Who We Are
We are a unique collection of eccentric and effective professionals who pride ourselves on being real people. We offer the highest quality services to those motivated enough to seek help. People who choose to work with us are seeking real change.
We practice client centered counseling that increases a person’s skills, insight, and ability to manage their emotions. Our goal is always to empower our clients to create a better life for themselves and their loved ones.
Our motto is "We like stuff that works."
We are down to earth people who don’t judge and won’t tell you how to live your life. You tell us what you need; we’ll help you get it.
Jim LaPierre, LCSW, CCS
Janice Gillen, LMSW-CC
Jim is Higher Ground's Executive and Clinical Director. He holds a Masters Degree in Clinical Social Work, and has over twenty six years of combined experience as a dual diagnosis clinician, clinical supervisor, and crisis interventionist. Jim also writes a popular blog, Recovery Rocks, for the Bangor Daily News. Jim offers a dual diagnosis/recovery group every Tuesday.
Janice holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work and has worked in the Bangor area as a clinical psychotherapist for over 8 years. She works with adults, couples and children to treat a variety of behavioral, emotional, mental and addiction issues. She specializes in couples counseling, anxiety disorders, and mood disorders. Janice uses a tailored approach to therapy based on each client’s needs, often utilizing cognitive behavioral methods and psychodynamic approaches. She believes in self-empowerment and is here to help you reach your goals.
Jennifer Spain, LCSW
Jen is a licensed clinical social worker and has 11 years of experiences working with co-occurring disorders and trauma recovery. She works with adolescents and adults and specializes in anxiety disorders, depression, mood disorders, relational issues and substance use. Jen is committed to providing empowering and strength-based therapy to help clients reach their unique goals, healing and personal growth. She utilizes therapeutic interventions based on client needs to include cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy and motivational interviewing.
Haley Beem, LADC
Chelsea Mucciarone, LCSW
Kim Hammill, LMSW-C
Haley holds a bachelor’s degree in Mental Health and Human Services from the University of Maine at Augusta. She brings with her an extensive knowledge of the recovery process and social service systems, as well as being DEEP certified. Haley is currently a graduate student in the Clinical Counseling program at Husson College.
Chelsea holds a Masters Degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Maine. She works with both children and adults. She enjoys utilizing client-centered techniques that take from cognitive-behavioral, solution-focused, and attachment therapies. She works with clients from an empathic perspective and seeks to build meaningful therapeutic relationships in order to assist in the processes of change and growth.
Kimberly is a clinical social worker who practices with adults, families, couples, adolescents and children. Kimberly works with children as young as 5 and supports individuals experiencing co-occurring disorders, anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, bipolar and other mood disorders, executive functioning disorders, personality disorders, trauma recovery and substance use recovery. Kimberly uses a customized approach to therapy based on each client’s needs, utilizing evidenced based practices of narrative therapy, trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational conversations and psychodynamic approaches. Kimberly is committed to meeting clients where they are at, acknowledging and supporting needs, and empowering healing.
Michael Gingras LCPC-c
Dan Robbins, LCSW
Carmine Leighton, LCPC-C
Michael holds a Master’s degree in clinical counseling from the University of Maine and has been working in the Bangor area as a therapist for the past 2 years. Michael works with a wide range of client populations with a clinical focus on children/adolescents. Michael is trauma informed and incorporates an eclectic mix of interventions to therapy including: Play therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Solution Focused Therapy. Michael is always adding to his collection of therapy materials including a growing collection of toys, stuffed animals and psychoeducational children’s books. Michael is an avid gamer and believes wholeheartedly in ones personal development through games and problem solving activities.
Dan holds a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Maine and has been working in the Bangor area as a therapist for over five years. He utilizes cognitive-behavioral and solution-focused methods in his work with individuals across the life span. He has particular specialties in working with people with anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and Autism. Dan holds the belief that building and maintaining supportive relationships is a cornerstone of a healthy life.
Carmine is a mental health counselor who is passionate about exploring the role of creativity in therapy, healing, and self-empowerment. She often hears, “I can’t even draw a stick figure!” Yet in her experience, many of these same folks go on to discover creative depths within themselves that serve as vital tools in their own healing.
Collaborating with people to tell their stories through expressive arts (visual art, drama, dance, music) provides new and often-surprising results. Creative activities have been proven to facilitate healing from trauma, provide stress relief, release the capacity for self-expression, and encourage empowerment and recovery.
Making comic books is her own form of self-care, and her art has been published in magazines and social media.
Carmine collaborates with teens and adults individually, or as part of couples and group therapy, on needs ranging from trauma and substance use recovery to mind-body wellness. Carmine welcomes LGBTQI+ clients of all ages.
Justin Umel, LCSW
Macy M. Pelletier, LCPC-c
Miranda Fearon, LCSW
Justin is a licensed clinical social worker who has worked in the Bangor area as a psychotherapist since graduating with his Master's Degree in Social Work in 2010 from the University of Maine. Specializing in working with people from across the life span to empower themselves in addressing a range of issues, including; mood disorders, trauma/historical trauma, self-esteem/motivation, identity related issues, grief/bereavement, conflict resolution, addiction/recovery and dual diagnoses/co-occurring disorders. Drawing from a strengths-based, person-centered, systems perspective and an eclectic mixture of traditional an non-traditional therapeutic modalities, he takes a holistic approach that is specially tailored to fit with the client's individual needs and skill set. Some of the modalities he frequently uses include; Solution-Focused Therapy, mindfulness, Trauma Informed Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TI-CBT), Narrative Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Play Therapy, a variety of artistic/expressive arts therapies (including martial arts based movement therapy) and exploration of the "mind/body/spirit connection." Being fluent in Spanish and experienced in working with diverse populations, including members of the African-American, Native, Latinx, Asian/Pacific Islander, Muslim American, HIV positive and LGBTQ+ communities Justin is culturally competent and sensitive to the needs and challenges facing the various groups that are all too often marginalized and overlooked but that are very much a part of our local Maine community.
Macy holds a Master’s Degree and a Certificate of Advanced study in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Maine. Macy has been working in the Bangor area for the past 2 years. Macy works with a wide range of populations with a clinical focus on adults and has also had experience working with families, couples, adolescents, and children. Macy utilizes an eclectic approach which includes: Cognitive-Behavioral therapy, Solution-Focused therapy, and Person-Centered therapy. Macy is trauma informed and has experience with utilizing structural dissociation concepts to address past trauma. She utilizes a holistic approach to treat a wide range of issues including but not limited to: anxiety, grief/loss, depression, trauma, self-esteem, etc. Macy believes that every individual is unique and tailors her approach to fit the person’s needs. She believes that the key to successful treatment is to develop a therapeutic alliance that provides a calm and supportive environment where individuals can feel comfortable confronting/overcoming difficult circumstances.
Miranda holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Maine and has worked in the Bangor area as a mental health and dual diagnosis clinician for 7 years. She works with individuals across the life span to provide support with mental health, addiction, trauma, relational and psychosocial challenges that may create barriers for achieving and sustaining overall wellness. Drawing from a variety of therapy approaches including strengths based, cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, solution focused, as well as holistic wellness, she works to empower clients to build resiliency and make progress towards their individual goals and make positive changes in their lives. Her approach is person-centered and she strives to build a genuine therapeutic relationship to support recovery and healing.
Misty Beylerian- CADC, MHRT-C
Misty holds a bachelors degree from UMA Bangor in Mental Health and Human Services. She is MRHT/c certified and CADC licensed. Misty is currently providing substance abuse services and case management at Higher Ground Services. She has hands on experience in the field with an array of life experiences that help her provide the best services she can for her clients. Misty enjoys helping people navigate systems in order to live happy healthy lives. Advocacy is very important to Misty and she enjoys meeting people where they are at and helping her clients find and use their voice.
Justine Caisse, MHRT-C, CADC
Emma Swift, MHRT-C
Justine holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mental Health and Human Services with a concentrated study in Chemical Dependency. She brings with her an array of real life experiences that allows her to provide her clients with empathy and sincereity not hindered with judgements. Justine is committed to the person-first concept, believing every individual deserves their right to an identity of their choice not dictated by an illness.
Emma has a Bachelors degree in Psychology and is currently a graduate student at Husson University for Clinical Mental Health Counseling. While she works on her master’s degree, Emma is working as a case manager helping people in the community access resources. She is enthusiastic about working in this role and happy to help those in need.
Rhonda Demmons, MHRT-C
Rhonda holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mental Health and Human Services from the University of Maine. She brings with her vast personal and professional experiences and is passionate about helping others. She provides her clients with empathy and without judgment. Rhonda is very client centered, believing every individual deserves dignity and support. Rhonda is currently working on earning her masters degree in social work.
Abbie holds Bachelor’s degrees in Criminal Justice and Mental Health and Human Services with concentrated study in Social work from Husson University and the University of Maine, Augusta. Abbie has 20 years of experience working in a variety of social services settings with many diverse populations. While working toward completion of her Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Husson University, Abbie is working as a case manager working with those in need of a hand to improve the quality of their lives. Abbie believes in a person-centered approach, and in removing the barriers that prevent people accessing the resources need to live their best lives.
Brigitte, Melody, Lizz & Stephanie
The Administrative Team at Higher Ground Services consists of Brigitte, Melody & Lizz. They take pride in providing a peaceful, safe atmosphere for every client. Brigitte is the owner and the queen of accounting. She excels at being bossy. Melody is the Billing Manager and specializes in insurance related matters. She’s truly a billing wizard. Lizz is the Office Manager. She is responsible for keeping things running smoothly behind the scenes and making sure you see a smiling face when you walk through the door. She loves scheduling appointments and making connections.
Bruiser holds an Associates Degree in stress management. He works with all clients, ensuring that their time at Higher Ground Services is comfortable and that they get the attention they deserve. He'll sniff out any issue beneath the client's surface, ensuring that nothing is missed.
Bruiser accepts all forms of insurance, including Anthem Blue Collar Blue Hankercheif, ear rubs, and treats.
This is Chloe! She is a very friendly purebred Akita who spends most of her days giving hugs and kisses to the community at Higher Ground Services. She loves greeting everyone who comes into the office and playing with her best friend Bruiser. Chloe enjoys providing emotional support to anyone who needs it and to anyone who happens to have treats.
Finn is an emotional support dog who sometimes hangs at Higher Ground with Carmine. She is a friendly, curious, and goofy companion who encourages play and provides unconditional affection.