Allender Theory

The Allender Theory is rooted in our bold commitment to engaging the core narratives of relationship, family, sexual development, sexual abuse, trauma, and heartache through innovative conferences, in-depth workshops, and facilitated groups. We shape and embolden leaders through an integration of dynamic instruction, praxis-oriented group work, and rigorous personal narrative work.

Setting the Stage

We believe that each of us was designed for Eden, living in perfect relationship—a state of shalom—with ourselves, each other, and God. But now, shalom has been shattered and we are separated from Eden, living in a world marred by brokenness, disconnection, and trauma. By trying to protect ourselves in the midst of harm and cut ourselves off from future harm, we create a false Eden in which our hearts are hardened to both the reality of our trauma and the hope of our restoration. The defensive structures we turn to, often marked by vows, dissociation, addiction, and sabotage, further bind us to our trauma and separate us from the true goodness and delight of living in relationship with ourselves, others, and God.

Only when we recognize that shalom has been shattered, and that our attempts to recreate it have left us even more broken and disconnected, can we move authentically toward the restoration of shalom and the promise of deep, lasting healing.

Core to The Allender Theory is the belief that the journey of healing invites us to move from a place of cursing (contempt, shame, ambivalence) to one of blessing (compassion, goodness, delight). This occurs through telling our stories with truth and integrity as we grieve our wounds and offer blessing to the parts of us still bound to the cursed story. As we share our story with trusted others who are able to name both our deep woundedness and our deep goodness, we grow a deeper capacity to know and live into our calling and engage in life-giving relationships with God and others.

The Part We Play

The Allender Center trains people to listen and work through narratives of harm–both their own stories and the stories of others–to foster truth, goodness, and beauty in all of their relationships.

At the heart of The Allender Theory is the belief that you can only take someone else as far as you have gone yourself. Our conferences, workshops, groups, training programs, and other offerings are unique in their emphasis on empowering individuals to work on behalf of transformation in the lives of others–starting with themselves.

We operate out of Dan Allender’s conviction that God, the author of all story, has called you to write your own story in interaction with the stories of others and as contributions to the ongoing narrative that God is telling. To that end, we equip therapists, pastors, and leaders to:

  • Understand your own story so that you may help others in understanding their story.
  • Name the impact of your story and learn to integrate it with the way you see and engage the world.
  • Embrace the fullness of who you are in a way that empowers you to be an agent of transformation in the lives of others.
  • Cultivate the artistry and skill of holistic listening, attunement, curiosity, and empathy to support you in your work of holding and renaming stories.