Meet David Allen, Founder & Author:

david-allenDr. David F. Allen studied medicine at St. Andrews University Medical School in Scotland, and Psychiatry and Public Health at Harvard Medical School where he was a Kennedy Fellow. He studied theology under Dr. Francis Schaeffer at L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland, and did further work in Religion, Psychiatry and Ethics under Professor Arthur Dyck at the Harvard Divinity School. He was a visiting professor at Yale Divinity School where he was mentored by Fr. Henri Nouwen. In Washington, D.C., he was mentored by Dr. Gerald May of the Shalom Institute. Since then, Dr. Allen has taught Psychiatry and Religion at Harvard, Yale and Georgetown Medical School.

In 1987 he was awarded the Bennett Commonwealth Prize for his outstanding work in cocaine addiction. He was featured in the P.B.S. special, The Drug Wars, which documented his discovery of crack cocaine and its epidemic in 1985. Dr. Allen has established cocaine treatment centers in The Bahamas and Washington, D.C., and is a recognized expert in all types of addictions and their causes. Dr. Allen has taught at the Chautauqua Institution with Dr. Ross McKenzie and psychoanalyst Janet Gibbs in the field of Psychiatry and Religion and has been a regular facilitator for Young President Organization Group Forums.

Dr. Allen has published widely in the areas of Addiction, Spirituality and Psychiatry, including Mental Health Evaluation (1976), The Cocaine Crisis (1985) and Cocaine: The Broken Promise (1988). More recently Dr. Allen has been involved in the publication of a trilogy of books dealing with the integration of psychiatry and religion: In Search of the Heart (1993), Shattering the Gods Within (1997), Contemplation: Intimacy in a Distant World (2004), Shame: The Human Nemesis (), and most recently Daily Discovery: A Devotional (2013). Dr. Allen is a well-known public speaker whose lectures include “Spirituality and the Addictions” (2003) in Washington, D.C., “Contemplation and the Meaning of Jesus Christ” in Italy (2003) and “Grief and Contentment” in Chautauqua (2003). Dr. Allen gave a keynote address at the conference of Episcopal Priests in Canada in 2004. His widely acclaimed marriage, grief, and shame seminars have been hosted by churches as diverse as Dallas Bible Church in Texas and St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church, Washington, D.C. Broadcast throughout the Bahamas, his weekly radio program “Coming Home: Facing our Heart” and weekly television program “People Helping People” explore themes relating to anger, community, forgiveness and acceptance.

Aided by grants from the Templeton World Charity Foundation in 2013 and 2014 and donations from individuals, Dr. Allen directs “The Family: People Helping People” a program of free community-based therapy groups reaching into marginalized areas in The Bahamas. Using qualified therapists, “The Family” has now expanded to provide free group therapy sessions for adults and adolescents throughout New Providence. Currently 15 groups meet weekly to promote re-socializaton by developing anger management and conflict resolution, increasing self esteem, gratitude, contentment and forgiveness, while decreasing shame, depression, revenge and abusive relationships. The Templeton World Charity Foundation stepped in to fund a rigorous scholarly evaluation of “The Family” project leading to the publication of several journal articles and to develop a training program for therapist facilitators to further expand The Family’s outreach.


Dr. Allen has a international private practice in Psychiatry and individual therapy in Nassau, Bahamas. As director of the Renascence Institute International and the Allen Institute of Training and Research, Dr. Allen works with a team of psychiatrists, professional counselors and researchers centered in office, located at Sandyport Beaches Resort in Nassau, Bahamas. For more information visit The Renascence Institute International, or contact the office at renascenceatsandyport@gmail.com or call (242) 327-8719 or (301) 358-0277.