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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 and 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 in Big Rapids and Gaylord.  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 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).     

Overview of  programs

We offer 6 and 8 hour group treatment and education programs.  Our 6 & 8 hour programs are conviently offered on Saturdays so attending generally does not conflict with work or school for our clients.  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 if requested on each client 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 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 client  the opportunity for social comparison within their peer group vs. receiving feedback from a therapist/instructor only.  Additionally, clients 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 clients 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 clients 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 a client 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.


A.H.S.E. (Alcohol Highway Safety Education) & Alcohol Awareness Program

A.H.S.E. is half day alcohol educational program designed for first offense drunk driving offenders, alcohol related offenses and offenders 18-20 years of age that have been convicted of M.I.P. (Minor in Possession) but do not meet the criteria for needing a more intense alcohol treatment program.  M.I.P. offenders benefit from being a program with some older offenders that have received M.I.P.'s when they were younger and have received additional alcohol offenses such as drinking & driving arrests.

A.H.S.E. Program Components

D.A.T.E. (Drug & Alcohol Treatment/Education) Programs

The D.A.T.E. program is designed for individuals that have had legal problems as a result of their alcohol and or drug use. Most of our referrals are for DUI 1, DUI 2, drug possession & use. Additionally, offenders are also referred for jail diversion or probation violations involving alcohol or drug use.

8 Hour (1 Day) D.A.T.E. Program Components