TCC Recovery

We’re growing! Meet some of the newly hired team members at The Counseling Center.

To keep up with the increased needs of our clients, The Counseling Center is pleased to announce recent hirings in addition to recognizing a few promotions. Please join us in both congratulations and best wishes as our employees step into their new roles.

Not Pictured:

Joey Adam, Transportation for Hughes Re-Entry Center
Cherry Briggs
Jayne Fisher, Billing & Collections, Admin
Sheila Horsley, Billing & Collections, Admin
Carolyn Piquet, Billing & Collections, Admin
Davis Palumbo, Resident Support Services
Emily Purcell, Emergency Support Staff at the Crisis Center
Lauren Ferguson, Billing & Collections, Admin
Katie Trapp, Coordinator for Events & Marketing

To see more of our leadership team visit us at


The Counseling Center’s Tuition Reimbursement Program 2018 Recipients

We are pleased to announce the newest participants in The Counseling Center’s Tuition Reimbursement Program!  These individuals were selected by a committee based on their application, personal statement, and an interview.



BI7A0091 CompassCourtney Bartley, RN

Courtney is a Registered Nurse and has worked in the field of addiction treatment for eight years.  She was a member of the TCC/CCH team from 2010-2017, serving in the roles of Counselor and Registered Nurse.  Courtney returned to TCC in February 2018 as the Director of Foundations.  She is enrolled in the Kentucky Christian University Master of Science in Nursing program and will become eligible for an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (Nurse Practitioner) licensure.

received_592097257871712 Amber Hedge

Amber joined TCC in February 2018 as an Emergency Services Specialist.  She is a QMHS and is currently working towards her LCDC III.  She is enrolled in the Ohio University Master of Social Work program and will become eligible for a Licensed Independent Social Work licensure.


The clients of TCC are fortunate to have both Courtney and Amber serving them.  Please join us in congratulating them both!

The Counseling Center’s Re-Entry Program Continues to Promote Vocational Training

Franklin Furnace, OH- In a continued effort to provide those in the re-entry program an opportunity for training and education, the Hughes Re-Entry Center has achieved accreditation to be a certified training center through The National Center for Construction Education and Research.

In July of this year, the Hughes Re-Entry Center saw ten clients graduate from Mountwest Maritime Academy’s Deckhand program, we’re pleased to report that within weeks of that graduation, three clients were able to receive jobs and have gone to return to the workforce.  Since seeing that success, they have had seven more graduate, with one more hired, and are happy to announce that starting in November, those Deckhand classes will be offered on-site to better serve the clients’ day to day needs or transportation requirements.

Along with the Deckhand program, the Re-Entry Center offers GED classes and testing, a required step in the overall program as a step to prepare the clients for their eventual re-entry to the community. One client stated, “We learn things like emotional management in groups but I really like taking the GED class. I’ve got a lot more confidence taking the practice test here than I would have ever had before. I feel comfortable in my ability with these classes.” Nick Ferrara, Administrative Director of Recruitment, Re-Entry and Admissions, said that this was a proud partnership through the Scioto County ESC- ABLE program.


A client looks over his work in the GED class.

Although there are many possibilities for additional vocational programming, there is a current class underway learning about the plumbing trade, led by Mike Basham, an instructor at the Scioto County Career Technical Center. Mike shared that this class was a starting class and that upon completion, graduates could go on for continued formal training or apprenticeships. “it’s fun,” said a client. “We get hands-on learning experience and personally, it’s already had practical application.” He went on to share that his mother had some plumbing issues and because of what he had learned in class he felt comfortable in tackling the home repair himself. According to Basham, the class is a standard level one plumbing class that requires both education and lab components but will, as stated above, prepare clients to be hire ready.

A client in the process of installing a drain during the Plumbing Lab.

At The Counseling Center, our mission is to improve the lives of our clients and our community.  We work to heal their mind and body, to inspire and to provide excellent service in alcohol and drug addiction treatment, primary health care, recovery support, case management, behavioral health, vocational development and to be a resource to all members of the community for outreach, prevention, education, and advocacy.


For more information about The Counseling Center or the Hughes Re-Entry Center Program please contact Nick Ferrara, Administrative Director of Recruitment, Re-Entry and Admissions; and Sean Davis, Hughes Re-Entry Center Program Director, at 740-352-0008; or Greg Gulker, Director of Business Development at 740-351-2706.

The Counseling Center Recognizes Deckhand Program Graduates

Portsmouth, OH – On Friday, July 27th, employees of the Hughes Re-Entry Center, a program of The Counseling Center, traveled to the Mountwest Maritime Academy in Huntington, West Virginia to celebrate the graduation of clients who had completed the Deckhand Education Program.


Two weeks ago, ten clients began the Maritime Deckhand program and all ten completed the education, passed the course requirements, and received their certifications.

As part of the ceremony, Captain James D. Burcham, a who has twenty-four years of maritime experience, lead the class and those attending the graduation to the training yard where he had the class participants show off the techniques and training they had received. Captain Burcham expressed how pleased he was with their progress and how proud he was that they had all been able to complete the program and graduate together, further going on to explain what their possible career routes may look like.

In attendance was Nick Ferrera, Hughes Re-Entry Center Operations Director, and Sean Davis, Hughes Re-Entry Center Program Director, who also expressed their excitement as to what this success means for the program.

“We’re really pleased with what our clients have been able to accomplish,” Ferrera stated, “it really puts us ahead as far as what we can offer those going through this particular service… We’re also excited because we’ll be starting a Plumbing Training course soon, but returning to the Mountwest Maritime Academy will also be an option for those in the Hughes Re-Entry Program.”

Nick Ferrara also pointed out that all ten of the successful clients were referred to the Hughes Re-Entry Center by STAR Community Justice Center, Scioto County Common Pleas Court, Portsmouth Municipal Court, and Ironton Municipal Court.

At The Counseling Center, our mission is to improve the lives of our clients and our community.  We work to heal their mind and body, to inspire and to provide excellent service in alcohol and drug addiction treatment, primary healthcare, recovery support, case management, behavioral health, vocational development and to be a resource to all members of the community for outreach, prevention, education, and advocacy.

For more information about The Counseling Center or the Hughes Re-Entry Center Program please contact Nick Ferrera, Hughes Re-Entry Center Operations Director; and Sean Davis, Hughes Re-Entry Center Program Director, at 740-352-0008; or Greg Gulker, Director of Business Development at 740-351-2706.

The Counseling Center announces opening of Hughes Re-Entry Center

photo of the Hughes Re-Entry Center info table at the ODRC ReEntry Fair, July 12, 2017
The Counseling Center’s (TCC) Hughes Re-Entry Center attended the ODRC Re-Entry Fair on July 12, 2017 at the Scioto County Welcome Center. Pictured left to right, TCC Board Member Brady Womack, Hughes Re-Entry Center Clinical Director Sean Davis and Matt Stuntebeck with the Scioto unit of the Ohio Adult Parole Authority.
ODRC ReEntry Resource Fair 2
Pictured in this photo are The Counseling Center’s Director of Re-Entry Services Nick Ferrara and Matt Stuntebeck.

Located in Scioto County, Ohio, The Counseling Center announces the next step to provide addiction treatment services to serve justice system clients from Scioto and Lawrence counties with the creation of The Hughes Re-Entry Center, located at 4578 Gallia Pike in Franklin Furnace, Ohio. The Center is preparing to serve males who have recently completed court-ordered time with the Star Community Justice program for drug-related and other offenses occurring due to their addiction.

Working alongside community partners including the courts of Scioto and Lawrence counties, Scioto County Career and Technical Center, STAR Community Justice, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections Bureau of Community Sanctions, and Scioto County Commissioners, The Hughes Re-Entry Center will offer alcohol and addiction outpatient and residential services to client referrals from the court-system and STAR Community Justice Center.

The new program will be headed up by Nick Ferrara, Operations Director for The Counseling Center’s Re-Entry Services, and Sean Davis, Clinical Program Director for Re-Entry Services.  Both men have extensive experience working with this population and have devoted many years of service to the legal and recovery communities, and their insight has guided the collaboration from the beginning.

Director Nick Ferrara said, “Our goal for The Hughes Re-Entry Center is to provide our clients, who are former offenders, with addiction services along with technical job training. When they complete our program, they will have legitimate certifications for job skills to help them find a good job.  We can only offer this because of an innovative partnership with the team from Scioto County Career and Technical Center, who are committed to offering a hand up to this population.”

Mr. Ferrara says the program is focused on outcomes. He said, “We know this will make a difference in repeat offenders and breaking the cycle. In the past, when someone with a drug-related offense was released back into the community with the same lack of job skills, the outcome was the same. We hope this program, which combines treatment with training, will help clients take advantage of new opportunities to provide for their families and their future. They will be using their recovery from addiction and job training to improve their situation and be contributing back to their communities,” said Nick Ferrara.

The court system candidates who come to The Hughes Re-Entry Center will be non violent offenders who have been convicted of a drug-related crime identified to need Alcohol & Other Drug (AOD) stabilization, before they come back into the community.

Sean Davis explains, “Early recovery is not easy. There are many barriers that our folks face that so often lead to eventual relapse, employment is one of those. During the early talks of this program when the component of vocational/job skills training beige meshed with continued substance abuse treatment was mentioned, I was immediately on board. Giving our clients tools that assist them to become productive in their recovery is so important. I’m excited about this opportunity to partner with these other community resources.” Sean is the Clinical Program Director for the re-entry center, and has worked with Crisis Service at The Counseling Center for six years.

The Hughes Re-Entry Center is named for long-time Executive Director of The Counseling Center, Ed Hughes, who was influential in helping thousands on their personal recovery journeys through his work with The Counseling Center from 1983 – until he retired in December 2016.

Andy Albrecht, CEO of The Counseling Center said, “We are very excited to get started on this new program for our community. The initiative is another crucial puzzle piece to help individuals in the criminal justice system find a pathway to lasting recovery. It is an opportunity to be part of the solution and provide much needed services to a vulnerable population, and we are blessed to be in the position to help and strengthen southern Ohio with this collaboration. Helping people recover is what our organization is all about.”

Read more about the center from a recent news articles by the Portsmouth Daily Times.


A Tale of Fitness From the 2017 Natural High 5k & Fitness Festival


A picture of the awards ceremony from the Natural High 5K, Matt Cline (far right) wrote the following as his personal journey to that moment.

If you would have told me 2 years ago while volunteering for the Natural High 5K, that I would be running in it this year, I would have never believed you.  So… how did I get here?

It all started January 2016.  At this point in my life, I was extremely unhealthy tipping the scales at nearly 400 pounds.  I had more health issues than I let anyone know.  I was having frequent chest pains, circulatory issues, shortness of breath, high blood pressure, blood sugar issues.  I knew that if I didn’t change my life, there would be no life.

In January 2016, I set out to change my life by simply beginning to pray for strength to regain a healthy lifestyle.  I came across Romans 12:2 – “Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”  That scripture became the foundation of everything that I have done over the last 18 months.  I began to understand that it just wasn’t a mouth problem that I had, it was a mental problem.  I began to see that I wasn’t feeding my mind correctly, and my mouth was just following my mind.  I self-medicated myself with food.  Food is how I dealt with stress, anxiety, anger, and depression.  Not only was I neglecting my physical health, I was also neglecting my mental health as well.


The first step that I began to do was to start keeping a log of everything that was going into my mouth.  It didn’t matter what it was, if it hit my mouth, I wrote it down.  I began to record the calories of everything that I was taking in.  I was in total shock when I began to realize how many calories I was taking in each day.  My daily average was right around 6000, with some days taking in 8600 calories.  I recorded for 90 days. During this time, I didn’t try to get on some crazy diet or try to starve myself.  I simply became conscious of my intake.  By making myself conscious, I slowly began cutting down on my portions.  By the time that I hit that 90-day mark, I was already 30 pounds down.  Again, at this point, I didn’t hit the gym or get on some super strict diet.  I just simply woke myself up to the reality of the unhealthy lifestyle that I was currently living.  Those first 90 days were so crucial to my success today.  I still am extremely conscious of what I eat.  I don’t physically write it down anymore; however, I can probably tell you what I have had for every meal through the entire month of June.

I didn’t begin to exercise until the end of March. March 28th to be exact.  This is when I took my first walk, which was about a tenth of a mile, and I was worn out!  My sugar was dropping, my legs felt funny.  I remember praying, “God, help me to get back to my car.”  Even though it wasn’t easy at first, I kept at it, and gradually built up stamina to walk a little further each week.  Walking became my outlet.  It was how I worked through the stress of each day.  I simply walked it out.  By mid-summer, I was up to over 5 miles that I could walk.  I was also consistently losing 10 pounds a month.  Along with physical exercise, I also began to exercise my brain as well.  I started inventorying what kind of things I allowed to go into my mind and began to cut out idleness and work on learning something new each week by reading.  I learned that if I feed my mind correctly, my mouth will follow.

August 28th, 2016, I began to run.  Starting out, I only ran a couple days a week.  I would slowly add a little distance every couple of weeks.  Running became something that I really enjoyed.  In January, I set a “5K by May” goal.  I completed that goal 2 months early by running in the St. Patrick’s Day 5K in March.  I finished that race in 34:32.  Since I completed that goal early, I then set a goal to run the Natural High 5K in June and to finish that race in 30 minutes or less.  The first time that I went out and ran that course, it took me a little over 38 minutes.  I had my work cut out for me if I was going to complete that goal.

For training, I ran the course about 5 or 6 times leading up to the 5K.  My best time was 34:30.  4 and a half minutes over the goal that I set.  I told myself race day, that I was just going to do the best I can, and leave it all on the course, and that is exactly what I did.  I knew my pace was good when I started off.  My feet were soaked by the time I reached the quarter mile mark.  I felt like a kid playing in the mud, and it was fun!  During the run, I began to think of how far I have come in just a year and a half.  I had a lot of emotion that I was running with.  I knew I had a decent pace, and felt like I was going to beat my 34:30 time, but I had no idea by how much.  As I hit the last straight stretch, I could see the clock at the start finish line.  I couldn’t tell if it said 28 or 38 at that point.  As I got closer, it became more clear as the clock just turned to 29 minutes.  I crossed the finish line in 29:23.  It was an extremely emotional moment.  I actually went to the score table to make sure that the time was correct.  Receiving a medal for being the second fastest in my age group wasn’t necessarily a goal, but it was a nice perk.  Finding out that I finished 10th place overall, and was the oldest person in the top 10 was a pretty nice perk too.Matt Cline B&A

I completed the goal that I had set.  I don’t know if you can find anyone more grateful for health and life than I am.  I feel like I have a whole new life. I am able to do things that I have never done before.  I work daily to keep myself healthy spiritually, mentally, and physically.  Don’t allow life to pass you by due to an unhealthy lifestyle.  A healthy life is the greatest gift you can give yourself.

Goals are worth setting, and dreams are worth dreaming.

Matt  Cline
Director of Recovery Support Services
The Counseling Center,  Inc

A word from the Natural High 5K & Fitness Festival Chairperson, Melissa Whitt:

The 9th Annual Natural High 5k and Fitness Festival took place on Saturday, June 24th at Earl Thomas Conley Riverside Park.  This year’s event saw 52 runners compete in the 5k run/walk, with Reece Brown winning the overall male runner and Briana Tudor winning overall female runner.  Fitness Festival activities this year included Iron Body Fitness Boot Camp, SOMC Cardio Drumming, and Yoga by the River with Melissa Davis.

The Natural High is a fundraiser for the Summer Outreach Club, a summer day camp for area kids ages 5-12.  This year’s event raised $4,300.72, with 11 sponsors, 41 volunteers, and 10 in-kind community sponsors.  The Natural High committee members and Community Relations and Development staff would like to thank all the sponsors, participants, and volunteers for all their support and making this year a huge success.

To read more about the Natural High 5K & Fitness Festival check out the following articles from the Portsmouth Daily Times:
TCC to Hold Fitness Festival
Fitness Festival Recap

The full list of times and winners can be found at Tri-State Racer. 

The Counseling Center at Ohio’s 2017 Opiate Conference

June 21, 2017


Scioto County, Ohio- Employees and the President of the Board of Directors at The Counseling Center, Inc. (TCC) attended Ohio’s 2017 Opiate Conference on June 12th and 13th, 2017. The Ohio 2017 Opiate Conference is an opportunity for treatment providers, law enforcement, and other concerned individuals to provide and gain information on the industry trends and best practices. Two employees of The Counseling Center were invited to present information on treatment practices utilized at TCC.

MIrwin Presentation.jpgMary Irwin, Senior Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer, presented Stepping Stones: Working with Pregnant Moms as well as Their Children. Specifically, on how the formation of a maternity work group has allowed for notable outcomes regarding pregnant women who are in addiction treatment, the impact of coordination of care and occupational therapy for children in services, as well as identifying how TCC clients make an impact in the community and how the community impacts TCC clients.

RLooney PresentationRobin Looney, Director of Day One Admission Center and Family Services, presented on progressive efforts to revitalize TCC’s admissions and orientation process. With the input of Performance Improvement committee meetings and feedback from clients, changes were made to more efficiently serve new clients. Within a welcoming environment, the Day One Admission Center works to increase access and respond urgently to clients presenting for care. Looney stated that she hopes audience members left with new ideas about changes in process, staffing, and a physical plan which could enable providers to improve services.

Ohio’s 2017 Opiate Conference was also a platform for showing the importance of Medicaid Expansion. Andy Albrecht, Chief Executive Officer for The Counseling Center, spoke at a press conference held during the event. Albrecht spoke about key outcomes that directly relate to Medicaid Expansion as demonstrated at TCC such as, the creation of 67 full time jobs, 2.3 million dollars added to payroll, 1100 men obtaining treatment services, 400 men diverted from regional county jails, as well as the development of integrated services for physical and behavioral health. He noted, “Medicaid expansion has been the single biggest thing that has happened to our agency and local communities to help individuals in need of addiction treatment.”

During the last group session of the conference, the hashtag campaign #WhatHappensTomorrow rolled out as a way to reach out to legislators around the state and share stories of how Medicaid Expansion is beneficial to the field of behavioral health.

About The Counseling Center

Since 1984, The Counseling Center Inc. has served the southeastern Ohio region as a behavioral health, alcohol and addiction treatment facility. Currently, The Counseling Center serves approximately 200 clients annually, employs 264 people and operates locations in both Adams County and Scioto County. Programs of The Counseling Center include the Stepping Stone program for addicted mothers and expectant mothers, the Marsh House for Men, the Second Chance Center, St. Lucy’s program for Women, The Loved Ones Group for families of addicted loved ones, youth prevention services, a job training program called Clean Hire, primary health care and recovery housing through affiliated agencies, and other supportive services. Online at

For follow up or additional comment, please contact:

Andy Albrecht, CEO The Counseling Center,, office phone (740) 353-6685 ext. 8000

Gina Collinsworth, Chief Public Relations Officer The Counseling Center,, office phone: (740) 351-2706