Interview with Judith Allen, Ph.D.,
by Robin Bates, Heritage University
September 20, 2006
What is your training?
In the late 70s I worked for a graduate school for post doctoral and doctoral training for social-clinical psychology. I served as administrator for the community mental health clinic, learning diagnostics while there, setting up continuing education programs for the post doctoral "students." I became familiar with mental health issues, diagnostics, and psychoanalytic treatment, through this experience. I was strongly encouraged to get a degree by several of the faculty there - and I was pointed towards Antioch College which had a campus in Los Angeles, CA.
I was trained at Antioch University in counseling psychology, and had a minor in business administration leading to a dual degree. My studies included classical Adlerian psychology, the work of Piaget, and the theories of Lawrence Kohlberg regarding moral development and the model of developmental education. I was class valedictorian and gave the graduation address on Developmental Education. While at Antioch, I worked at Frontera Women's Prison in Chino, California, with a member of the "Manson Family" and a few other inmates, to begin to apply theories of moral development. While at Antioch I conducted a study in 1979 titled "Be it ever so humble" on the experience of the elderly residing in nursing homes in Los Angeles.
While attending Antioch, I went to work as Assistant Administrator for California State Psychological Association - giving me experience in ethics and law. During this time, I also worked as a financial aid officer in the office of Antioch through a work-study program.
My Masters work was through Vermont College, where I did an internship as staff psychologist at Nutri/System and studied weight-related issues as symptoms of other mental health-related problems. I did my master's studies and thesis on "Constructive Disequilibrium - Crisis as an opportunity for Change" where I made the first application of L. Kohlberg's theories to a counseling model. My thesis was reviewed by students at Harvard University who were studying with Kohlberg at that time in the early-mid 80's.
I then went into a part-time private practice in Georgia for 1982-84
My internship to gather hours for licensing was with Tarrant County Mental Health, serving a large population of chronically mentally ill individuals, but much of the population was there for general counseling at lowered costs for treatment. This was a stressful facility and I sought other work, immediately after logging in the required internship hours.
The next step in my training was when I worked as a program director at Saint Joseph's hospital in the obesity program and learned more about nutrition, fasting diets (and why they don't work), and keys to weight maintenance. The population was individuals who were 100+ pounds overweight.
I worked as a case manager, and later a program director for the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder ward of a psychiatric inpatient hospital. It was here that I got my education on dissociative states, emotional scars of trauma, and "trance states" which renewed my early interest in hypnosis. I continued with advanced training and Certification in Post Induction Therapy (PIT) - which uses hypnosis for the treatment of past trauma.
After the hospital I worked for another therapist in private practice, and six months later, opened my own mental health clinic. I hired and trained about 10 therapists and hired a psychiatrist to support the needs of the clients/patients who were relatively affluent. I started a school for clinical hypnosis at this facility, and formed a national hypnosis association for master's level practitioners. The Association information can be found at http://APMHA.com.
I received additional training in two doctoral programs at La Salle University and Texas Women's University, with studies geared towards the general knowledge and requirements of the state board of Licensed Professional Counselors state board, in 10 core areas. I did my dissertation on a hypothesis that training in hypnosis could be conducted at-a-distance; using the course I had developed at the clinic. This course is now taught through PsyBC.com and has approval of all the national associations for continuing education for licensed doctors, psychologists, social workers, and mental health counselors.
What is your philosophy of helping?
I believe that people are capable of helping themselves, if and when they have developed sufficient ego strength and self esteem. Further, I have seen that damage and neglect in childhood can stunt the emotional development that individuals need to be able to make good choices for themselves.
What is the counseling theory you use most often?
Classical Adlerian theory is most helpful for me - but I've been influenced by many theories - so it would be an eclectic influence and practice. When I work with individuals, I develop a sense of what would be most helpful - and look for what will assist each person.
What specific population does your practice focus on?
At this point, I can work with any population. With 28 years experience, I feel comfortable with all areas except drug abuse. I "prefer" to work with women 18-70, and feel I have the most to offer to adults who are searching for happiness and good relationships. I moved to Wenatchee, WA in 2004 and opened an office in 2005. My practice is also online. I was one of the first pioneers of online counseling, which I have continued since 1997. I have websites which can be located through my directory at http://aboutfeelingsnetwork.com I also have a data base of online counselors at http://eTherapyWeb.com which lists licensed counselors who practice online.
How are you reimbursed for your services? (personal pay, insurance, etc.)
We do not take insurance - but provide a super bill to those who want reimbursement from their insurance company or other third party. We operate on a cash pay basis, both for online services and office services. Our office Website is at http://AboutFeelings.com with more information. We have worked with two insurance panels just recently, and have again been reminded that payment reimbursement attempts lead to more frustration than they are worth, and that the restrictions and limits on the therapeutic process often hinder our ability to treat someone effectively.
Judith L. Allen, Ph.D.
AAMFT, APMHA, LMFT, LPC, RC, CMH, PIT
September 20, 2006