Trauma-Informed Therapist Michelle Mooney

Now more than ever, people are seeking crisis-counseling and trauma-informed therapy to help move through personal and cultural difficulties. In my work as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor I use a process called EMDR to help my clients reimagine and transform their self-worth and their world view. 

 

I’m a Midwest native who is in love with Seattle and passionate about personal healing. Although I began my career in animal welfare, my graduate school training in clinical mental health at Seattle University brought me to an even deeper purpose. I’ve spent the last four years inside community mental health settings with many different kinds of people from all walks of life, and what I know is that we can find an integrated and holistic approach that is just right for you. No matter what brings you to my practice, I meet you exactly where you are and adapt our time together to include art therapy, meditation instruction, EMDR, and any number of other modalities. What happened to us is not our choice nor our fault. Overcoming trauma is possible; real connection and embodied wellness absolutely exist for you. 

 

Here are some of the tools, techniques, and processes that I’ve found to be really impactful. I believe in your innate ability to navigate change and find your center even in the most challenging times. Beginning anything can be scary, and all change requires a risk, but the payoff is rewarding beyond imagination—for you and for me.

WHAT IS TRAUMA-INFORMED THERAPY?

Although it may sound like a specific kind of treatment, trauma-informed therapy refers to an overall philosophy or approach. In trauma-informed therapy, I center my client’s physical and emotional safety first and foremost as I work with them to encourage healing without dangerously triggering any difficult memories, emotions, and experiences.

WHAT IS EMDR (EYE MOVEMENT DESENSITIZATION AND REPROCESSING)?

The EMDR Institute calls EMDR a “psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that result from disturbing life experiences.” During EMDR sessions, I give you directions for lateral eye movements and other minor physical movements; these actions help us transfer pain, trauma, and adverse life experiences into a place of acceptance and resolution.

HOW DOES EMDR HELP HEAL TRAUMA?

The EMDR Institute uses this helpful explanation: “By using EMDR therapy, people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference. It is widely assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal. EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma. When you cut your hand, your body works to close the wound; if a foreign object or repeated injury irritates the wound, it festers and causes pain. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. EMDR therapy demonstrates that a similar sequence of events occurs with mental processes. The brain’s information processing system naturally moves toward mental health.”

WHAT IS ART THERAPY?

Creative processes engage the mind, body, and spirit in ways that talk therapy just can’t. While working with color, senses, abstract ideas, and symbolism, our brains use different modes of processing and expression that in turn help us free up hidden feelings and emotions. Also: Art therapy is fun, and laughter and joy are great for healing.

HOW DO YOU LEARN TO MEDITATE?

A big part of meditation is simply understanding what you can expect—and what you shouldn’t expect from yourself. We might do guided meditation together to get you used to the general process, and I can help you learn to listen to your body during meditation so that you’re familiar with the feelings and sensations. You can also share what you experience at home and together we can trouble-shoot and evolve your experience.

 

Areas of interest and special training:

Crisis counseling and crisis intervention

 

Cognitive behavioral therapy

 

Cognitive processing therapy

 

Dialectical behavioral therapy

 

Motivational interviewing

 

Solution-focused therapy

 

Strengths-based therapy

 

Career counseling

 

AIDS/HIV healthcare

 

Suicide prevention

MICHELLE’S TRAINING:

Central Michigan University

 

Seattle University

I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy. I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it. – Art Williams