Kasey Crown, MA, LMFT is not your average therapist. For more than a decade, the Chicago native has challenged outdated mental health paradigms with her uniquely holistic, integrative approach to therapy. Working with a wide range of modalities—everything from psychodynamic psychotherapy, systems approach, relational gestalt, person-centered, humanistic, CBT, somatic and spiritual psychology—Crown has approached therapy from an understanding that our mental, spiritual, and physical wellness are deeply interconnected. Her studies in the field of human consciousness, spirituality, mysticism, yoga, and energy medicine lie at the heart of her transpersonal practice, where her clinical work focuses on the treatment of trauma, healing relational and systemic issues, addressing existential pain and actualizing human potential. With an undergraduate degree in Philosophy from the University of San Diego, a master’s degree in Spiritual and Counseling Psychology from the University of Santa Monica, multiyear postgrad advanced clinical trainings in trauma-informed care and harm reduction, relational studies, and interpersonal neurobiology, Crown’s professional philosophy has been informed by its interdisciplinary origins. At the core is her belief that “true well-being lies in our ability to balance scientific and spiritual perspectives.” Working to facilitate the healing process for adult individuals, couples and groups alike, her work aims to transform emotional injury, upend trauma and repair relationships by helping unlock vital inner wisdom, and by connecting people with who they truly are.
We recently sat down with Kasey in her beautiful Ojai office to learn more about her own journey, as well as her approach to mental health and wellness.
EDITOR Sofia Florimbi
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Where are you from?
I’m originally from just outside of Chicago, but I left to go to boarding school as a teen and never returned. I’ve been on the West Coast for over half my life at this point.
What do you do professionally?
I am a transpersonal psychotherapist, psychedelic guide, consultant, educator and mother of three!
Where do you live now and what do you love most about it?
I currently live in Ojai, California. We unexpectedly yet serendipitously made Ojai our full-time residence during the pandemic. It’s a place where I have familial roots and grew up spending time. My husband and I were married here in 2009 and have been frequent visitors of the Valley ever since.
What I love most about Ojai is our community. Years prior to our having relocated, several of our dear friends made the leap. Despite the upheaval surrounding our pandemic inspired move, having friends here to welcome us made our transition rather effortless. We are beyond grateful to live somewhere we have long felt a sacred connection, and to have a tribe of truly supportive and wonderful friends.
I am always moving the goalpost and taking on a new challenge, especially when it comes to work. At the moment I am finishing a book proposal, something in the prescriptive nonfiction category. It feels like the right time and a natural extension of my work. Other goals include raising my three daughters to be kind humans and good citizens of the world. I am participating in efforts to medicalize the use of psychedelic and plant medicines for the purpose of healing trauma, anxiety, depression and addiction. I have been training and working in this space for the last five years and my personal experience coupled with the promising scientific data gives me tremendous hope for what’s possible in the mental health field. We need new tools and interventions at our disposal for treatment resistant conditions and to offer those who wish to further actualize their potential, navigate grief and repair relationships.
My husband would tell you that my favorite pastime is laying down! It’s true, I love rest and stillness and solitude. It’s when most of my creative insights emerge. But my real hobbies include hiking, yoga, travel, and reading.
What inspires you?
Anyone and everyone who is kind, tolerant and generous inspires me. Our perspectives and behaviors have become so imbalanced and extreme. I’m inspired by those that are able to maintain their humility and their humanity while working for change. And of course Mother Nature takes my breath away. The oceans, mountains and redwoods charge my soul.
What was your journey to becoming a psychotherapist? What do you like most about your work, and where do you want to take it next?
My journey to becoming a psychotherapist was long and meandering! It started, as is often the case for people in the healing arts, with my own healing. Which by the way continues to this day. The evolutionary process requires a lot of introspection and a relentless willingness to own your shit!
Throughout the early stages of that journey I began following the work of a woman who would become an important spiritual teacher of mine. I had always been curious about spirituality and the nature of consciousness. The inner work I learned from her coupled with the more traditional treatment I received inspired in me a desire to bridge the gap.
"I wanted to build something grounded in science and psychological theory but also deeply spiritual. In my experience, this combination creates the greatest possibility for expansion and for the cultivation of a deep sense of meaning and purpose."
My work is really an amalgamation of the various fields I’ve studied from philosophy, mysticism, energy medicine and consciousness to psychology, interpersonal neurobiology and psychedelic science. I love working with individuals in private practice, to be a witness and a partner as my clients do the courageous work of going inward to change their lives. I also really enjoy teaching and facilitating workshops where communities of people come together to learn and grow.
At the moment my intention is to continue teaching workshops through WellSoul, the company I founded in 2018 with my partner Jakki; and to partner with other collaborators as I’m doing at both Wisdom 2.0 and Esalen this coming year. I also plan to write my book and to continue consulting on projects.
Hmmmm, great question? I identify as kind of a bougie hippie! By that I mean I like the finer things in life but I don’t believe in excess. And I prefer experience to stuff any day of the week, so I would say that travel is probably my biggest luxury. I love getting out of my bubble and seeing the world, experiencing different cultures.
What are your rules to live by?
Be kind. Everything we are experiencing in the outer world is a reflection of our inner dis-ease so we need to clean up our side of the street before policing everyone else!
Humor is everything.
"Judgment is the source of all suffering. Love and service are the best forms of activism. "
Female hero and why?
I don’t believe in heroes! Just messy humans. But I have a lot of respect for women in leadership roles and women who are dedicated to a life of service and women who are present moms. Being a woman is such an exercise in managing complexity. Anyone who can hold it all with grace deserves a medal!
"I think all of us have the same super power and I would argue that it’s our attention! Wherever it is focused, something will grow, whether that’s love or hate or some kind of creative project. And we need to learn to harness it for good."
How do you unwind?
I love a bath, a sunset beach walk or neighborhood stroll with the dogs. I love to play cards, boggle or rummikub with my husband and I’m always down for an awkward kitchen dance party with my daughters! I also live for a powwow with my girlfriends to talk life.
How do you take good care of yourself?
Meditation, energy work, exercise, and sleep. By constantly revisiting and refocusing my attention on my intentions. By wearing sunscreen, everywhere, all the time! And I eat pretty clean, minus the french fries.
When do you feel your best?
When I’m in gratitude, when I’m in nature, and when my kids are all getting along!
Do you unplug from devices?
I do unplug from devices but find myself continually having to monitor and recalibrate my relationship to technology. It can be a slippery slope. And with everything being on an app, in a zoom room or in an email these days, it’s easy to cross the threshold into too much screen time. Like every other issue we struggle with, it requires our awareness and a willingness to take responsibility when it’s not working.
Beauty/ Skincare routine?
I do whatever my sister-in-law Caroline tells me to do! She’s my beauty product guru. Among her recommendations that I now swear by are the Joanna Vargas Vitamin C Wash and Daily Serum– it’s like a green juice for your face. I also use products from the collaboration by Kristina Holey and Marie Veronique, including the Barrier Restore Serum, Intensive Repair Serum and Soothing B3 Serum. I use Supergoop SPF 50 for a hike and a tinted moisturizer with SPF 30 by Suntegrity for everyday. And Beauty Counter Calendula Lip Balm.
What is your style credo?
Less is more!
Who is your style icon and why?
Diane Keaton! Even though I don’t dress anything like her (except perhaps for the fact that we both wear a lot of hats), I love how much fun she has with her attire. It’s playful, creative and she doesn’t seem to take it too seriously. I respect that about her.
What do you like best about KC bags and jewelry?
Firstly, I like the woman behind the brand and have had the pleasure of getting to know her over the past few years! We frequent the same little southern California beach cove! And my family has also benefited greatly from the work of Kendall’s daughter, a talented artist who teaches my children!
Insofar as the products themselves, they are a representation of Kendall’s minimalist chic aesthetic. Something I very much resonate with. Every piece feels so versatile, elegant and yet casual. I love that you can dress her pieces up or down and go day to night.
What is your favorite KC piece?
The Hemisphere Bangles in brass!
Do you tend to wear more bold or delicate jewelry?
I wear both. My wedding band is very delicate but I love a chunky brass or gold ring or a stack of bracelets. I have a strange allergy to certain metals and every time I put an earring in I have a reaction, so because I don’t wear those, I like my bracelets and rings to pop.