SOURCE: The Whole Life Institute

The Whole Life Institute

August 13, 2014 08:00 ET

New Addiction Treatment Centre Challenges the Status-Quo for Recovery

JAMES RIVER BRIDGE, AB--(Marketwired - August 13, 2014) - The Whole Life Institute announces the opening of an innovative, forward thinking addictions treatment facility, which combines cutting-edge neuroscience with proven nutritional and holistic therapies. The Whole Life Institute is the first of its kind in Canada, situated in beautiful and peaceful Central Alberta, close to the Rocky Mountains and only an hour and a half drive from Calgary.

Thousands of Canadians, in all stages and circumstances of life are impacted by addictive behaviours and now a unique approach to addictions treatment and recovery is available, addressing body, mind and spirit at a world class treatment centre. Whole Life Institute founders Jim Bradshaw and Stacey Grantham, who are both recovered addicts, have assembled a team of highly-experienced addiction and wellness experts to provide a treatment program that heals the 'Whole' person, by addressing four complementary elements, Whole Nutrition, Whole Connection, Whole Guidance and Whole Path.

The Whole Life Institute treatment programs are unique in that they are based on the latest scientific research, focusing on principles of neuroplasticity, nutrition, guidance and spiritual support while building upon a 12 step model. Neuroplasticity refers to the brain's ability to be extremely adaptable by recreating new neural pathways responsible for behaviors, habits and responses to life regardless of age. The novel, validated visualization techniques, applied by the experts at The Whole Life Institute, tap into the parasympathetic nervous system to create new neuropathways and allow the brain to adapt and heal itself, becoming stronger than it ever was before. 

The role of good nutrition cannot be underestimated in recovery and is a key component of The Whole Life Institute treatment paradigm. Each client's individual nutritional needs and current state of health are assessed and meal plans are developed with the aid of our Neuroscientist and on-site Nutritionist. Whole, healthy foods can heal, nurture and restore a body to optimum physical health and recent research also confirms the positive impact good nutrition has on neurological and mental health.

"Science strongly suggests there is a direct correlation between nutrition and mental health and addiction. The program we created for The Whole Life Institute uses a unique blend of the latest neuroscience research on addiction and evidence-based holistic nutrition protocols," said Neuroscientist/Nutritionist and Whole Nutrition Program creator, Orsha Magyar.

The Whole Guidance component uses a form of psychotherapy which works on identity discovery and development, as well as the introduction of self-resolution techniques so that clients can discover how they can learn to resolve conflict themselves. As explained by Dr. Carolyn Anderson, "Identity development and its link to resilience are emerging themes in clinical practice. Research into current recovery programs has indicated that the majority of treatment programs are not yet incorporating the concept of identity development to assist individuals in the recovery process."

The team at The Whole Life Institute combines their expertise and understanding while providing the tools needed to help clients apply the principles of Whole Nutrition, Whole Connection, Whole Guidance and Whole Path. These principles are complementary to the 12 step model and help individuals develop a deeper understanding of the steps and how to apply them in daily life. A sober life can be realized within the first six weeks of treatment. 

To learn more about this unique, cutting edge treatment centre, please call 1 844 419 5433 or visit


What Is The Whole Life Institute?

The Whole Life Institute is an innovative new addictions recovery center that is committed to providing a new world class standard for the treatment of drug and alcohol addiction and behavioral disorders (sex addiction, gambling and eating disorders).

The Whole Life Institute was conceived and built by Jim Bradshaw and Stacey Grantham, who are both recovered addicts. After years of experience in the addictions sector, Stacey and Jim felt that there were key components missing from current treatment methods.

Jim and Stacey wanted to find a way to give those struggling with the disease the information and tools necessary to live a purposeful life, free from their addictions instead of simply removing the acute obstacle of the addiction.

Jim and Stacey began to search out people who were top of their field and had devoted years to research in those fields. These industry professionals were contracted to create the programs that are The Whole Life Institute. Each component was researched, created and tested for its own specifically intended purpose; to fill what was missing in the recovery process.

The end result is a new way to live unlike any addicts have experienced before. The program is layered in 4 modules that complement each other, resulting in a linear process that can be followed and applied in a step by step practice that is easy to implement.

What Makes The Whole Life Institute Program So Different?

The Whole Life Institute program is designed to address your 'Whole' life. The program is broken down into four 'Whole' components: Whole Nutrition, Whole Connection, Whole Guidance and Whole Path.

Whole Nutrition

"Science strongly suggests there is a direct correlation between nutrition and mental health and addiction. The program we created for The Whole Life Institute uses a unique blend of the latest neuroscience research on addiction and evidence-based holistic nutrition protocols." - Orsha Magyar M.Sc., B. Sc., RHN -- Founder and CEO, NeutroTrition.

  • The menu for the nutrition program was created by Stacey Deering RHN - Holistic Nutritionist. Stacey developed all the recipes for Whole Nutrition to optimize energy levels by finding a balance between nutrition and an active lifestyle. We understand where each client's current state of health is through the intake process, and use our system to heal, nurture and feed the body accordingly.
  • We teach our clients the why and how our brains become addicted, that addiction is a brain disease that changes the chemical function of our brains. We explain how mental health conditions, such as anxiety, depression and addiction have been shown to correlate to the foods we put into our bodies and how we can use a whole foods diet to help us heal.
  • Our program is designed specifically to help an individual's body heal from years of damage due to addiction or addictive behaviors by using whole foods and empowering the individual to take charge of what they put into their body and how it makes them feel. The Whole Nutrition program will help reduce binging, withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
  • Meals are organized by our Red Seal Chef using local organic foods. Clients are taught how to prepare meals and have a whole foods kitchen. Allowing them to continue a healthy lifestyle as they transition home. Healthy body….healthy mind.
  • In addition, The Whole Life Institute recovery model places importance on and encourages physical activity as part of your addiction recovery. It can help reduce stress, improve sleep patterns, improve mental health concerns such as anxiety, depression and elevate mood, all of which are important for ongoing sobriety.

Whole Connection

"The Whole Connection program was customized for The Whole Life Institute and is based on integral concepts of neuroplasticity. The brain is an incredible organ and when guided through the right framework and conditioning, it has the ability to rewire behavioral patterns, habits and responses to life." - Andrea Carter BA Psych, CBI, MSI, Owner & Founder of Inner Awareness and Mindful Visualizations.

  • A little over a decade ago, the medical sector began to see tremendous advances in brain repair. Through these advances we have come to a place of recognition that the brain has the capacity to repair itself when taken through specific conditioning and in a controlled context. Neurons and neural pathways have the capability to be strengthened, redirected, and repaired, especially when the individual is taken through controlled guided experiences and can actively participate in this process. Breakthroughs in neuroscience have shown how the brain can change dramatically, and when patient participation is factored into the process, tremendous shifts are taking place.
  • At The Whole Life Institute we recognize the importance of neuroplasticity and the value it brings to recovery. We place an emphasis on guiding the patient through specific controlled activities that allow the patient to retrain their negative thought patterns, shift the focus from the negative life experiences that keep them in defeating behavioral patterns, and place emphasis on our specific constructive techniques to help patients retrain their brain, that is, develop a new pathway that supports recovery. With Andrea's cutting edge approach, we strengthen the new "tangible recovery" loop within the brain. The brain then learns to enjoy recovery, those things that give us pleasure in our sober lives -- family, work, and social engagements. We retrain the brain and thus change our lives.
  • The Whole Connection program is a tested method of naturally engaging in key elements of neuroplasticity that was developed as a customized program for The Whole Life Institute by Andrea Carter BA Psych, CBI, CMI, Founder and Owner of Mindful Visualizations and Inner Awareness Programs.
  • Our connection programs provide a systemic process for individuals, allowing them to engage the mind/body connection through a controlled yet natural process. They are taught how to create new processes that allow for neural pathways to shift. Our patients are then able to address old beliefs and behaviors and bring awareness to what it is they want to change, then put the change into supported action in their life.

Whole Guidance

"Identity development and its link to resilience are emerging themes in clinical practice. Research into current recovery programs has indicated that the majority of treatment programs are not yet incorporating the concept of identity development to assist individuals in the recovery process." -- Dr. Carolyn Anderson PhD, RSW, MSW, BSW.

  • Whole Guidance is a form of psychotherapy for those with addiction issues, focusing on self-resolution so that clients can discover how they can initiate conflict resolution themselves.
  • We developed the Whole Guidance based on identity development and it helps clients discover for themselves who they really are rather than who they think they are.
  • It is our belief that providing the opportunity to explore and discover the significance of identity shifts from an active addiction to sobriety, will enhance long term recovery.
  • With our diversified counselling staff and their training, we are able to offer the right combination between personal one-on-one therapies and various forms of group counselling.

Whole Path

  • The Whole Life Institute uses the original 12 step model. We study the Alcoholics Anonymous 'Big Book' as the basis for a program of recovery. We have adopted our Whole Path workbook to accommodate all forms of addiction.
  • Our group intensive and individual one-on-one sessions allows for a deeper understanding of the intended purpose of the 12 steps and how to apply them in daily life. Application is the key ingredient to living a 'Whole' life. Clients will be shown how to complete the entire 12 steps.
  • We combine our Whole Nutrition, Whole Connection and Whole Guidance with the Whole Path to provide an application of the 12 step model that has never been done before.

Who Are The Whole Life Institute Team Members?

Jim Bradshaw - Operations Manager, Co-Founder
As a co-founder of The Whole Life Institute, Jim has over 20 years' experience as a recovered addict and working directly with addicts and alcoholics in recovery. Jim is an experienced interventionist and leads The Whole Life Intervention Team. 

Stacey Grantham - General Manager, Co-Founder
As a co-founder of the Whole Life Institute, Stacey has several years' experience in the field of recovery and addictions, as well as many years in business management. Stacey brings with her a background in holistic nutrition, and as a result has been an integral part in the development of our world-class Whole Nutrition Team.

Dr. Stephanie Mason BSc, MD, FRCP - Registered Psychiatrist
Dr. Mason has practiced psychiatry for over twenty years. Her areas of interest within the field are diverse, and include crisis intervention, mood and anxiety disorders, ADD in adults and children, addiction, and neuropsychiatric syndromes. 

Andrea Carter BA Psych, RMT, CBI, BAT, MSI, CBP, AdvCBP - Creator of Whole Connection Program
Andrea is a Certified Award Winning Mastery Coach and holds her degree in Psychology. She has taught thousands of people how to live life fully, release the past, and step into their full potential. She continues to help programs thrive across Canada and has served in the mental health care sector for over 12 years. 

Dr. Carolyn Anderson PhD, RSW, MSW, BSW - Assistant Professor, Department of Social Work & Disability Studies 
Dr. Anderson has been an Assistant Professor at Mount Royal University in the Department of Social Work during the past 16 years. Prior to teaching at the University, Carolyn had a clinical social work practice for 27 years specializing in adult survivors of childhood trauma. She has experience in the area of mental health, addictions, crisis intervention and family and group practice. Carolyn regularly presents her work at National and International Social Work conferences.

Dr. Meaghen Johnston, PhD, RSW, MSW, BA - Assistant Professor, Department of Social work & Disability Studies
Dr. Johnston is currently an Assistant Professor at Mount Royal University in the Department of Social Work. Graduating from the University of British Columbia, Meaghen completed a Doctoral study exploring identity, future thinking, and palliative care. In 2012 she was awarded a dissertation award from the Society of Research on Identity Formation and continues to explore how identity intersects with health and well-being. Her clinical experience has focused on development of programs and support groups in the area of health, identity, grief and loss.

Orsha Magyar M.Sc., B. Sc., RHN - Neuroscientist/Nutritionist
With an undergraduate degree in biopsychology, and graduate work in neuroscience, Orsha's research on areas such as anxiety and epilepsy has been published in scientific and medical journals, and presented at international medical conferences. Orsha expanded upon her biomedical background by becoming a Registered Holistic Nutritionist. 

Stacey Deering RHN - Holistic Nutritionist
Stacey has 5 years' experience as a Holistic Nutritionist. She is also a personal trainer and educator. Stacey has a passion for food and the power it has over the mind, body and spirit. She is dedicated to empowering others to achieve health and wellness.

Jennifer Scheible - Team Leader/ Addictions Counsellor
A recovered addict since 1992, Jennifer has worked in the addiction field for over 19 years. Jennifer holds certificates in Addiction Studies and Supportive Counselling Skills and has logged hundreds of hours in classes, conferences, workshops and training.

Al Dhalla - Director of Client Services/ Addictions Counsellor
Al has been working in the field of addictions for the last 4 years as a counselor, with 5 years as a recovered addict himself. His credentials include the Addiction Certification Certificate at Mount Royal University, Adult Intensive Outpatient Program-stress, emotional regulation and trauma Certificate and Counselling Behavioral Therapy Certificate.

Trevor Scheible - Human Resources/Counsellor
A recovered addict since 1996, Trevor is a past counsellor for a treatment center for adolescents and is currently pursuing further education in the field of addictions. Since day one, Trevor has been committed to all levels of service in the 12 step community.

Norine Fullen - Client Activities Coordinator
A certified Life Coach, Norine has twenty five years of researching the body, mind and spirit and how they interact and incorporates five different disciplines of energy healing into the recreational programs at The Whole Life Institute. 

How Long Is The Whole Life Program?

A sober life can be realized within the first six weeks of treatment. For those who are unable to attend a six week program we offer a consolidated four week program. We provide the tools and understanding for the clients to rebuild their life and leave treatment with a solid foundation and a strong after care plan.

We also have an extended eight week program and options to stay longer that can be discussed with any of our Whole Life Team members.

Where Is The Whole Life Institute And Where Can I Get More Information?

24 hours a day, 7 days a week, a Whole Life team member is available to assist you.

Keep up to date on the latest research and news at:

The Whole Life Institute is a secluded, private, discrete and serene addictions treatment center located in Central Alberta, close to the Rocky Mountains and an hour and a half drive from Calgary.

The building is a modern log cabin structure with a home like setting. It is a beautiful space with nature trails, wildlife and fresh air where our clients can reconnect, get grounded and begin the transformation and healing from their addictions.

This peaceful environment addresses the body, mind, and spiritual connection in a private and confidential setting.

Facts About Addiction?

  • Annual productivity losses in Canada due to abuse of legal substances (including tobacco): $11.8 billion or 1.7% of the gross national product (GNP), or $414 for every man, woman and child

Source: Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, and Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
(1999) Canadian Profile 1999. Available at:

  • Number of babies born in Canada annually with fetal Alcohol Syndrome: 365 - one per day.

Source: CCSA Literature Review: Evaluation strategies in Aboriginal Substance Abuse Programs:
A discussion. (2004) Available at:

  • Percentage of hospitalizations directly attributable to substance abuse: 8% 
  • Percentage of days spent in hospital directly attributable to substance abuse: 10% 

Source: Single, E., Robson, L., Xiaodi, X., and Rehm, J. (1996) The costs of substance abuse in
Canada. Available at:

  • Percentage of Canadians who are high risk drinkers: 13.6%
  • Percentage of current Canadian drinkers (of all ages and drinking levels) report some form of harm in the past year due to alcohol intake: To themselves: 20% Harmed by some else's drinking: 33%

Source: National survey of Canadians' use of alcohol and other drugs: Prevalence of use and related harms (June, 2005). Available at:

Contact Information