Valdosta Daily Times

February 20, 2013

The Midbrain and The Beast

Dean Poling
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — For more than 20 years, Dallas Bennett has worked with people battling addictions. He has helped and witnessed people walk away from their addictions to start new lives.

In his book, “The Midbrain and the Beast: A New Science Based Recovery Handbook,” Bennett shares insights from his experiences as a board-certified alcohol and drug counselor and master’s-level therapist.

“The information in my book comes from working in the trenches of the addiction and recovery field for 20 years-plus attending thousands of hours of continuing education, listening to veteran coworkers and watching clients win and lose,” Bennett tells The Times.

The book isn’t so much about quitting drugs and alcohol but remaining clean and sober.

“Anyone can quit drinking and drugging,” Bennett writes in the book. “A 10-year-old child can tell you how to quit drinking and drugging. Quitting is the easy part. Staying clean and sober; that’s the difficult part. The biggest challenge for most people is living life on life’s terms without turning to a mood-altering chemical.”

Bennett explains both complex life conditions and scientific details with an easy-to-read, easy-to-understand style. A former patient provided the artwork that illustrates Bennett’s descriptions. “He is a genius and a man of integrity with a nice family,” Bennett says of his artistic former patient.

As he has in his practice, Bennett is witnessing his book changing addicted lives.

“My intention is to get this book into the hands of people suffering with a drug and alcohol problem and the people that care about this person,” Bennett says. “I also believe other professional counselors and therapists could benefit from learning this information and then teaching it to their client-patients.”

Bennett works for Penfield Christian Homes Addiction Ministry, which has four campuses in Georgia. Bennett works for the one in Berrien County.

“Penfield has a proven curriculum that is evidence and research based to include cognitive behavioral therapy, 12-step facilitation and intense Bible study,” Bennett says. “My book is also a part of our therapy.”

Recently, Penfield incorporated Bennett’s chapter on the biology of addiction into its statewide curriculum, the author says.

“The clients are taught all the information in my book during our six-week program,” Bennett says. “My clients’ family members are buying my book from Amazon and emailing me very positive reports. They say things like, ‘finally we understand our sons’ (husbands’) problem.’”

His clients inspired him to write this book.

“They used to, and still do, tell me I need to write a book or make a video about my presentation,” Bennett says. “After many years, I started believing that I really did have something of value to offer other people and maybe even the world.”

He believes the book could be beneficial for patients, their families, and therapists. Bennett is writing a second book “about the importance of faith — God — in the professional-therapy models.”

Dallas Bennett’s “The Midbrain and the Beast” is available at, and at The Potters House Christian Book Store in Valdosta.