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Robert Allan

Assistant Professor, Counseling


My story:

I am a Canadian who came to working with people more directly in counseling after twenty years of community-based development work and developing a keen understanding of the impact of various stressors and community factors that can affect our lives. I’ve been helping couples, individuals and families improve their most important relationships, health, and well-being for over 25 years now. The shift to working more directly with people in counseling was something that was a great fit for me, I love counseling work.

As my clinical practice evolved, I was drawn to systemic approaches to working with people. This was a natural evolution from my community work where we drew on a range of health promotion and population health models for working with health challenges. My work with families and couples lead me to an interest in attachment-based approaches. While I am trained and have a keen interest in attachment-based clinical approaches, my clinical and research work retains the social environment as part of understanding how challenges develop and how best to work with them. I received a master’s in counseling from Acadia University, an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. from Dalhousie University, and did a post-grad route to become an MFT and approved AAMFT supervisor. I am also an ICEEFT certified therapist, supervisor, and trainer-in-training.

My students at CU Denver:

I hope to share my love of the profession and counseling work. This includes challenging and exploring the various factors that will stimulate students to learn and explore their own experiences as a platform for their work with clients. I want my students to develop an awareness of counseling work as one that requires on-going learning and personal development. My hope is that students will: develop a keen understanding of the need to be culturally aware and responsive, understand how attachment needs are experienced and articulated by clients, and see themselves as leaders in the field for years to come.

Classes I teach:

  • CPCE 5170: Issues in Family Studies
  • COUN 5180: Couples Counseling
  • CPCE 5910: Practicum in CPCE
  • COUN 6150: Introduction to Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy
  • CPCE 6160: Advanced Assessment & Treatment in Family Systems

My research interests:

  • Counselor learning and development
  • Evidence-based practices
  • Attachment-based therapeutic approaches

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