Intensive Therapy Retreats

Intensive therapy retreats are weeklong experiences featuring one on one counseling with me, tailored to your individual needs. Unlike manualized, one size fits all treatment, I approach therapy as a collaborative art: we work together to balance what I believe is possible for you and what you yourself are ready to address. I see my role as that of compassionate facilitator, helping you to connect with your innate wisdom and your body’s natural healing mechanisms. To this end, I use attachment-focused EMDR. This means that we heal attachment injuries – pain experienced in relationship with others – with our therapeutic connection and through the use of extensive resourcing to create emotional stability and confidence. Using the latest EMDR therapy techniques, we will work together to create a strong foundation for healing. EMDR-based intensive therapy has been shown to be a method that can elicit permanent healing over the course of days, not years.

While your needs may vary from what is shown here, this is a typical schedule:

Day 1 – Thursday

2pm – Arrive at the Westin across the street from my office.

3pm-6pm – Initial intake

  • Identification of treatment goals to be treated with trauma-focused and/or addiction-focused EMDR for later desensitization and reprocessing
  • Identification of addiction urges, triggers, and feeling-states
  • Identification of current trauma triggers and the disturbing memories to which they are linked and their self-referential negative beliefs.
  • Experience some success with EMDR through the use of the Flash Technique whereby an upsetting memory can be quickly desensitized

Day 2 – Friday

9am-12pm – Resourcing

Much in the same way an Olympic skier visualizes a successful run before it happens, you too can use imagination to create peace and stability within yourself.  This concept of visualizing success to create success is inherent in the EMDR-based concept of resourcing.  Resourcing takes visualization a step further by adding bilateral stimulation (BLS).  BLS means doing something to both sides of the body such as tapping on the arms or legs, right-left, right-left.  What makes bilateral stimulation so powerful is it lights up both the left and right sides of our brains: activating the parts related to our bodies, memories, language, and emotions.  We add BLS when imagining resources so that we can feel them deeply.  Rather than having a cognitive, detached awareness of something, you will know the resource is there for you and feel its presence.  Sound strange?  I thought so too.  But it turns out that the effect of bilateral stimulation is likely hard-wired in us from the time we were in the womb.  The rhythms of our mothers’ heartbeat, her breathing and walking, were soothing to us in utero.  We mimic that security and peace by using bilateral stimulation.  We will spend significant time on resourcing as it creates the solid foundation upon which all of our work will be built.  I train other clinicians on the use of resourcing.  It’s my passion and area of expertise.  All resources work to strengthen your internal locus of control: your ability to feel empowered in your life to overcome obstacles that used to hinder you.

Some resources we will create may include:

  • Peaceful Place Resource
  • Container Resource
  • Nurturing Figures
  • Protector Figures
  • Wise Figures
  • Spiritual Being
  • Healthy Adult Self
  • Life after addiction
  • Life free from trauma response symptoms

12-3pm – Lunch and exercise break

3pm-6pm – Deepened resourcing

During the afternoon session, we will explore and deepen resources, including walking through life events with the presence of an ideal mother or ideal father to repair attachment deficits you may have experienced.  We are able to rewire your brain and deactivate your nervous system through the use of bilateral stimulation as you imagine these life events with supportive and healthy parental figures.  We may also use bilateral stimulation to deepen your experience of happy memories and any of the aforementioned resources we did not create during the morning session.

Day 3 – Saturday

9am-12pm – Addiction-focused EMDR

During the morning session, we will work with urge and trigger desensitization protocols to decrease the frequency and intensity of urges and to heal their roots.

Some EMDR-based interventions we use may include:

  • Feeling State Addiction Protocol
  • DeTur (Desensitization of Triggers and Urge Reprocessing)
  • Bridging back from the moment before the urge to resolve its roots
  • Connecting the Consequences Protocol

12pm-3pm – Lunch and exercise break

3pm-6pm – Continued Addiction-focused EMDR interventions

During the afternoon, we will deepen and review protocols used during the morning session.  We may also apply the same protocols to other situational triggers and addiction-related feeling-states.

Day 4 – Sunday

Morning break to rest and integrate healing. With EMDR, processing continues post-session so this free time is intended to facilitate your brain’s processing of the work completed thus far.

3pm-6pm – Trauma-focused EMDR

  • Process the traumas that may be driving the addiction
    • For example, a person may be abusing alcohol because it helps her feel less bothered by past abuse and keeps her nightmares at bay.  In this stage of treatment, we gently process both the abuse and the attendant nightmares.
  • Process traumas seemingly unrelated to the addiction, such as
    • “Small t” childhood traumas such as being belittled by a teacher or verbally bullied by a sibling.
    • “Big T” childhood traumas such as physical abuse by a caregiver or peer.
    • Single incident or chronic trauma in adulthood such as a serious car accident or intimate partner violence

Day 5 and Day 6 – Monday, Tuesday

9am-12pm – Continue trauma processing

12pm-3pm – Lunch and exercise break

3pm-6pm – Continue trauma processing

Day 7 – Wednesday

9am-12pm – Closure and Preparation

  • Review of goal completion, celebration of success!
  • Preparation for healthy lifestyle changes after treatment
  • Re-evaluation of life priorities now that you are free from many trauma response symptoms and urges that drove your addiction
  • Discuss options for ongoing therapy with local clinicians who are capable to continue this work you have started

Total program cost, exclusive of room and board: $6,600


Get Started

600 Stewart Street, Suite 400
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 339-4546

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