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By Kyle Eustice
ON THE JOB
Founded in 2007 by Chris Berger, Foundations Counseling LLC is one of Northern Colorado’s leading counseling services. With locations in Fort Collins, Loveland and Greeley, it’s also one of the biggest counseling practices in the Front Range area.
Berger was motivated to start Foundations following the death of his mother, who was diagnosed with cancer in 1999. Berger, then living in California, would often take trips to Colorado to recharge. As his mother’s health deteriorated and she eventually passed, he left his marketing job in Los Angeles. He relocated to Colorado, sought therapy of his own, and in 2005 he enrolled in grad school to pursue a degree in clinical counseling at the University of Northern Colorado. He opened Foundations Counseling in 2007.
“After I relocated to Colorado, I realized I needed emotional support and some help finding a life purpose,” Berger says. “I came to understand I was dealing with a lot of grief and loss.”
“My therapist encouraged me to go into the field,” he continues. “It took me another year or two to explore the field, and make that decision on my own. I started by taking some classes at the University of Denver and through that process, I learned I was in love with the material and the field itself, and had a natural gift for the subject matter.”
Although he was born in New York City, grew up in Los Angeles, and has lived in Boston, San Diego and Denver, he’s now settled in Fort Collins, where he’s deeply integrated with his community.
“Moving here was about becoming more grounded, more in touch with people and more in touch with nature,” he says, adding, “I discovered a wonderful balance in Colorado. It’s the best of both worlds.”
TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS
Foundations Counseling offers a plethora of mental health services, including individual counseling, marriage and couples counseling, family counseling, and child and teen counseling.
According to the Foundations Counseling website, its mission is “to provide hope and healing to individuals, couples, families, children and adolescents who are experiencing psychological, emotional and relational distress. We believe it is our responsibility to facilitate growth beyond healing.”
Typical signs of depression include sadness, sleeping too much or too little, irritability, changes in appetite, avoiding social situations or a loss of sexual desire. Foundations Counseling is able to tackle a variety of these issues using any combination of therapeutic approaches. The sheer size of Foundations Counseling, which includes 23 therapists and seven administrative employees, makes it possible to help thousands of people in need every year.
“To my knowledge, I believe we are the largest private practice counseling in Northern Colorado and top ten in the entire state in terms of size,” he says. “We have about 5,000 people a year that contact us, so about 100 a week. We currently have over 1,200 active clients of which about 500 a week or more come through our doors. We’re growing, too. Our future plan is to double in size. The current goal is about 45 counselors.
“Right now, we serve 95 percent of all relationship and mental health issues,” he continues. “Of course, not any one person does everything, but between the team, we’re very well able to serve the entire community.”
CLAIM TO FAME
Since opening Foundations Counseling, Berger and his staff have expertly helped people from all walks of life with mental health issues involving things like drug, gambling and pornography addiction, but as he explains, those are all under the same umbrella of “unhealthy self-medication coping techniques.” He’s impressed with the way Foundations Counseling therapists have tackled anxiety, depression and relationship issues as well.
“The level of extreme relationship counseling really takes us above and beyond a typical mental health therapist,” he says. “Everyone on the staff has a masters or doctorate degree. We especially focus on the healing and growth of relationship dynamics.”
Berger also takes great pride in Foundation Counseling’s training process.
“One of the things I discovered along the way is the need for much more extensive training above and beyond what graduate schools supply,” he says. “We have the most extensive post-grad training—to my knowledge—in the entire United States. When we hire people, there’s an initial 90 hours over three weeks of orientation training, then we have six hours per week for the first year and four hours per week thereafter.”
REASONS TO GO
In addition to the variety of counseling services, Foundations Counseling is meticulous in its hiring process and only employs the best of the best.
“We have the most thorough hiring and interviewing process in the industry,” Berger says. “Therefore, the standards we have for the people who work here are of a different quality. After we hire those exceptional individuals, we have the most extensive and thorough training process in the field. Our clients are guaranteed the best service possible that therapy provides.”
In terms of pricing, Foundations Counseling aims to be as affordable as possible. Each therapist charges a flat fee per session.
“We have modeled our organization after traditional professional services like doctors, accountants and dentists,” he explains. “We make sure the standard of service is a notch above.”
WHEN TO GO
Hours depend on the individual counselor.
Call for availability.
HOW TO FIND THEM