About A Forever Recovery
Our treatment center has provided an environment for recovery from addiction that is unique. Bringing together many different types of counselors, we hope to guide our clients into finding the recovery base that is best for them.
At A Forever Recovery, we have brought together a team of trained, licensed professionals or certified recovering members of many different modalities that also have a background in the addictions field.
Feel free to call us toll-free and speak with a certified counselor if you have any questions about our unique approach to recovery through our A Forever Recovery program.
Speak confidentially with a recovery advisor.
Pamela Anderson, MBA, MRT
Pamela Anderson’s career has been devoted to helping others. For 17 years she worked for a national health and human services foundation and learned that helping others gave me a genuine feeling of accomplishment. Although she is not in recovery myself, her brother suffered from an addiction to cocaine and alcohol for many years. He is one of the fortunate who is now in long-term recovery.
Pamela believes that addiction can be eradicated and this belief led her to turn her career focus to substance abuse and addiction. She attended the University of Detroit where she received a BS and an MBA. Pamela has this to say about A Forever Recovery:
Recovery allows an addict to shine and be the beautiful person that has been hidden during active addiction. At A Forever Recovery, we utilize Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT) which is an evidenced-based cognitive behavior peer recovery program that develops a person’s moral compass. Individual counseling along with group therapy allows our clients to become productive, contributing members of society.”
We encourage our staff to work on professional development, and we strive to have a dedicated and educated staff delivering our program. Our program brings together professionals from several recovery support modalities of treatment, Holistic, Faith-Based, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Self-Help Groups and Indigenous. Our goal is to find the right form of recovery that works for the client. We focus on the recovery of the Body, Mind, and Spirit collectively. We are here to help save lives!”
Brooke Shepherd is the Deputy Executive Director at AFR, and she loves to help people help themselves. Since 2008, Brooke has found peace, joy, and gratitude here at A Forever Recovery by helping others. She started her journey as a Withdraw Specialist where she was able to assist patients in being comfortable and getting through what is often the hardest part of recovery. After a couple of years, Brooke became the Withdraw Administrator and was able to continue helping patients as well as helping staff to learn and succeed in the department.
Later, Brooke moved on from the withdraw area and became a Behavioral Interventionist and worked closely with all clinical staff to intervene whenever needed to ensure that patients’ continued progressing in the program. This journey then brought her to her current position.
Addiction has torn through Brooke’s family, and although it is too late for some of her loved ones, she is grateful for the opportunity to help someone else’s loved one. Brooke has continued her education in Health and Wellness along with being certified in Moral Reconation Therapy and studying to become a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor.
Marie T. Hartman, BA, CADC
Meet Marie T. Hartman, Counselor. She has a BA in English from Michigan State University, over fifteen years of experience facilitating Transformation Prayer, and has been a Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor since February of 2013. As a counselor here at A Forever Recovery, Marie facilitates Transformation Prayer and Celebrate Recovery. She believes the Lord brought her to AFR in June of 2009.
Marie loves “healing the broken-hearted,” helping others to find themselves again and let go of baggage from their past. She has her own recovery from an eating addiction/disorder and secondary addiction to alcohol use. Through the use of Transformation Prayer, Marie believes God set her free from lies that she had internalized throughout life and now she loves assisting the Lord in doing the same for others.
Amanda Smith, RN, DON
Amanda Smith, Director of Nursing, obtained her degree in nursing at Baker College in Owosso, MI in 2007. She is passionate about the medical field and helping others. Amanda became interested in working with addiction after seeing firsthand how addictions can not only affect the person but families as well.
Amanda is dedicated to helping others lead a clean and sober lifestyle. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and being on the lake. Amanda is grateful for this amazing opportunity to live her dreams and passions.
Arlene Donnelly, Counselor
Arlene Donnelly is a counselor at A Forever Recovery. She has a Masters of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, is a Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor, and is Moral Reconation Therapy certified as well as SMART Recovery certified. Arlene is married to the love of her life, and they have six children, ages 20, 18, 16, 7, 6 and 5.
Arlene has done a lot of volunteering throughout her older children’s education. In doing this, she found her passion in helping others achieve their goals. Here at A Forever Recovery, she is engaged in the initial assessment process conducted upon patients’ arrival at the withdrawal facility. She also provides individual counseling services and facilitates groups. She also enjoys being one of the first people that our clients meet as they begin their stay with us. In doing this, she has a unique opportunity to see each and every one of our client’s grow and change throughout their stay.
Though Arlene has never struggled with addiction herself, she has been the support system for some of her loved ones through their addiction. This role and her own life experiences have given Arlene an insight into the addiction process. With this knowledge, she discovered the desire to help others find the path to sobriety.
Deborah Thompson, BA, MRT
Deborah Thompson is from the small town of Athens where she and her husband are raising their daughter. Deborah studied at Olivet College, where she graduated with a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in criminal justice. At AFR, is a case manager and a group facilitator. Deborah facilitates our Life Skills group, where she helps patients learn how to identify and implement effective resolutions to personal obstacles in recovery. This helps to increase self-esteem, self-worth, and confidence. In this group, she also informs clients about the value and benefit of becoming more self-sufficient.
In addition, Deborah is certified in MRT to facilitate our core program. As a case manager she is responsible for helping our clients progress through the program. She makes weekly support contacts to family and friends and builds a relationship with each individual so that she can give them the best care possible. Deborah has a passion for helping people and takes pride in seeing people better themselves and see their transformation.
Holly Gray, Counselor
Holly Gray is a detox, residential group, and individual counselor at A Forever Recovery. She has a Master’s of Social Work from Western Michigan University and Bachelor of Science degrees in both Psychology and Sociology from Grand Valley State University. Holly married her best friend in 2012 and they have supported each other in their chosen professions.
Holly began working at A Forever Recovery on November 1, 2017. She is experienced in counseling all ages of individuals from children to adults. She previously counseled in a home-based substance abuse program and counseled families regarding drug use, trauma, and behavioral interventions. Holly is working toward a CAADC to continue providing the best services possible for our clients and to further her substance use counseling knowledge.
Holly started counseling at AFR because she and her husband experienced the loss of a close friend due to a car accident where the driver was under the influence. It helped Holly realize that she wanted to do a job that she loved and one that was making a positive difference. She wants to help make a positive change with the people who choose to come to A Forever Recovery because she believes everyone can change and have control of their lives. Holly hopes to continue professional development and walk with patients on their journey of recovery.
James Donnelly, Case Manager
James Donnelly is a Case Manager here at A Forever Recovery. He was born in Detroit, Michigan, and was raised in the foster care system. James has a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services from Baker College. He previously worked helping people with disabilities gain employment and worked for the state of Michigan as an investigator for Children’s Protective Services. James is also a veteran of the United States Army.
James has dealt with his own addiction to alcohol and has been clean and sober now for over 10 years. Through his own struggles with addiction, James gained empathy for those who struggle with addiction. While working towards sobriety is a tough road, he looks forward to helping people achieve their sobriety and gain control of their life again.
Jessica McNutt, Client Services
Jessica McNutt was given the opportunity to join the A Forever Recovery team as a receptionist when she was 18 years old. Shortly after joining in October 2010, she witnessed our clients coming into the facility, and the families who brought them. Seeing these clients graduate, and seeing the families, the light in their eyes, the hope for their future in recovery, made Jessica eager to contribute more.
In April 2011, Jessica was promoted and worked as the Executive Assistant to the Executive Director for seven years. She recently accepted the position as Client Services working as the Recipient Rights advocate for our clientele.
Working with the substance abuse population as they developed the tools to move on to a life living in recovery has been instrumental to Jessica’s professional and personal growth.
Jessica is grateful to have had the opportunity and she found great success in helping others.
Tracy Laing, MA, LPC, CAADC
Tracy Laing is a Master’s level Licensed Professional Counselor and a Michigan Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor. She is also certified as a Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT) group facilitator.
Tracy has over 20 years of experience working within the mental health and criminal justice fields. She has received training in a variety of evidence-based therapeutic techniques including but not limited to, Motivational Interviewing, Family systems, and attachment techniques, along with a variety of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) techniques. Prior to moving into the addictions field, she was a Family Self-Sufficiency Program Manager with the State of Michigan as well as a Day Reporting Program Manager with the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Department.
Her areas of work and interests include self-esteem, trauma (including domestic violence and sexual abuse), depression, anxiety, addictions, stress and coping, eating disorders, self-harm, grief and loss, and anger management.
Charles J. Anderson, MA, LLPC, MRT
Charles was born and raised in Dearborn, Michigan. He decided to join the team at A Forever Recovery in 2009 starting as a case manager, and since has worked as a lead case manager, group facilitator, program director and Director of A Forever Recovery North-Detox. Charles was a collegiate student-athlete at Henry Ford Community College and the University of Detroit prior to being drafted and play professional baseball within the Toronto Blue Jays organization.
Charles is a husband and the father of three children currently residing in Battle Creek, Michigan. When asked about why he likes to work at A Forever Recovery, Charles shared, “I really appreciate the daily challenges that I need to conquer. Trying to instill behavior modification does not always go as planned.” Charles has a passion to help people in need and loves to see people implement structure and direction in their lives. Charles holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Detroit and a Master’s degree in counseling from Spring Arbor University. Charles is a Limited Licensed professional counselor who is a certified drug and alcohol counselor and certified in Moral Reconation Therapy.
Todd Korteway is an accredited Journey practitioner and Leadership coach. He completed his Journey training in August of 2008 and Conscious/Visionary Coaching spring of 2009. Both Journeywork and Visionary Leadership Coaching has given Todd a life-changing experience and it allows him to live in consciousness and to speak truth from his direct experiences. Todd’s goal is to use all of his training and teachings to help people experience their full potential and to live life in a place of consciousness and truth. He also gained his Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) on June 17th, 2014 and completed Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT) certification January 14th, 2016.
Todd began his journey at A Forever Recovery in August of 2009. He facilitates Small Groups, Holistic Track, Didactic, and Journey Work. He is grateful that he gets to work with so many amazing people here at A Forever Recovery, both staff and clients. One thing Todd most enjoys is the opportunity to help people uncover who they really are and what emotionally drives their addiction through the use of Journey Work.
Todd has this to say about his work, “Journey is an elegant and powerfully-guided introspection of oneself. Allowing anyone to access their own body intelligence and wisdom gaining insight into what motivates you and more importantly what may be holding you back in life. Through this technique, you can gain direct access to root causes of long-standing emotional and physical behaviors or issues and make a conscious choice to release them once and for all.”
Taylor Russo, MRT, SAT-P
Taylor Russo currently holds the Aftercare Supervisor position at A Forever Recovery. She considers it an honor to work hands-on with the clients on a daily basis in developing their long-term recovery plan. Taylor knows firsthand how difficult it can be to maintain a fulfilling and lasting recovery.
Taylor spent many years of her life trapped in addiction and without purpose. On her journey, she attempted many different careers and studied multiple majors while attending college in Ohio. It was not until she found a home at A Forever Recovery that she solidified her identity and was then capable of developing long-term goals. She is currently under a developmental plan to obtain a CADC.
Taylor is also trained in SMART Recovery and Moral Reconation Therapy. She is diligently working on completing her Bachelor’s in Psychology. When asked about A Forever Recovery, Taylor said, “I am amazed at the opportunity and growth available at this facility. I admire the integrity of the program and am blessed to be part of a something that individualizes each client’s treatment.”
Stephanie Williams, BA, CADC, Counselor
After graduating college, Stephanie started a family and career in human services, and life appeared to be perfect. However, she began seeking her worth and value in dysfunctional relationships. Because of poor judgment and irresponsible behavior, she found herself in the destructive cycle of addiction. Stephanie says she owes gratitude to her family and friends who were there when the bottom fell out in her life. She now tries to be that supportive and understanding person for others. By practicing faith and working a recovery program, Stephanie hopes to demonstrate that the courage is within each of us to face our past, confront our pain, and build a life of recovery.
Recently, a client told Stephanie, “It’s like you’ve known me all my life.” Stephanie shared, “This humbled me and made me proud at the same time. I feel that I can understand and relate to the clients we serve because I’ve had to learn to overcome a difficult childhood, damaged relationships, and emotional pain that lead to addiction.”
It’s been said that Stephanie was born to help others. Since 2009, A Forever Recovery has allowed her the opportunity to do just that. She is thankful for the administration and staff who have encouraged personal and professional growth. Stephanie has grown from Sr. Case Manager and Moral Reconation Therapy group facilitator to Counselor. She is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor and will complete her Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health in 2018. After nearly nine years, Stephanie feels a part of the core foundation of A Forever Recovery and looks forward to continuing to help others make positive changes in their lives.
Ricky Melton, MRT, SAT-P
Ricky Melton is a Behavioral Interventionist and Group Facilitator at A Forever Recovery. He facilitates SMART Recovery, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Relapse Prevention, Moral Reconation Therapy and Music Therapy groups.
After nearly 15 years in active addiction, Ricky realized that he was ready for a change and sought out treatment. He has lived a successful, sober, and happy life ever since. Ricky now dedicates his life to helping those suffering from drug and alcohol addiction.
When asked about his role at AFR, Ricky shared, “I enjoy helping clients identify old behavior patterns to implement healthy change by creating a solid foundation to continue successfully in their future. I love what I do, inspiring those currently battling addiction by proving that no one is damaged beyond repair.”
Ricky is proud to be Certified in Moral Reconation Therapy and is a SMART Recovery group facilitator and Certified Substance Abuse Treatment Practitioner.
He is currently working towards becoming a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor, through the state of Michigan.
Rachel Rathjens, BA, MRT
Rachel Rathjens has been in recovery since November 5, 2016. Her journey began when she was 14 years old and began hanging out with the wrong crowd and experimenting with drugs and alcohol. Rachel says she is not a stranger to addiction, “ I grew up with an alcoholic mother, brother, and sister. I was always a good kid. I was a cheerleader in high school, a member of the National Honor Society, president of the BPA club and involved in any way I could be in high school.”
Rachel moved on from high school and went to Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. During her time in college, she continued to “party” and would drink and use drugs more days than not. She finished her college career with a Bachelor of Science in Communications and Information, but her substance abuse had become an everyday occurrence. She fell deep into addiction, and tried and failed many times to find sobriety. The hardest day of Rachel’s life was the day that she had to break down and tell her family that she needed help but this day was also the best thing she had ever done. Her family helped her get into treatment and she was able to find myself again.
Through treatment and getting the help she needed, Rachel decided she wanted to help others that have gone through the struggle of addiction. Rachel proudly states, “A Forever Recovery has granted me the amazing opportunity to help people who have experienced addiction and help me to give back. Through my own personal experience and my education, I am able to help to guide our clients through their program. I’m am truly blessed to work with our clients and be a part of their journey in recovery.”
Rachel is trained to facilitate the Moral Reconation Therapy program and currently facilitates our Nutrition group. She also works with clients as a case manager helping to guide them through their program and their treatment.
Scot Miller, MSW, MDIV, MA
Scot Miller combines life experience with academic excellence to develop therapeutic relationships with individuals and groups towards an outcome that promotes confidence, healthy risk-taking, and faith that recovery brings the kinds of results we have always thought to be impossible for people like us.
Scot incorporates music, film-clips, feminist studies, and postmodern philosophy into therapy in a manner that addicts find to be eye-opening and challenging. These components are remarkably easy to understand and apply to support changes in thinking and beliefs that are necessary for long-term recovery and self-discovery.
For those who want to explore faith, Miller is a recorded Quaker Minister and ordained with the Church of the Brethren.
Nicole Knaus is a Case Manager and Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT) facilitator here at A Forever Recovery. She has worked with the company since 2014 and has held multiple positions including Aftercare Specialist and Withdraw Specialist. She has a developmental plan with the state of Michigan to receive her CADC and will complete by 2018. Nicole currently has an Associate’s Degree in Science and is working on a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services. He long-term goals include completing her Masters Degree to become a substance abuse counselor and continuing to work in the field of recovery.
Nicole a former client of A Forever Recovery and holds this program near to her heart. MRT completely changed her perspective and gave her the tools necessary to maintain long-term sobriety. She had battled with opiate addiction for many years before making the decision to come to treatment, but, according to Nicole, this was the best decision she has ever made. Once here, she learned how to trust herself again and set goals to move forward in life. As a case manager she understands how important family involvement is and she strives to upkeep the high standards set when she was a client at AFR.
Nicole Howe MA, LLPC
Nicole Howe has a Masters in Counseling Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Chicago, IL. She is also trained in Moral Reconation Therapy.
Nicole is a licensed counselor with the state of Michigan. Her populations of interest include adults, families, and children dealing with substance abuse and/or mental illness.
As a substance abuse counselor, Nicole enjoys her work and looks forward to continuing to grow in the field.
Justin Rolin, CADC, MRT
Justin W. Rolin is a Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT) and recovery skills facilitator at A Forever Recovery. He was born and raised in Oklahoma where he began his battle with addiction at the age of fifteen. Justine spent 23 years in active addiction before deciding to try sobriety. He came to Battle Creek, Michigan on Easter Sunday of 2011 to begin, what he hoped to be, a new life.
Justin began treatment at A Forever Recovery and hasn’t looked back. Through MRT, individual counseling and the life skills classes, he relieved himself of baggage that he had carried around for years, learned to trust himself again, set personal goals, found his identity, and developed a plan to live a life of sobriety and happiness.
Since becoming sober 6 ½ years ago, Justin has become a Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor (CADC) registered with the Michigan Certification Board of Addiction Professionals. He is also one year away from completing his Bachelor of Social Work degree. When asked about his goals, Justin had this to say, “I choose to be part of the solution and utilize my extensive experience in this field to empower addicts to make different choices because I have seen the positive impact one person’s sobriety can have on their family, friends, and community.”
Joseph A. Guajardo, MA, LPC, CADC, CCS
Joseph Guajardo is the Clinical Director at A Forever Recovery. He is also a licensed counselor (LPC) in the State of Michigan, a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) through the Michigan Certification Board of Addiction Professionals (MCBAP), and also a Certified Clinical Supervisor (CCS).
Joseph shared his thoughts about his experiences at AFR, “I have been with A Forever Recovery since 2010, and am grateful for the privilege of helping and serving some of the most caring, talented, and inspiring people I have ever met in my life. The reality is, addiction does not discriminate. I am reminded of this each day (mothers, fathers, pastors, lawyers, doctors, teachers…). The good news: Addiction can be treated, and recovery is possible!”
More good news: A Forever Recovery, and the treatment staff (myself included) are going to do everything we can to help you (or your loved one), and make this treatment and recovery a success. If you are reading this, you or a loved one needs help getting clean and sober. I am going to make sure that you or your loved gets just that.”
“I am truly blessed to work here at A Forever Recovery, and look forward to the opportunities ahead, for all of us, together. Be strong and be well.”
Laurel Odell, BS, MRT
Laurel Odell has a BA in Psychology and has 17 years’ experience working in the field of substance abuse recovery. She is also MRT trained and certified in SMART Recovery.
Laurel says she enjoys this field of work because she finds it rewarding and important.
CARF accreditation demonstrates about A Forever Recovery and their quality, accountability, and commitment to the satisfaction of the persons served.
CARF International is an independent, nonprofit accreditor of health and human services providers in the areas of Aging Services, Behavioral Health, Child and Youth Services, Durable Medical Equipment, Employment and Community Services, Medical Rehabilitation, Opioid Treatment Programs, and Vision Rehabilitation Services. For more information on CARF, visit www.carf.org.