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Guiding children, teens, couples and adults to help families thrive beyond depression, anxiety, anger, ADHD, self-esteem, grief and more.  Life can be healthier, happier and easier!  Frustrated parents, there are tools to help you reach your son or daughter. There is hope! Struggling teens, there is help!  Hurting couples, it doesn't have to be this way.  We are committed to providing confidential, affordable, high quality services to the families of northern Michigan.

located downtown petoskey

We will do an intake where we discuss your specific situation, your background, your goals, and your needs. Together, we will create a treatment plan specifically for you. And work together to make your life happier, healthier and easier.

We all need a guide sometimes, someone to walk alongside us, listening without judgment, helping us find answers. Real Life works online and in person by listening, encouraging and teaching practical changes for your success.  We’ll work toward your goals together, progressing though our plan until you achieve all the results you’ve hoped for.  The first time is always the hardest.  After that, it gets easier!

what to expect when we meet


After growing up in Hudsonville, Michigan, Jake graduated in 2007 with an Undergraduate degree from Grand Valley State University. He then finished his Master's Degree in 2015 with Spring Arbor University.  Jake is a certified teacher, school counselor, licensed professional counselor, and counselor supervisor.  


He has been working with people from multiple backgrounds and cultures at schools, camps, churches, and nonprofit organizations since 2003.  


Jake has lived and served in Northern Michigan since 2011.  “In 2014 I was blessed marry to the most compassionate woman I know, and share life with her here in Petoskey.  When I’m not with in the office, I take every opportunity I can to camp and mountain bike in the summer or lace up my hockey skates in the winter.”

more about Jake Tracy

more about Brandon Mielke

Brandon grew up in Macomb Township, Michigan, completing his Bachelor's in Counseling Psychology at Cornerstone University in 2017.  In 2020, he earned his Master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, and he is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in General Psychology through Liberty University.  Brandon is a certified advanced alcohol and drug counselor and licensed professional counselor.  


He has been helping people struggling with substance abuse as well as anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns since 2017. Brandon has worked in residential rehabilitation centers, inpatient psychiatric facilities, and outpatient clinics.


Brandon has lived and served in Northern Michigan since 2018.  “In 2019 I met and married my amazingly beautiful wife. In 2022, we welcomed our dearly loved son, into the world. When I’m not in the office, my family and I enjoy hiking, biking, camping, and the many other activities that Northern Michigan has to offer."

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more about Kaitlin Ryan

Kaitlin graduated from Alma College with an undergraduate degree in 2010, majoring in exercise physiology with a minor in psychology. In 2015, she moved to northern Michigan with her family. She is currently working as an intern clinician to finalize her Master’s Degree in counseling from Central Michigan University. 


She has worked with clients from all walks of life as a certified nursing assistant at multiple psychiatric care units. In addition, Kaitlin spent a summer working at a pain and palliative care center in Kerala, India during her undergraduate degree. Creating connections with people is what drew her into the field of counseling. 


When not working with clients, Kaitlin enjoys spending time with her family and exploring all northern Michigan has to offer. She is an avid hiker, runner, and loves to read. 

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