Andrea is a native of Chile who migrated to the United States in 1992. She worked for the Marine Corps as a Recreation Specialist for the past 14 years. Her experience includes Trauma Sensitive Yoga, tai chi, meditation, and martial arts. She has been featured in several publications including the National Journal, the U.S. Medicine - The Voice of Federal Medicine and FIGHT magazine for her work on PTSD and TBI. While at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, she developed the first of its kind program for the Marine Corps Life Enhancing Activities Program (LEAP). This comprehensive program provided fitness, recreation, and other complementary and alternative modalities to Marines and sailors diagnosed with PTSD and/or TBI. Andrea also developed a partnership with Camp Lejeune Deployment Health to provide support activities to hundreds of Combat Stress and TBI patients including yoga, relaxation and breathing techniques, meditation and martial arts. She also provided fitness, recreational and leisure activities support to the Back on Track Program; a two-week program from the Naval Hospital that focuses on patients with PTSD, the Outpatient Crisis Prevention Program and the Warrior Recovery After Concussion Program.
Andrea has been a guest speaker to numerous conferences around the country on behalf of these programs including the 19th Annual Conference on Trauma presented by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk and The Justice Resource Institute (JRI); the Marine Corps Combat Operational Stress Control (COSC) Conference 2008; the Semper Fit, Marine Corps Community Services (MCCS) meeting for the Athletic Business Conference 2008; the University of North Carolina Social Workers Alumni Symposium on Complex Trauma in Adults and Children; the Yoga Training/Seminar conducted by The Trauma Center at JRI; t he Marine Corps Meeting at the National Institute on Recreation Inclusion, San Antonio, TX; the Yoga Training/Seminar at the Kripalu Center, MA, November, 2009.
Body and mind integrative healing traditions have been the cornerstone of Kari Allen’s work for over a decade. As a substance abuse counselor, she integrated expressive mediation practices into programs of recovery, in both prison and hospital settings. She taught her clients practical self-care living practices that are important components of sustained mental health and substance abuse recovery; meditation, gentle yoga, imagery & visualization and ecstatic dance practices are all part of her repertoire to assist with relief, relaxation, and the development of self awareness for healing. Kari also gently nudges the spiritual doors by inviting clients into deepening rituals and ceremony’s that are consistent with their expressed preferences.
Kari has worked in a number of community based clinical settings and offered individual, group and family services. As the owner of Sacred Bliss Mind-Body Methods, LLC, Kari uses the ancient practice of group gathering to build a sense of communal support, and personalizes experiences by offering individual sessions, that are designed to assist with the embodiment and lived experience of mind-body methods as a regular part of one’s day-to-day living. Today, Kari blends coaching and counseling skills to offer Mind-Body Methods training in private, family and group sessions at Healing Pathways Medical Clinic, in West Sacramento, California. In addition, she offers sessions in private homes and in-nature; in outdoor settings, near the homes of her clients, to guide them in integrating the mind-body methods into their personal lifestyle.
Recently The Biscayne Institutes of Health & Living, founded and directed by Saybrook faculty member Marie DiCowden, was named one of 16 best practices for community integration of individuals with brain injury out of 253 surveyed world wide by the Univeristy of Toronto for an upcomming publication.