As a non-profit organization, we are greatly assisted in doing the work that we do by the dedication and generosity of spirit embodied in our volunteers. As volunteers, Counsellor’s Aides play a special role in our continuum of service. Counsellor’s Aides are typically former clients of Rideauwood or other treatment programs with at least 3 years of sobriety who continue to be actively engaged in recovery. While some volunteers may have more counselling experience and skills than others, they are never given responsibilities that exceed their skill level.

Volunteering as a Counsellors Aide requires a minimum commitment of 2 hours, one evening a week for up to one-year. This is mainly because in closed groups Counsellor’s Aides cannot be replaced in midstream; if a Counsellor’s Aide has to leave part way through a closed group cycle it can often be a great loss to the clients.

Please note that the number of positions is limited and they are usually filled months in advance of the actual start date; therefore we recommend that you apply at least 3-6 months in advance. In order to be considered:

  • If you are a person in recovery you must have at least three years of sobriety and be actively engaged in recovery.
  • If you are a former client of Rideauwood, you must have completed your program at least one year previously.
  • You must be prepared to make a one-year commitment of one evening per week.
  • You must complete a criminal reference check.

Counsellor’s Aide Responsibilities

A Counsellor’s Aide is assigned to a specific treatment group (10 – 12 people) and remains with the same group throughout their treatment at Rideauwood. A Counsellor’s Aide is expected to:

  • Attend and co-facilitate a 1.5 – 2 hour weekly evening group sessions involving his/her group and to stay with the group in this capacity until its completion.
  • Attend all or part of the day-treatment component of the program (if applicable).
  • Assist in the preparation for group including room set up, photocopying, etc. and meet with the counsellor for debriefing and charting after group.
  • Volunteers may be permitted to take on other functions depending on the extent of their previous counselling experience and at the discretion of the program team members.

If you wish to apply to be a Counsellor’s Aid in the Adult Addictions Program, the Family Member Program, the Parent Program, the Problem Gambling Program, or the Problem Gambling Family Member Program please complete the Counsellor’s Aide Application Form, and submit it to