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Dr. Karen Chenier is originally from Chicago, IL, and moved to Southern California. She studied Dance, Psychology, and Sociology and received her BFA in Dance from California State University Long Beach (CSULB). After working as a dancer and dance educator, she returned to school to study Dance Movement Therapy with Professor Dosamantes-Beaudry and Victoria Marks and earned MA in Dance Movement Therapy at the University of California Los Angeles.

Karen worked as a registered Dance Movement Therapist in various hospitals in Los Angeles. She worked in acute, locked, adult in-patient and partial psychiatric hospitalizations programs in Century City Hospital, Encino Hospital, North Hollywood Medical Center, and Huntington East Valley Hospital in Pasadena, CA.

Karen also has lead dance movement therapy groups and individual sessions with children and adolescents with developmental disabilities, such as autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, and epilepsy at the Lawrence L. Frank Center in Pasadena.

She returned to college to study depth psychology, radical theorizing, in-depth relational clinical education, and engagement in social justice issues and care at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara. The program prepared psychologists to integrate diverse depth psychological traditions, human sciences scholarship, and community engagement. 

During graduate school, Karen worked as a psychological intern with Dr. Elenore Pomeroy at the Healing Foundation, a psychoanalytic day treatment program in Brentwood, CA, supporting and advocating for adults working through trauma, PTSD, dissociative, and personality disorders.

After receiving her Ph.D. in clinical psychology, she was invited to teach in the Dance and Education Psychology Department at California State University Long Beach. She taught and developed a curriculum for Nonverbal Communication, Interaction of Mind-Body. She specialized in Non-verbal Communication and Mind-Body awareness, and Creative Arts Therapy approaches to self-understanding and healing.

While at CSULB, she helped create and implement a study-abroad program with her husband, Jon, in the Interior Architectural Design Department and the American Institute for Foreign Study in London, the UK, and Florence, Italy.

Also, she was accepted as worked as a psychological assistant with Dr. Steven Frank at the CG. Jung Institute of Los Angeles, Kieffer Franz Clinic.

After taking the time to be with her family and children, she relocated to Portland, OR.

Karen currently has a private practice office in SE, Portland. She works with adults and couples who seek to enhance and improve their relationships and overall mental health.

Research Interests

Technological advances and their subsequent effects on mental and physical health, specifically regarding human relationships nonverbal behavior, communication, and body-positivity/awareness.

Creative arts and somatic therapeutic approaches to the transformation of the personality and self.

Physical / Mental Health, Wellness.

Evidenced-based approaches to improve interpersonal relationships.

Classes Taught at PSU

Psychology 200

Psychology as a Natural Science

Covers the scientific foundations of human behavior in areas such as physiological and biological psychology, cognitive, moral, and emotional development, sensation and perception, consciousness, learning, thinking and memory. Also focuses on issues in experimental design and teaches students how to critically evaluate psychological research.

Psychology 317

Psychology of Personal / Social Adjustment

Traces the course of normal adjustment with special interest in those factors which are instrumental in shaping human behavior. Introduces psychological principles forself-understanding and interpersonal relationships through the use of psychological research and theoretical principals.  Also, concepts such as emotional maturity, psychological stress, and maladjustment are considered.  Recommended prerequisite: 4 credits in 200-level psychology.  

Psychology 204

Psychology as a Social Science

Explores human individuality and the social context of behavior. Topics include intelligence, personality, motivation, social psychology, coping with stress, and psychological disorders. Describes theories and research findings in the context of social issues and introduces students to challenges of psychological measurement.

Psychology 405

Reading & Conference, Undergraduate Teaching Asst.

Consent of instructor.

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