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Wendy Allen

Associate Professor, Dance/Movement Therapy

Photograph of Wendy Allen smiling at the camera.

Wendy Allen PhD, LPC, BC-DMT (she/her) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Graduate Expressive Therapies, Dance/Movement Therapy program.

Prior to coming to Lesley, Wendy was chair of the Somatic Counseling Department at Naropa University where she was a core faculty member from 2011-2022. From 2014-2021, Wendy was also the director of the Dance/ Movement Therapy program at Naropa. Wendy has taught at Illinois State University, Middle Tennessee State University, Santa Barbara Graduate Institute, and Metropolitan State College of Denver.

Wendy completed her PhD at Lesley University in 2019. Her current research explores the themes of power, oppression, and privilege by examining the somatic aspects of internalized domination and white body supremacy and their impact on empathy and attunement in the therapeutic movement relationship. As a clinician Wendy has worked with a variety of populations in state mental health facilities, residential treatment centers, and outpatient facilities. She specializes in group work with adolescents and recently co-authored two chapters on adolescents, dance/movement therapy, and social justice.

Wendy has served on the American Dance Therapy Association’s Committee on Approval and Education Committee since 2009. As a member of the Education Committee, Wendy has co-created and co-presented several seminars for educators on inclusivity and social justice in dance/movement therapy pedagogy at the annual ADTA Conference.

Wendy is deeply committed to the ongoing practice of examining and interrogating her privileged and marginalized identities and social locations. She is grateful to walk this path with others and is passionate about continuing to learn and grow while supporting students to become effective and ethical socially-just clinicians.

Selected Publications

Sherrell, C. & Allen, W. (2022). Trauma, oppression, and dance/movement therapy with adolescents: An inside out approach for the counselor/therapist. In R. Dieterich-Hartwell & A. M. Melsom (Eds.), Dance/movement therapy for trauma survivors: Theoretical, clinical, and cultural perspectives. Routledge.

Allen, W. & Thomas, E. (2019). Teen bodies: The problem of adolescent embodiment and how the arts can help. In Haen, C. & Webb, N. B. (Eds.) Creative arts-based group therapy with adolescents: Theory and practice (223-239). Routledge.


Lesley University, Cambridge, MA - 2019

PhD in Expressive Therapies

Pilot Study: Bullying Dynamics and Power: An Inquiry into the Somatic Experience of Power in Elementary-aged Youth 

Dissertation: The Somatic Experience of White Privilege: A Dance/ Movement Therapy Approach to Racialized Interactions 

Naropa University, Boulder, CO - 1998 

MA in Somatic Counseling Psychology/ Dance Therapy. Included 700 hour practicum and Master’s Thesis.

Connecticut College, New London, CT - 1994

BA in Dance Performance and Choreography; BA in Philosophy.