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Helping people reach their full potential by providing effective substance abuse education and counseling services.


What we do

Ascend Counseling provides economic crime programs across the Northern & Central regions of Michigan for clients with crimes involving theft (larceny, retail fraud, embezzlement, breaking & entering, insufficient funds, forgery, etc.).  We offer programming in Big Rapids, West Branch, Gaylord and Ludington.  We also provide affordable substance abuse education and substance abuse treatment programs.  We specialize in working with court ordered clients.  


Referral sources can utilize our programs for direct referrals for an economic crime or substance related offense, as a jail diversion tool, for a probation/parole violation, as a spring board to a longer substance abuse program or successful completion of drug court.  Offenders can utilize our programs as a proactive action to a recent arrest or to assist in drivers license restoration.


Ascend Counseling substance abuse programs are facilitated by licensed Masters Level psychologists or clinical social workers.  Our clinicians have extensive experience in providing educational, individual and group therapy to clients with both substance abuse and mental health issues.  Our clinicians are C.A.A.D.C. certified and are trained in I.D.D.T. (Integrated Dual Disorder Treatment).  Our Economic Crime Program facilitator has almost a decade of experience facilitating economic crime programs in Michigan and 10 years previous  experience as a trainer & member of the faculty for the Michigan Judicial Institute .   

Overview of  programs

We offer 6 and 8 hour group treatment and education programs.  Our 6 & 8 hour programs are offered on Saturday or Sunday (Generally Saturday) and are completed in a single day.  Classes are conveniently held on the weekends so attending generally does not conflict with work or school for the offender.  Please see our programs page for a full description of each program.

After completion of our weekend programs - referral sources (usually the court/probation departments) will receive a faxed completion report on each offender detailing participation, progress, and additional recommendations for treatment within 2 business days after the offender's completion.  Due to our substance abuse clinicians being trained mental health providers as well as substance abuse providers, we often identify co-occurring disorders and will recommend mental health counseling in addition to any possible additional substance abuse treatment if needed.

Our programs are the most inexpensive treatment options available in the counties in which we provide services.  The cost is generally paid for by the offender which often increases the offender's motivation and accountability.

Our 8 hour Drug & Alcohol Treatment Education Program can be utilized as an alternative to traditional short-term individual counseling.  A major benefit of group therapy compared to traditional individual counseling is that it allows the offender the opportunity for social comparison within their peer group vs. receiving feedback from a therapist/instructor only.  Additionally, offenders will have a higher completion rate in an intensive 1 day program vs. traditional outpatient programs due to being able to receive the same amount of hours of treatment in one day vs. spread out over 8-10 weeks.  

The majority of court ordered offenders exhibit limited motivation to change their substance use or criminal behavior long-term initially.  Our programs focus on increasing that motivation for change by providing education, cognitive therapy, motivational interviewing, promoting self-evaluation for personal growth, and allowing offenders to objectively assess the impact the criminal behavior and use of alcohol & drugs has had on their life & those around them.  Our substance abuse programs are steeped heavily in cognitive behavioral therapy and the stages of change model.  Once an offender is motivated for long-term change regarding their substance use - they are more willing to voluntarily seek out A.A./N.A. and additional counseling if needed.  Our economic crime program is primarily steeped in reality & cognitive therapy.