Laura Berreth, President of Supportive Services
Dennis Ballinger, Executive Director
I have been working with individuals, couples and families struggling with substance use disorders and mental health disorders (co-occurring disorders) for over 20 years. During this time I have been fortunate enough to work with many wonderful people working hard to make their life better. I consider myself fortunate to have a job where I can wake up every morning knowing that I will be working alongside someone trying to make positive changes in their life.
During my time as a therapist I have also come to develop some insights into individuals struggling with co-occurring disorders. First, I truly believe that each and every person I work with is doing the best they can. Sometimes that looks pretty bad as they are destroying relationships, involved with the legal system, committing crimes, hurting others and so forth. However, I believe that at that time that is their best and it is my job to help them develop the skills, knowledge and experience so that their best can be different.
I also believe that substance use disorders come from the combination of three different factors, genetic predisposition, trauma/ adverse childhood experiences and attachment difficulties. Accordingly, treatment focuses on addressing all three factors so that individuals can achieve lasting recovery.
Finally, I do not determine success based on days of sobriety as many others do. I base success on peoples recovery. Recovery is comprised of behaviors that are positive and supportive of a better life that includes management of ones’ disease of addiction and mental health. When people are able to have better relationships, purpose/ occupation, improved health and behaviors supportive of improved health, take accountability and responsibility for their behaviors (both positive and negative) then I see them as being in recovery. Heck, someone can use but if they come back to treatment, take responsibility for their behavior, be honest with others and get back on track then I do not believe that they stopped being in recovery. Conversely, I believe that people that are not improving their lives, or are destroying relationships but are sober are not in recovery…aka “dry drunk.”
I have included some more professional information in case you are still interested. I hope that you are interested in learning more and please feel free to contact me at any time with any questions or feedback.
Dennis Ballinger is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a Level III Certified Addictions Counselor licensed in the State of Colorado. He is a member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) and an Approved Supervisor and Approved Supervisor of Supervision through AAMFT.
Dennis has over 20 years of experience providing counseling to individuals, couples and families that are struggling with addiction and other mental health disorders. He has been trained and certified in a number of evidence based practices including Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, Functional Family Therapy, Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Hypnosis for the treatment of Trauma and Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy in addition to many others.
Dennis has trained over 50 individuals working towards their master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, has been a consultant to hundreds of therapists, case workers and other professionals and, has presented on topics to other professionals and community members throughout Colorado and the Nation on issues that relate to co-occurring disorder treatment, family therapy and trauma.
Prior to taking the role as Executive Director for Momenta – Center for Wellness, Dennis worked at AllHealth Network as the Director of Co-Occurring Treatment and before that the Manager of Child and Family and Douglas County Counseling Services. Prior to that he spent 15 years in Washington State where he held a number of positions all relating to co-occurring treatment and the treatment of children, couples and families.
Areas of Expertise
As previously noted Dennis’ expertise lies in the treatment of co-occurring disorders. That being said he has specifically focused on trauma and adverse childhood experiences as they relate to addiction. He has also worked with many couples and families struggling with difficulties relating to stressed and conflictual relationships, parenting, infidelity, domestic violence and other relationship difficulties. He has worked extensively with people struggling with depression, anxiety, bi-polar disorder, personality disorders and attachment disorders.
Dennis Ballinger has a MA degree in Psychology with an emphasis on Child, Couple and Family Therapy from Antioch University and an undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is a member of The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy,
Ryan Jackman, Medical Director