Marilyn Owen Pasadena psychotherapist

--Marilyn Owen

  • Biography
Marilyn J Owen healers on healing

We humans often become wounded in life; some of us follow a call to figure out how to feel better about life and love. Along the way, we learn a little, and hope to pass that on to others.

My journey started in the Arts and Humanities. After earning degrees in English and Theatre Arts from California State University, Fullerton, I got married, gave birth, and raised a son while teaching Creative Drama for about 10 years. During this time, I learned the importance of play and imagination in psychological growth. It was thrilling to see people change simply by inviting them to move around the room, make noise, and play. I was also introduced to the power of Dance and Movement Therapy at that time, laying the groundwork for my interest in therapeutic work with the body.

In addition to teaching, I was studying mythology and fairy tales, practicing meditation and dream journaling, and doing my own inner work through individual, couples, and family therapy. A mid-life career change took me to Pacifica Graduate Institute where I earned a Masters in Counseling Psychology in 1999. This program brilliantly connected the dots between the Humanities, Arts, and Psychology, providing a uniquely soulful way of approaching healing.

For the next 12 years, I provided psychotherapy, clinical supervision and training at large community mental health agencies in Los Angeles County. Working with severely disturbed and abused children showed me the lasting effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) such as trauma, loss, and poor attachment. In my private practice with high functioning adults, I saw how most relationship problems are rooted in similar experiences—though perhaps more subtle. Through my own personal work with Marion Woodman’s BodySoul Rhythms and other somatic practices, I saw how important it was to include our physical being in this process. This led me to pursue training in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy as an effective way to treat trauma and attachment wounds by working with the body.

In July 2014 I moved my practice from Pasadena to Santa Barbara County in order to teach. I am privileged to serve as Adjunct Faculty at Pacifica Graduate Institute and Antioch University, Santa Barbara, working with people who inspire me with their stories. It has been a pleasure to serve on the board of the Santa Barbara chapter of California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, as I settle into my new hometown and make new connections.

Every day, I find myself just as excited by the process of growth and healing as I ever was: teaching, practicing and learning in every class with every student, in every session with every client, and in every interaction with colleagues and mentors in my field. As long as we are living together on this planet, we have opportunities to learn from each other.