Continuum of Care: Early Recovery & Relapse Prevention

continuum of care on beach Up North

Continuum of care is a cohesive system of care that guides and tracks Sanford clients through all levels of treatment intensity. At Sanford, we recognize the importance of a long-term continuum of treatment programs, classes and resources. The therapeutic alliance between client and counselor is vital. And our clients respond best to treatment when they form community alliances and involve loved ones in their recovery.


Our clients also benefit from “tune-ups” to their recovery in the form of  Early Recovery, Relapse Prevention and Mindfulness groups. And for those contemplating making positive changes to their lives, an outpatient class may provide a well needed education on addiction. It may even be the catalyst to residential treatment or an intensive outpatient program for those who have been resistant to getting help. And the loved ones of our clients benefit from Sanford’s Family Program, where they learn about substance use disorders and co-addiction.


All of our Outpatient Programs and Support Groups are available in virtual platforms.


Continuum of Care

In response to the need for resources in addition to our Residential (RTC) and Intensive Outpatient Programs, (IOP) we are always thinking of how to best serve Sanford clients. And the following classes are some of those available at Sanford Outpatient Center. All of our classes are facilitated by master’s level counselors.


Relapse Prevention

Relapse Prevention is a 12-session group focusing on building and expanding skills learned in the RTC and IOP levels of care. In this group, evidence-based practices will help you discuss, learn and expand your understanding of addiction support groups. Groups include: surrendering fear; cognitive distortion; handling emotions; refusal skills and other topics. In addition, Relapse Prevention Group offers skill building and psycho-education. All while improving your support community and recovery capital.

Ellen M. Sork, LLMSW


continuum of care relapse prevention


Early Recovery

Early Recovery is a 12-session group for those who plan to build and expand on their coping skills. It is also designed to strengthen your relapse prevention plan. And it works to further implement the knowledge you have gained during treatment (and in your daily life). This group uses evidence-based practices to elaborate on communication, anger, stress and coping with negative or triggering emotions. Early Recovery Group will help you integrate these skills into everyday routines.

Ellen M. Sork, LLMSW


continuum of care early recovery clases


Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness is engaging in the present moment while actively centering the mind, body, and breath. This practice involves building skills to work on emotional self-regulation, stress resilience, and self-compassion. The Mindfulness group will have check-in, meditations, grounding activities, and fruitful discussion. The group will also address ways to handle triggers and cravings. While using mindfulness-based sobriety techniques such as urge surfing and recognizing the impermanence of negative emotions.  No prior experience with mindfulness practices is necessary to join. And all are welcome to attend and explore how mindfulness can positively impact their sobriety! 

Ali S. Kitchen, MSW


continuum of care mindfulness





Sanford Behavioral Health is an addiction and co-occurring disorders, eating disorders and mental health treatment center. Sanford provides residential and outpatient programs in the Greater Grand Rapids, Michigan area. Sanford offers excellence in evidence-based practice models in home-like, restorative settings. Our clinicians, supported by our medical team, focus on resolving the underlying issues that often cause behavioral health conditions, such as trauma, anxiety, unhealthy relationships, and isolation. Programs include both in-person and telehealth: residential, day programs, intensive outpatient, outpatient, medication-assisted treatment (MAT), education and relapse prevention classes, one-on-one and family therapy, and alumni and family support groups. At Sanford, we want to inspire you to find your inner grit, rekindle your interests and engage your passion.