The Allender Center Podcast

We are not just a collection of stories - we are a story. So how do we begin to make sense of a collection of seemingly random and unrelated stories to find a theme of who we are and what our purpose is? 

Dan and Rachael talk about uncovering the lies in our stories, finding the connective threads in the themes of our lives, and discovering the ways in which our stories reveal something unique about the character of God.

To learn more about telling your story in a deeper and more transformative way, we invite you to participate in one of our Story Workshops. You can find out more about upcoming workshops at


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If you’re familiar with the work of the Allender Center, you’ve probably heard us say: ““You cannot take anyone further than you have gone.”

Whether you’re in a leadership position at work, at church, or within your family, if you hope to lead and help others along their journey, you have to also embark on your own healing journey. This is not something you can observe from the sidelines and coach someone through without doing the work yourself.

So what’s involved in that healing process for leaders? What stops us from healing? And are we ever “done” healing? 

Join Dan Allender, Rachael Clinton Chen, and Linda Royster as they continue their conversation around the need to heal to lead.


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“Every person is a leader in some form. Every person is influencing others to some degree - whether you're a pastor or whether you're managing your children's soccer team, you are in the middle of something complex and difficult,” says Dr. Dan Allender, as he kicks off the conversation with Rachael Clinton Chen and Linda Royster.

In this week’s podcast episode, we consider the paradox of leadership that Moses experienced leading the Israelites. Being in a leadership position is an honor and a calling, but it often comes with significant challenges and complexities. How does a reluctant leader grapple with the lament they feel while being compelled by their calling and purpose?

“We can’t escape the call to lead because… there is hope for more. There’s hope for goodness. There is a call and a burden for people to experience freedom. That’s in part what makes it bearable for me… You move forward because hope abides and comfort does come,” shares Linda.

Next week, we’ll return to talk about the the importance of leaders first experiencing their own healing in order to engage those they serve with kindness, goodness, and hope.


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We are thrilled to welcome back podcast co-host Rachael Clinton Chen, who is returning to us from maternity leave! In this conversation with Dan, Rachael catches us up on life as a new mother, her experiences with labor and the first few months, and her observations on the incredible burdens that women bear. If you are a parent or caregiver, we think this episode will be especially relatable, but we hope that all who listen will walk away with a renewed sense of the awe, terror, and joy of the responsibility of caring for those who are most vulnerable in our lives.

Congratulations Rachael, Michael, and family on your precious blessing, and welcome Evelyn Grace!

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“Our memories are our stories and there's no story that we tell that isn't from our vantage point,” says our guest this week, Cathy Loerzel, MA. 

As we engage our stories and try to recall past events, some of our memories may feel unclear, incomplete, or even untrustworthy. 

Dan Allender and Cathy Loerzel unpack how the brain fragments or scatters painful memories as a trauma response, and how we can work to shed light on those parts of our stories from the past in order to help us live into our present stories with greater freedom.


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We all have experienced betrayal in our relationships. We typically think of betrayal as an affair or deception, and some of us may be quick to say, “That doesn’t apply to my relationship.” 

But what today’s conversation points out is that betrayal is actually anything that disconnects us from our partner and places something else above that person we love most. These moments of betrayal can lead to hurt, disappointment, shame, and a loss of trust.

How do we navigate those moments of betrayal when we feel so wounded? And, whether you’re the one who has perpetrated the harm or you’re the one who has been on the receiving end of that harm, how do we bravely enter into the spaces of shame to name the harm that’s been done and grow together as a couple?

Join Dan and Becky Allender of the Allender Center and Steve and Lisa Call of the Reconnect Institute as they talk about re-engaging with your spouse in those moments of betrayal to cultivate a new sense of trust and hope in your marriage.


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Attachment is an emotional bond we feel with another person who responds to our needs. This begins as an infant as we attach (or fail to attach) to our caregivers then extends into our adult life, often showing up in the ways we relate to others. In today’s episode, Dan and Becky Allender are joined by Steve and Lisa Call from Reconnect Institute to examine how our attachment styles emerge within the context of marriage, how to identify and name those attachments, and how to learn and heal in our most intimate relationships.


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So much of our beauty and brokenness — so much of what makes us who we are today — is tied to our family of origin. 

The ways in which we act, react, and interact with others are directly tied to our childhood origin stories and the hurt that we all inevitably experienced – no matter how perfect (or imperfect) our families were.

Why should we spend time going back to name the hurt we experienced growing up? Is it worth it to stir up those memories, talk about painful experiences, and potentially upset our loved ones? 

Dr. Dan Allender and Adam Young, LCSW, MDiv, candidly share their own personal experiences of courageously engaging their parents in conversations and, over time, discovering more grace, understanding, and freedom in the process.

We hope this conversation sparks courage within you to engage some of the difficult truths of the past in order to discover a new hope for your life right now. 

If you’d like to hear more, we invite you to join Dan and Adam on February 23 for “Family of Origin,” a new online seminar from the Allender Center.

Registration is now open at

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Annie Allender Robbins and Amanda Christian join their dad, Dan Allender, for a personal and profound dialogue about how they were raised, how that shaped them, and the work that they have done as adults to discover a new width of freedom to be who they really are. Dan also reflects on healing he has found as a parent, and now a grandparent, through his relationship with his children.

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According to the research of the Gottman Institute, nearly 70% of relationship conflicts are unresolvable - meaning, there is no clear right or wrong resolution. After recently celebrating their 46th wedding anniversary, Dan and Becky Allender come together to talk about conflict, particularly within the context of marriage. Throughout any relationship, conflict is inevitible - and it can look different in different seasons or settings. 

You’ll hear Dan and Becky highlight two traps that are easy to fall into: conflict avoidance (don’t go there!) and indifferent compromise (just tell me what to do, and I’ll do it your way). You’ll also hear them talk through some of the keys of navigating moments of conflict: slowing down, naming the patterns, and caring for one another in the moment - even when there is no clear resolution.



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Wendell Moss, lead instructor and facilitator at the Allender Center, joins Dan Allender on the podcast this week to discuss the crucial passage of Micah 6:8: 

“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (NIV)

Why are justice, mercy, and humility bound together in this passage? And how do they intersect with one another? Listen to this deep dive into the way that these three elements interplay and create a charge that, as followers of Christ, we cannot ignore. 

Wendell closes the conversation by pointing out: “This passage is inviting you to a commitment. It is good. It is required. Will you be committed?”

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Welcome to a new year of the Allender Center Podcast! This week, Dan and Becky Allender reconvene to look forward with anticipation and expectation.

Dan asks, “What do you want the year to hold? I think most people speak first of events... But I think one of the things that so seldom seems to be the primary category: who do you want to become?”

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