I can’t explain the relief I feel on a daily basis after spending 7 days with Rachael Starr doing EMDR therapy..I have been home for aprox 2 months since the retreat and I wish I had known about this program years ago, but better late than never.The unknown and anxiety before the retreat was high but Rachael had such a calm about her she set my mind at ease by checking in on me during my travel. Once I arrived and met her in person I knew I picked the right program to fit my personality and needs.The sessions were hard since they opened up traumas I had tucked away for decades. I quickly realized how work, childhood and my adult traumas were all innertwined somehow. Rachael’s ability to read me and direct the EMDR therapy was amazing.During my retreat I was able to sleep through an entire night without waking up feeling some sort of impending doom. The result of that continues to this day and I no longer walk around with bags under my eyes. The tension in my body has released and after 3 years of not being able to close my jaw completely due to tension I was finally able to.I returned home with the tools and ability to deal with stressors, make better life decisions, learned to say NO and have healthy boundaries. All which are allowing me to finally be truely HAPPY with ME…..Living my best life finally,C B(If your gonna be dumb you better be tough )
I hope that this testimonial of mine, helps the person reading this, to understand the gift that you
may receive by attending Rachael Starr’s Therapy
I am a Fire Captain with CALFIRE, with 28 seasons of fire experience. I also have severe
PTSD as a result of my long-term career, and it has affected my life greatly. I was offered the
opportunity to attend Rachael Starr’s Therapy sessions, by the Department’s Employee Support
Like you, —- I was terrified at first, when I was told of “One on one, intensive EMDR sessions”
My brain panicked—-I had anxiety: I would be by MYSELF? —- What about the “other
programs where I have “buddies” with me”? It’s in another State? Am I locked down in a prison
cell? Can I use my cell phone for emergencies? Am I treated like a prisoner?
Calm down………….RELAX. You stay in a nearby hotel which is very nice, and close to
Racheal’s office. She can pick you up and drop you off? Or—-as I chose—-to simply walk the
few blocks to her office.—It was good to get exercise, and clear my mind. There are stores /
and restaurants nearby, and you are free to leave as you desire. Your evenings are free for you
to enjoy the beautiful area. You are free to use your cell phone, send emails, etc. This is NOT
punishment, nor treating you like a criminal. This is the HELP you need, and you are treated
like an adult that you are.
I’m not going to lie to you——–the EMDR is intense. It opens up wounds you hadn’t
consciously thought of. But it opens them up for you to deal with, accept, and put in your past.
It literally re-wires your brain, and you will find yourself in a “fog” at night as your mind heals
itself. Soon you will find that what you thought was a MAJOR trauma, is/was actually an “event”
that you went through, and is now OVER. You will learn how to respond to such
events/memories that come into your mind, and be able to put them aside.
“Group therapy” is just that: a bunch of people with various traumas thrown together and
sharing their stories, their trauma, and the TIME needed to heal. TIME—–which you are now
sharing with 4-7 other individuals—–reducing the focus / treatment TIME for YOU.
If you are looking for a “dude ranch” group therapy–where you ride horses, talk in a “group”
about your PTSD, and get exposed to even MORE trauma…..this isn’t the place for you. If you
want to be watched 24/7, treated like a criminal, and sit around a campfire at night singing “Kum
Bi Ya”, that is what you will get in “group therapy”.
I attended one such “group therapy” and I can honestly say—-it screwed me up more than I was
before I attended.
Rachael’s “One on One Therapy” focuses on YOU, and YOUR problems. You don’t need to be
exposed to other people’s trauma. This is about YOU.
You’ve been thru a lot already—— and you are still here. So, you have the strength. Now is
the time to get the help you need. You can do this. I can honestly say that after 10 years of
“cognitive therapy”—- this was the FIRST time—-that Racheal’s Therapy unlocked something in
me that is allowing me to heal. Don’t be afraid, you’ve gone through tougher battles in your life.
Pick up the phone, get on an airplane, and get your life back
I was told about the 11th Hour Retreat from a coworker who had just come back from an “intensive” with Rachael. I had already been seeing a therapist through my department EAP and had about a year under my belt of EMDR therapy dealing with the significant amount of death and loss in my life. On New Years of 2910 I responded to a double fatality of two young adults in a vehicle accident. One of the individuals had a shocking resemblance to my nephew and for several hours, I thought it might be him. That started for me a downward spiral of trouble sleeping, anxiety, nightmares, and self harm thoughts. My Therapist suggested I look into the “intensive” programs my department offered. I reached out to my peer support and asked for more information about this program. Within a few hours I was on the phone with Rachael. What drew me to this program over others was this was the only one-on-one therapy that was offered. I knew I needed to be able to concentrate on just my own healing and for me to go into a group program would allow me to fade into the background
I had about a month between when I agreed to attend the retreat and when I flew out. As exhausted and ready as I was to make a change in my life, I was never more nervous of the “unknown”. I was scared what might be brought up and that I would lose my career at the end of this. A career that I love. I had been told PTSD what treatable but I didn’t believe it, I didn’t think these struggles would ever go away.
From the moment I walked into the office with Rachael, I had never felt more at ease with a stranger. She was so open, honest, and real. There was freedom in the day and although she pushed me when I needed it, she also honored my boundaries for how far I was willing to go in sessions. I will say that the week was some of the toughest work I’ve ever done on myself but Rachael walked me through it every step of the way. She also took the time to explain why I had the thoughts and feelings I did and it began to unlock things in my brain I didn’t know I was carrying around for years. Being able to identify my “stuff” allowed me to let it go and begin to move forward without that burden. This experience allowed me to stop reliving the past and I have now been able to say “What now?” and look forward.
It’s now about 9 months post retreat and I can say attending the 11th Hour Retreat was the BEST thing I could have done for myself at the time. If I had continued down the path I was on, I don’t think I’d still be working the job I love. Now I am growing into an effective and respected leader in my department. As first responders we take care of everyone else and would move mountains for people we love. We have to do that for ourselves too. I’m not going to lie, the work you will do in this program is hard, and vulnerable, and gritty, but it is worth every second of it. You are worth it, and there is no better place for you to realize it!
Fire Apparatus Engineer
Before I went to the 11 th hour I suffered from depression, anxiety, depression, and anger
management. I’m an Engineer for CAL FIRE and served in the United States Marine Corps. I had
little knowledge about mental trauma and what to expect from the week long EMDR sessions
that I was about to encounter. I spoke with Rachael and with the CAL FIRE ESS staff before I went
and got a lot of information, and with any new experience I had no Idea what to expect. I was
on sick leave from work because mentally I was in need of help. When I first got to the 11 th hour
office and I first met Rachael one of the first things I was told is this isn’t going to work unless I’m
ready for it to work. I thought hard and I needed a change in my life. The EMDR process and the
whole experience was tough, on the first day you do your wall and throughout the week as you
work on your wall you learn to let go of the past. You will learn a lot about yourself and its truly
something special, be open minded don’t hold back let it all out and the feeling you will come
out with is truly amazing. I was sleeping better my energy levels came back and I was ready to
be a dad again and come back to my job.
CALFIRE, Fire Apparatus Engineer
To Whom it May Concern,
I will honestly say that this has changed my life. Trauma can be debilitating and after trying
every effort to just get by, I went to the 11th Hour. If you are dealing with trauma, Ms. Starr is
so very compassionate and deals with every person differently, according to their personal
needs. It is a nonjudgmental environment, so you can feel free to speak your mind. If you are
thinking about it, please just go. It is so worth living a happier, more fruitful life.
Rachael is one of the most competent, professional, knowledgeable, empathetic therapists I have known in 30 years of going to therapy. Often I say I could have shaved 15-20 of those years, of money and time, and hunting for therapists had I met Rachael sooner. Trauma is not something all therapists are equal to deal with effectively. Rachael has not only helped me address the root causes of my trauma, but also begin to heal from it. Rachael is the best and last therapist I will ever need.
30 years seeking therapy to heal childhood and PTSD.
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