

Opening Doorways

Our holistic approach

Our program is based on a holistic treatment model and incorporates the four cornerstones of treatment, Spiritual, Emotional, Mental, and Physical. The Resiliency Model forms the premise for the concept of living therapy, whereby treatment is integrated into all interactions in which the youth participate. The youth learn to integrate the 7 components of the Resiliency Model into their daily interactions (morality, humor, initiative, insight, relationships, independence, and creativity).


Our treatment program is separated into four unique phases called doorways and as youth pass through each doorway their success and progress are celebrated.

Illustration of the head of a wolf

Doorway 1:Wolf

The first doorway is the wolf doorway, where youth focus on stabilization and self-discovery. A general observation is that clients, upon entry to the program, are usually reserved and even fearful like the mouse. The initial phase of the treatment program is the stabilization and detoxification period. Once the youth are stabilized, they participate in school and programming that provides awareness of basic life skills with the intent of stopping the previous harmful behaviors.

A welcoming and nurturing atmosphere allows them to face their fears. The case work process involves the conducting of a needs assessment which is completed within the first month. This information formulates the basis of an individual treatment plan. A supportive environment and trust building occur during this initial phase of programming. As individual growth is fostered, youth enter a phase of self-discovery, examination of fears and other debilitating issues. Morality and Respect are the disciplines targeted in the first doorway.

Illustration of the head of a bear

Doorway 2:Bear

The second doorway is the Bear doorway, where youth focus on their mental and emotional health. The second doorway incorporates the spirit of the bear to look within their minds and begin to re-activate their emotions. Youth are assisted to identify their emotions and how their feelings interact with their minds, resulting in behaviour.

Youth are taught healthy coping skills to effectively manage their emotions. Treatment planning is adjusted as the youth progress through this doorway with initial healing occurring as youth can process their fears, hurts and other debilitating experiences. Humor, Initiative, Courage, and Bravery are the disciplines targeted in the second doorway.

Illustration of the head of an eagle

Doorway 3:Eagle

The third doorway is the Eagle doorway where youth focus on learning to fly. In this doorway, the youth learn to integrate the living tools presented throughout the program. They are encouraged to take healthy risks and to develop the dignity of an eagle. Insight, Relationships, Humility, and Truth are the prominent disciplines incorporated into their development as young women encouraging them to take on a leadership role.

Illustration of the head of a buffalo

Doorway 4:Buffalo

The fourth doorway is the Buffalo doorway where youth focus on celebration and vision. The focus of the fourth doorway is the continuation of the case work process as a post discharge plan is developed which validates self-change and solicits input into future planning. This is a time to prepare themselves for returning to their families and communities. They are taught that to be successful they will need the resiliency of the White Buffalo: Independence, Creativity, Honesty, and Love.

White Buffalo Treatment Centre