Hello, I'm Allen Burns
I'm glad you're here. It took me some time to find this place, this role as a therapist -- a role I continue to grow and evolve in. I have been a systems analyst, a college instructor, a consultant, an economist, and a researcher. As a therapist, I feel more fulfilled than in any of those other roles. In my experience as a therapist, I regularly witness people making changes to heal their pain and achieve a richer, more fulfilling life. It feeds my belief that positive change is always possible; I've seen it happen in some of the least likely places. Let me share some of my journey and my hope with you.
I was born in Iowa City, but didn't stay there long. By the time I went to college, my family had moved over 25 times; my father was an Army chaplain, frequently re-assigned as his career progressed. I received a Bachelor of Science degree from MIT and worked as a computer systems analyst for several years. I went back to school in Economics and taught for a few years while doing more work building computer simulation models. I became a consultant and a researcher working with large companies and small social agencies. While the problems were challenging, I felt something was missing.
Meanwhile, for most of that time, I continued to move every year or two. I eventually settled down in Saint Paul. Over the years, I had sought help for a (usually) mild, but persistent depression. I saw several different therapists and tried medications when the depression was worse. I have actually been a client for all of the types of therapy I now practice.
Becoming a therapist meant going back to school, doing internships, and taking advanced training in specialized therapies. To some people, it seemed like an odd fit for me. But my friends knew I had been a sponsor in Al-Anon for many years, practiced mindfulness with yoga and t'ai chi, and my family were counselors, a chaplain, and a doctor -- I finally fit in! I graduated from Adler Graduate School as an Adlerian Psychotherapist and trained in EMDR, trauma-focused CBT, and IFS. I worked at a crisis and suicide prevention hotline and at a secure facility for committed sex offenders while volunteering at Walk-in Counseling. I presented at local and international conferences, joined the Council of Representatives of NASAP, and became a board member of the Adler Academy of Minnesota. Along the way, I started my private practice.
And now my practice has evolved and I have moved it to Saint Paul, near where I have lived for over 20 years. If you come in to the office, you may get a chance to meet my dog, Emily Rose. Go say hi, Emily!