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Story Sage: Family of Origin

Course 2 in the Story Sage Series

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Course Description

Growing up within a family system has profound formative influence on our sense of identity, capacity for relationship, and feeling of safety and freedom in the world. Even in the most well-intentioned homes there are places where an emotional need was missed or a situation handled poorly. These leave a lasting mark that influences our sense of our own goodness, moves us toward self-protection, and impacts how harm or heartache may be internalized. As adults these realms are so interwoven into our identity that we rarely see the true impact, and naming stories in which our families have failed us is so tender that addressing them often evokes fear, defensiveness, and dissociation.

Family of Origin is a robust, deep dive five-lesson course that will equip you to recognize and address core categories for engaging family of origin stories. Sit around the table with author and psychologist Dr. Dan Allender and gifted story experts, Cathy Loerzel and Rachael Clinton as they offer thoughtful teaching on what is required to see and draw out the nuances of a story in order to move the storyteller toward discovery, honesty, grief, and lasting change.

Throughout this course you will be invited to:

  • Deepen your capacity to recognize key details within stories in order to address the most core matters of the heart
  • Witness Dan engage in artful, sacred story work with a woman wrestling through a past experience of harm from her family of origin narrative
  • Apply what you are learning through exercises designed to illuminate the essential steps of offering effective care utilizing the Allender Theory

Who is this Course For?

This course is for people with a heart for vulnerability, healing, and freedom. Whether you are a counselor, pastor, teacher, small group leader, friend, or parent — you will develop and deepen the wisdom required to access not only the core of a story, but the core of the person telling it.

What’s Included in the Course

  • 5 hours of video teaching from Dr. Dan Allender, Cathy Loerzel, and Rachael Clinton
  • 5 deep dive lessons addressing engaging core categories for engaging family of origin stories
  • Downloadable workbook with exercises and reflection prompts to deepen your understanding and application of the content
  • Lifetime access to course platform and material

Access the Complete Story Sage Series

Family of Origin is Course 2 in the Story Sage Series. Frameworks & Tools is Course 1, which includes foundational material and is a required prerequisite for the Family of Origin course. Own both Frameworks & Tools and Family of Origin by purchasing the entire Story Sage Series: Access the Bundle and Save $29

How this Self-Paced Course Works

This is a self-directed course, with lifetime access to the material. All content is available immediately upon enrollment to view at a pace that fits your schedule. Plan for a minimum of 2 hours to complete each lesson — in one sitting or spread out over several days — to provide optimum space and time to absorb and engage the content.

Interested in a Group Purchase?

We offer to bulk discounts of 10-30% for small groups, teams, churches, and organizations enrolling 5 or more participants. Learn more and enroll your group here: Story Sage Group Orders


More questions about the course? See our FAQ section below.



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Your Instructor


The Allender Center Teaching Team
The Allender Center Teaching Team

Dr. Dan Allender has pioneered a unique and innovative approach to trauma and abuse recovery over the past 30 years. Dan serves as Co-Founder of The Allender Center and Professor of Counseling Psychology at The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology. Read more...

Cathy Loerzel, MA is Co-Founder, Executive Director, and core Teaching Staff at The Allender Center. Cathy has worked alongside Dan since 2008, creating a step by step methodology to teach and apply the Allender Theory.

Rachael Clinton, MDiv is Asst Director of Program Development and core Teaching Staff at The Allender Center. Rachael has worked alongside Dan since 2008, applying her pastoral and therapeutic story engagement talent in many forms through our workshops, podcast, and blog.


Course Curriculum


  Course Orientation
Available in days
days after you enroll

Frequently Asked Questions


When does the course start and finish?
It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
After enrolling, you have lifetime access to this course across any and all devices you own as long as your account remains active.
How long will the course be available to purchase online?
This course will live permanently on our site and is available for purchase anytime in the future.
What are the required materials I will need for the course?
There are no required materials for the course. Once enrolled, you will have access to a printable Course Workbook full of reflection prompts and engagement exercises that correspond with each lesson.
Do I need to send any assignments into The Allender Center for review or evaluation?
No assignments are due to complete this course. Your own personal writing and reflection using our Course Workbook can be completed at your own pace and remains your own private set of notes.
If my small group, team, or spouse and I would like to go through this course together, do we all need to purchase and enroll in the class?
Each enrollment is intended to be a single user license per our Terms of Use policy. If a person is accessing content within the course as an individual, pair, or as a group they must be enrolled to comply with our Terms of Use policy.
I am taking the course with friends or a small group. What is the best way to go through this class together?
We recommend scheduling a minimum of 6 meetings to get through the material. You can watch the videos together and use portions of the Course Workbook activities as points of discussion, or complete the questions prior to meeting and share responses together. Each group member must enroll in the course through an individual or multiple-license purchase to comply with our Terms of Use policy.
Can I receive continuing education units (CEUs) for this course?
This course does not offer CEUs.
What are the technology requirements to take the course?
Once you've purchased the course, you will be able to view content from any web enabled device including a desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. For the best user experience and video playback quality, we do recommend using the most updated version of your web browser (Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer).
What is your refund policy?
Please review all orders carefully before a purchase is made, as all sales are final.