Jennifer Allen, MS, LMFT, ATR

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist & Art Therapist
Carmel-by-the-Sea CA
Experiencing creativity as powerful healing vehicle in my own life is what led me to the field of art therapy and it is the foundation of how I work with clients. Whether we use art-making, imagination, drum journey, movement, parts work enacted, or voice —is dictated by the client’s process and utilizes my own presence and creativity, making therapy an alive, dynamic, co-creative experience. The body is an ally in this process as it “keeps score” of all that we have experienced, holding it until the psyche is ready to unpack it. Working from a holistic perspective with the body’s felt-sense allows the client’s inner healer to guide their own unique, organic process in the context of a supported, safe place. As clients learn to trust their healing intelligence, they often find it more accessible in daily life through practices that shift awareness. This relationship with their inner healer also serves to help them navigate non-ordinary states, such as creativity, dreams and psychedelic experiences. Especially with trauma, the somatic nature of Natural Processing/EMDR cultivates a client’s relationship to their inner healer while also encouraging creative and holistic integration of trauma memory and resiliency building. My own learning and practice of Shamanic and earth-based traditions provides the ground for me to show up steady and present for my clients, welcoming all of who they are.
I’ve practiced psychotherapy and art therapy for over 25 years with a variety of experience from end-of-life care at hospice, to facilitating Art for Access and grief ritual workshops at Esalen and other venues, to presenting on grief, to facilitating children’s grief groups, to medical art therapy, to a private practice of 18 years. I have a Master of Science with specializations in Counseling Education and in Art Therapy, both of which I have full licensure/certification in. In addition, I have certifications in EMDR, Natural Processing, and Trauma-Informed Art Therapy. My specializations have been in grief and trauma using Natural Processing/EMDR, trauma-informed somatic art therapy and play therapy. I work with young children, teens and adults, providing service for individuals, families, couples, and parents in a bright, spacious, space that invites creativity. Becoming certified in Psychedelic Assisted Therapy and Research through California Institute of Integral Studies has woven together my interests and capacities for an effective and efficient mode healing and growth. While I intend to eventually participate in Expanded Access as a therapist treating PTSD with MDMA at an approved clinic, in my private practice and workshops, I offer a harm-reduction, growth-promoting model of preparation and integration of psychedelic and non-ordinary state experiences, as well as support of spiritual emergence. Creativity itself can be experienced as a non-ordinary state as it unhooks us from what we know When we allow the unknown, new insights and connections are made available through spontaneous expression of line, shape and symbol. Using this familiar non-ordinary vehicle to prepare one for a psychedelic experience can help orient them to their inner process and navigating the unknown, while it also serves to integrate psychedelic experiences that are often “beyond words.” In combination with somatic practices, creativity via art making helps to embody and ground new knowing. It also provides an object that serves to reflect, affirm, and unfold further discovery, long after the experience. My personal path has included earth-based traditions, Shamanic practices and creativity. This path supports my passion for new—old ways of knowing that hold hope for humanity on this planet.
Integration groups - virtual (4-6:30 Fridays 1 x for 6 month commitment $240. 10 max)