Marilyn J. Owen, LMFT

Marilyn J. Owen, LMFT

Professions: Marriage & Family Therapy, Psychotherapy
License Status: I'm a licensed professional.
Primary Credential: LMFT - 41344
Verified Credentials
1-800-651-8085 ext. 01213
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Office 1
30 W. Mission Street
Suite #5
Santa Barbara, California 93101
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The field of psychotherapy has grown tremendously in the past couple of decades, with a deepening understanding of how trauma and attachment affects our brain development from day one. And, these advances in neuroscience have confirmed that the basic act of listening with empathy is a powerful healing agent for the mind, heart, body, and soul.

My approach integrates thinking and feeling, body and soul, pragmatism and imagination, and the effects of the past as they show up in the present. In our sessions, you will have the safety and freedom to explore what is bothering you, the support to feel what needs to be felt in order to be released, and the guidance to strategize for a better future.

Email or Call Marilyn J. Owen, LMFT at 1-800-651-8085 ext. 01213

More Info About My Practice

I received an MA in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute in 1999 after a first career in teaching. I also have degrees in English Literature/Creative Writing, and Theater Arts. My training in psychology has included myth and fairy tale, the dream/voice/movement work of Marion Woodman, astrology, and mindfulness meditation, post-modern spirituality and consciousness, and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy training. I am currently providing clinical supervision in my private practice and teaching Counseling Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute as well as Antioch University, Santa Barbara.

Specific Issue(s) I'm Skilled at Helping With

Many of my clients are intuitive, creative people struggling with depression and anxiety, relationship problems, spiritual questioning, and life transitions. Some are in therapy in order to deepen their relationship to Self and Other. They appreciate an approach that accesses the innate wisdom of the body and imagination, and is more process oriented than directive, to help them find their unique path and answers.

I have also had a lot of success working with couples. My own passionate curiosity about Love and Relationship has led me to explore, study, reflect on, and practice Relationship as a spiritual and healing path. I incorporate ancient Buddhist teachings about Loving-kindess and non-attachment, as well as modern Attachment theory and the power of emotion to heal the wounds of the heart. It's not an easy path, but we are here to heal each other by working through our arguments, expectations, betrayal, abandonment, and withdrawal...WITH each other. I practice from a sex positive perspective with monogamous and polyamorous couples, and am LGB as well as transgender affirmative.

How Psychotherapy Can Help

The essence of psychotherapy is helping the heart learn to trust more deeply and fully. We all have experienced difficulties that hindered our ability to trust--ourselves, others, or Life itself. This leaves us with "stuck" places, which prevent us from continuing to grow into mature, whole, joyful adults. In fact, researchers can now provide evidence of this in terms of neurological development of the brain. The good news is, this is not permanent! Being in a long-term, stable, caring relationship can fix our neurological shortcomings! Psychotherapy is one way to experience the kind of safe, authentic relationship in which you can begin to grow beyond those stuck places.

What I Love about Being a Psychotherapist

The books on my desk and nightstand, for the past 30+ years, have been predominantly about psychology, spiritual growth, consciousness, relationship, and poetry. I'm quite a nerd when it comes to these topics. Why? What's not to love about human psyche?

Had a Negative Therapy Experience?

Unfortunately, not everyone has a good experience with therapy the first time. There are several important ways to improve the odds you will be satisfied with yours:

1) Do your homework: ask friends for referrals, look at websites, make phone calls and interview several therapists. Go with the person who makes you feel comfortable, whose voice you like, who says things you connect with. Choosing a therapist is like picking a best friend--its very personal.
2) Ask a potential therapist about their own personal work. A good counselor is always attending to their own inner life as well as furthering their education and training. This is a lifelong calling, and as such, requires ongoing attention to ensure we are able to provide the highest quality of care. We cannot take you any deeper into your own psyche, than we have been in our own.

How My Own Struggles Made Me a Better Therapist

I would never see a therapist who had lived a charmed life. Unfortunately, we only grow when we are in too much pain to remain the same. Fortunately, the very things that cause us pain, hold the key to our transformation. I turn to the myth of Chiron for wisdom on this topic. Chiron, an immortal being in ancient Greece, traveled the known world in search of a cure for an excruciating wound. After many years, he was still unable to heal himself, but he had learned so much about medicine, that he became a renowned physician with deep wisdom about suffering. Most folks in the healing professions relate to this myth deeply.

Theoretical Influences that Guide My Work

I have two primary theoretical orientations:Depth and Somatic Psychology. I studied Depth and Jungian Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute, with additional training by Marion Woodman. I am currently training in Somatic Psychotherapy as developed by Pat Ogden, which focuses on using the body to resolve trauma and attachment issues. My work rests on the fundamental belief that there is a evolutionary principle in the world that inevitably pulls us toward growth and greater consciousness. Learning to hear and trust that impulse, is part of the therapeutic process.

Services I Provide

  • Clinical Supervision
  • Consultation
  • Creative Arts Therapy
  • Family Therapy
  • Individual Therapy & Counseling
  • Marriage, Couples, or Relationship Counseling
  • Online Counseling / Phone Therapy

Ages I Work With

  • Teens
  • Adults
  • Elders


  • English

Groups I Work With

    Creative artists, intuitives, LGBTQ clients, foster and post-adoption families, survivors of childhood trauma and abuse, therapists, healers and caregivers.

Client Concerns I Treat

  • Abandonment
  • Abortion / Post Abortion Issues
  • Abuse / Abuse Survivor Issues
  • Adjusting to Change / Life Transitions
  • Aging and Geriatric Issues
  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Attachment Issues
  • Blended Family Issues
  • Body Image
  • Breakup
  • Bullying
  • Caregiver Issues / Stress
  • Child and/or Adolescent Issues
  • Codependency / Dependency
  • Communication Problems
  • Control Issues
  • Creative Blocks
  • Depression
  • Dissociation
  • Divorce / Divorce Adjustment
  • Emotional Abuse
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Emotional Overwhelm
  • Emptiness
  • Family of Origin Issues
  • Family Problems
  • Fear
  • Forgiveness
  • Grief, Loss, and Bereavement
  • Health / Illness / Medical Issues
  • Helplessness / Victimhood
  • Identity Issues
  • Inadequacy
  • Inattention, Impulsivity, and Hyperactivity (ADHD)
  • Individuation
  • Infidelity / Affair Recovery
  • Irritability
  • Isolation
  • Jealousy
  • LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) Issues
  • Life Purpose / Meaning / Inner-Guidance
  • Midlife Crisis / Midlife Transition
  • Mood Swings / Mood Disturbance
  • Narcissism
  • Oppositional and Defiant Behavior in Children and Teen
  • Parenting
  • Perfectionism
  • Physical Abuse
  • Polyamory / Nonmonogamous Relationships
  • Posttraumatic Stress / Trauma
  • Pre-Marital Counseling
  • Rejection
  • Relationships and Marriage
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
  • Self-Actualization
  • Self-Care
  • Self-Compassion
  • Self-Confidence
  • Self-Criticism
  • Self-Doubt
  • Self-Esteem
  • Self-Harm
  • Self-Love
  • Sensitivity to Criticism
  • Sex Addiction
  • Sexual Assault / Abuse
  • Sexuality / Sex Therapy
  • Shame
  • Somatization
  • Spirituality
  • Stress
  • Suicidal Ideation and Behavior
  • Trust Issues
  • Values Clarification
  • Women's Issues
  • Workplace Issues
  • Worry
  • Worthlessness
  • Young Adult Issues

Types of Therapy

  • Bibliotherapy
  • Body-Mind Psychotherapy
  • Depth Therapy
  • Dreamwork and Dream Analysis
  • Existential Psychotherapy
  • Expressive Arts Therapy
  • Family Systems Therapy
  • Guided Therapeutic Imagery
  • Humanistic Psychology
  • Imago Relationship Therapy
  • Internal Family Systems
  • Interpersonal Psychotherapy
  • Play Therapy
  • Process Oriented Psychology
  • Psychodynamic
  • Relational Psychotherapy
  • Sand Tray / Sand Play Therapy
  • Sensorimotor Psychotherapy

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