Nova Counseling Services, Inc.

Nova Counseling Services

Nova Counseling Services knows that addiction is a disease that cannot be cured, but can be treated. The residential rehab follows an abstinence-based, 12-Step model and employs a team of qualified and compassionate professionals to help clients recover from drug and alcohol addiction. Treating chemical dependency is a complex and demanding process, but Nova is committed to helping those who suffer build an effective, sustainable and lasting bridge to sobriety.


Located on the outskirts of Oshkosh, Wis., near Lake Winnebago, Nova Counseling Services, Inc. provides residential treatment, outpatient services, and transitional living for adults seeking recovery from substance abuse. The state-licensed center is not a dual-diagnosis facility though it can provide referrals and recommendations for medical detox.


According to the center’s website, treatment is based on the principles of the 12-Steps and the disease model of addiction. Clients seeking admission in the 28-day residential treatment program must be examined by a physician either prior to or upon entry and be free of any communicable diseases.

Programming typically combines individual and group counseling with 12-step meetings both on- and off-site. As clients work through the steps, emphasis is placed on the first one: admitting powerlessness over addiction. Recreational therapy is another core component of the treatment curriculum.

Beginning with a 6:45 a.m. wakeup, a typical day in residential treatment offers opportunity for meditation, community meetings, educational lectures, gender-specific groups, chores, and writing assignments. Family sessions assist those interested in learning more about the recovery process.

Following their residential stay, clients in need of additional care may enroll into Terra House, the facility’s sober living program. Another program option is Focus, an intensive outpatient program (IOP) that meets weekday mornings. Once to twice weekly aftercare meetings also take place on an outpatient basis.


Nova Counseling Services’ employs a team of 10 certified substance abuse counselors (CSACs). There is no M.D. on staff.


The residential facility is comfortable, and accommodations are simple. Daily schedules are highly structured, keeping clients engaged from 6:45 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. While the main facility can house as many as 50 men and women at a time, Terra House has room for up to 12 persons.


Nine of the 11 alumni surveyed by to date provided positive feedback on their personal recovery experiences. They indicated that they’d strongly recommend treatment and that the program was worth the cost. Many also gave the center five stars for the staff’s level of training and experience.

“For me it was the best experience of my life,” wrote alum Jim. “Saved my life.” Stan called the center “one of the best facilities in the Midwest” while Brenda similarly deemed it an “Awesome place!”

Two others, much in contrast, advised prospective clients to seek treatment elsewhere. Calling his experience here “Overall an expensive disappointment,” alum Brian told of staff who were “Cold, impersonal and stern, often to the point of being militant.” And Nik told of staff who acted “like prison guards – miserable” and of counselors who “do not care about patients and spend little to no time with them.” “If you care about recovery, THIS IS NOT THE PLACE,” Nik warned others.

Alumni were also generally dissatisfied with the holistic and exercise options.


The seven loved ones surveyed by as of this writing shared more unanimously positive feedback. “Great family involvement and after care,” an anonymous reviewer wrote. “Very effective treatment for my loved one.” Others described the staff as “Amazing” and “well trained,” while Charlie summed the up the place as a “Wonderful facility with very dedicated staff.”

Of those polled on the matter, five loved ones shared an excellent average rating of 4.4 stars out of five when indicating how strongly they’d recommend the center to others. Yet, like alumni, loved ones also gave lower ratings for holistic offerings with average ratings in the category falling just short of three stars.

Though she found that “some of the staff members were incredible,” Julie was troubled by issues of weak communication: “We’d wait days for a return call.”


Treatment costs $200 per day, or $5,600 for a 28-day stay. Nova also accepts private health insurance, but does not offer any sliding scale fees.

Nova Counseling Services, Inc. Reviews

I stayed here ready to get help after struggling with addiction for a long time. As a disabled veteran I was able to try this facility out and was discharged early for taking 2 tablets instead of 1. I was approached by my councilor and asked about it so I admitted to taking 2 vs 1 tablet then the next day was kicked out, hidden in a room for 3 hours and felt like I was being treated like a dangerous threat. I never was aggressive with staff and always respectful here. I'm not sure why they had to treat me like that. I actually felt discriminated against, but they can do whatever they want it happens all the time according to current clients here. It's sad because I was willing to start my days over to day one and do whatever they wanted. To be banned for life is demoralizing and not helpful to future sobriety. Luckily there are many other good places to choose from that don't throw you to the wolves after one mistake. Were here to get better and are not perfect. The whole reason why we are seeking help is because of a lifetime of mistakes why hammer the addict when just one is made during treatment when otherwise working hard? Just something to think about. Other clients are returning after not completing the program when I was told I couldn't come back because of not completing treatment. This isn't consistent treatment.
I am the spouse of a recently discharged patient. Although we are separated by choice (his addictions)I feel the program was an in and out deal. Never once was I talked to about my concerns over the impact this ordeal has affected his whole family as a unit.His little " impact" letter was for 1 person only his biggest enabler next to the way I used to be.This place will take your $$ and let your loved ones run the show.
Good therapy. Some patients inappropriate.
A joke. They tell you what you feel and/or think. What you say you feel and think is wrong. Your an addict and they know better. If your on state aid they will keep you in “treatment” as long as possible. They do the same to those that volunteer. They believed it was was important for my loved one to stay in “treatment” for an additional 90 day after 28 days instead of trying to find a way to transition back into life. Even though that would have ment losing their home, pets, and car. They were playing the “victim”. And the recovery was more important than keeping the most important things in life. The truth is, the guaranteed money is more important than you. In the end. My loved one snuck out of their “secure” facility, never looking back. It’s all about them. Not you. Find some other choice. I recommend Rogers Memorial.
Overall an expensive disappointment. My advice would be to look elsewhere. Zero mental health attention. Nova treats the "disease" of addiction, that is all. In the entire 28 days, no time was ever spent on getting their clients head's wrapped around why they seek to hide from the world with their substance of choice in the first place. When I asked why, I was told that wasn't important. The disease is the "real" issue. Couldn't it possibly be both...? At Nova there was almost no attempt at engaging the clientele and their specific needs. A very cookie cutter approach. And..."if this isn't working, it's your fault, not ours. We know what to do, you don't. Submit to power (Nova) and never forget that you are powerless..." Nova is big on instilling a mindset of addict for life. Including letting you know that it may take several times at treatment to make any headway. In addition, I am a counselor at several of the northern Wisconsin's prisons, and the staff that I met and spoke to at Nova were on an ego trip much like what I've observed when corrections officers interact with inmates. "Keep your mouth shut, we aren't interested in what you think." The message is, "listen to the lectures, read these papers and complete these assignments, then you'll be healed", rather than, "tell me about yourself and let's tailor something to you". Cold, impersonal and stern, often to the point of being militant. Thankfully my son went into Nova with his head on mostly straight and was able to ride it out or it would have been a disaster. Not what we had hoped for him at all.