My name is Allison Bradford Chow and I am from Huntersville, North Carolina. My roots go deep, so to speak, in Huntersville. I grew up on my family’s farm, where I was surrounded by several generations of family and land. I never realized just how connected I was to my home until moved away.
In 2007, I moved to Seattle to pursue my masters in Counseling Psychology at the Seattle School of Psychology and Theology. My first year in Seattle was a significant one. I met my husband at a potluck dinner and I lost the first person I would call a therapist, to an unexpected brain aneurism. This was the first of a series of major gains and major losses over the next 8 years of my life. My husband, my young daughter and my private psychotherapy practice continually teach me about incredible gains and inevitable loss on a regular basis. This theme of gain and loss has been a place that I frequently returned to over the years, and has shaped who I am as I enter my mid-thirties.
My practice is in Pioneer Square with a group of therapists called the Shelterwood Collective. I focus my practice on adolescent and young adult years of development. I am drawn to advocating for teens as that was a time in my own life when I wished for more help. I started out working with teens and young adults at a psychiatric clinic for eating disorders, then moved into working with teens and young adults who had cancer at a local cancer support organization. I hope to continue to focus my work around young people and see where that will lead me next.
One of the things I continue to love about this field is a sense of wonderment about how this all works. I’m still not sure what “help” or “healing” is but I know I have been helped and felt healing through therapy, teachers and mentors grounded in object relations. I am drawn to the way object relations theorists leave room for wonder and imagination and yet seem grounded in what their experience has taught them. I notice that the more I settle into object relations, the more I settle, my practice settles and my patients settle.
I have benefitted from many of the classes and events COR has offered in the past and am passionate about its future. I’m excited to broaden its audience to help more people, including communities focused on education, birthing and the arts. More importantly, I hope that I will be able to move into my new role on the board with imagination and creativity and also rely on the experience of those that have come before me.