Every Tuesday and Wednesday two small groups of people of all ages and from diverse backgrounds meet in Byron Bay or in Tweed Heads as part of The Buttery’s INTRA Footprints program.
Footprints is a unique group that has been devised by The Buttery’s INTRA counsellors.
Its aim is to stop people slipping back into addiction. And it’s open to everyone concerned about their drug and alcohol use. Participants may be still using drugs or drinking, or abstinent and wanting to widen their support in recovery. Being a safe place, people cannot attend when intoxicated.
“Footprints is a group that looks at issues relevant to the group at their stage of recovery,” says counsellor Ruth Langford.
“It is sometimes lively, often calming, always inclusive and actively non-judgemental. This is a place where people can be just as they are, encouraged to share their thoughts and feelings openly and, just as importantly receive respectful feedback.”
Guided by Ruth, a counsellor since the 1990s, group members support each other in reaching their goals in recovery.
“Most people acknowledge the damage drugs or alcohol have caused in their lives. There is someone who has been attending for about a year. He’s stopped drinking now and says how full and positive his life has become. Other people are clearly encouraged by witnessing this transformation,” Ruth said.
As one INTRA member, Greg put it: “INTRA has been invaluable in getting me to where I am today. I am not the same person who crawled up here from, Melbourne, beaten and with no sense of hope. Much of my transformation is because of this program and the therapists.”
As well as Footprints, Ruth and her INTRA colleagues conduct groups for people who have been in recovery from addiction for a long period and want to remain abstinent as well as groups teaching mindfulness and meditation.
All INTRA groups are free of charge. INTRA programs are funded by the Department of Health (Commonwealth) and charitable donations.
Footprints is a unique group devised by The Buttery’s INTRA team
Main photo: Counsellor, Ruth Langford