Seth Ellner, LICSW, ACSW
Located in the Fremont Neighborhood of Seattle
Welcome to my therapy practice providing healing and resolution for past and current relationship trauma for adults, couples, and adolescents. Birth trauma, Auto accident induced anxiety and Pet Loss therapy
Specializing in the use of EMDR in the treatment and
- Relationship Trauma
- Past Emotional Experiences as Barriers to Success in Current Relationships
- Traumatic Pregnancy/Birth Experience
- Auto Accident Trauma
- Pet Loss Therapy
- Grief and Loss
- Parenting Strategies and Support
Please use this site to learn more about my background experience, about the EMDR process and give me a call so that I can answer any questions you may have. My office hours are Monday through Friday 9:00 to 6:00.
Individual and Couples Therapy for Adults
EMDR-Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
is a specific targeted technique that assists in the processing and resolution of recent and past emotional and physical trauma and anxiety.
There are times in life when we ask ourselves. Am I happy, content? Am I living life the way I want. Are my relationships fulfilling? Am I being the partner in my relationships that I want to be? Are there past emotional/physical trauma’s that are barriers to my growth? Therapy can help you discover the answers to these questions and provide the support and guidance to change your condition and achieve your goals.
I bring 25 years of experience providing compassionate and skillful trauma therapy to children, teenagers and adults living in the Seattle Metropolitan area. I am a certified EMDR practitioner and have conducted over 60 trainings and workshops locally, nationally and internationally.
I work in a supportive non-judgmental way to guide you in identifying and resolving barriers to achieving intimacy and partnership in your primary relationships. Often past experiences continue to impact how we feel and act in our current relationships. These past emotional or physical hurts can create anxiety and fear that prevent us from moving forward and experiencing the potential we have to be satisfied and intimate in our meaningful relationships. I use Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and EMDR as an effective time focused and targeted way to address and resolve these anxieties and past hurts.
Couples seek out therapy often for what are perceived to be differences communication style and satisfaction. I provide expertise in effective non-violent communication as well as identifying and addressing the underlying beliefs and attitudes that often support these communication styles. Control, both overt and covert, is a common issue and concern among couples affecting child-rearing, finances, jealousy and sexual intimacy. I assist couples in identifying these areas and guiding them towards achieving a true partnership where both feel like they are sitting on the same side verses on opposite sides.
I provide pre-marital therapy for couples seeking assurance that they have the tools to establish an ongoing partnership for dealing with life’s challenges in a long-term relationship.
Parenting Coaching and Adolescent Therapy
I have found that the key to most child-rearing concerns and issues is effectively working with parents through education and support to assist your child to develop the tools and skills to be productive and successful. We now know that the social and emotional health of children is the most important factor in their development. And that the health and well-being of children’s relationships with their parents or adult care-givers is the number one factor in achieving social and emotional health. I work with parents through coaching, providing literature and advocacy when needed to achieve this type of relationship with their children. I developed a 12-week curriculum for children ages 5-8 and 9-12 who live or have lived in high conflict homes.
I love working with adolescents. It is a wonderful time of life where experiences have full impact on kids and seem to have extra power to shape their future lives. I have over 25 years experience working with adolescents on issues ranging from self-esteem and anxiety, family relationship issues, and physical and sexual abuse, drug addiction and dating violence. I have a unique ability to connect with many teens and utilize specific cognitive-behavioral techniques including EMDR to great effect. I have been a referral source for many schools in Seattle and participated in developing adolescent curricula for the Seattle Public School District on Healthy Teen Relationships. I have been a mental health evaluator for teens in King County Detention Youth Services incarcerated on drug and alcohol charges.
Pet Loss Therapy
Everyone has the right to have compassionate support and practical guidance for the sudden death, terminal illness or loss of a pet through seperation or divorce. When a beloved pet dies, you feel a profound loss and deep sadness. Pet loss therapy is for when you are overwhelmed by your grief or are traumatized by the loss of your pet.
EMDR Therapy Offers Effective, Rapid and Safe Treatment
Clients who have anxiety, panic attacks, phobias, social phobias can gain relief from a new therapy called EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing). Research shows that EMDR is rapid, safe and effective. EMDR does not involve the use of drugs or hypnosis. It is a simple, non-invasive client-therapist collaboration in which healing can happen effectively.
It is a short-term therapy, highly effective for a wide range of disorders including anxiety, panic attacks, social phobias, PTSD, traumatic incidents, depression, eating disorders and poor self-image, stress, worry. Clients who have made slow progress with therapy in the past, or who have not benefited from more traditional therapies say that with EMDR they have found relief.
What is EMDR?
EMDR-Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing incorporates elements of cognitive-behavioral therapy with bilateral eye movements or other forms of rhythmic, left right stimulation. One of the key elements of EMDR is “dual stimulation.” During treatment, you are asked to think or talk about memories, triggers, and emotions while simultaneously focusing on your therapist’s moving finger or another form of bilateral stimuli. In a typical EMDR therapy session, you focus on traumatic memories and associated negative emotions and beliefs while tracking your therapist’s moving finger with your eyes as it moves back and forth across your field of vision. Other forms of external stimuli that may be used in EMDR therapy include bilateral tactile sensations and sounds (e.g. alternating hand taps or a chime that pans back and forth from ear to ear).
How does EMDR therapy work?
At the time of a traumatic event, strong emotions interfere with our ability to completely process the experience and one moment becomes “frozen in time.” Recalling the traumatic event may feel as though the person is reliving the event all over again because the images, smells, sounds, and feelings are still there and can be triggered in the present. When activated, these memories cause a negative impact on our daily functioning and interfere with the way we see ourselves and our world, and how we relate to others.
EMDR therapy appears to directly affect the brain, “unfreezing” the traumatic memories, allowing you to resolve them. Over time the disturbing memory and associated beliefs, feelings, sensations become “digested” or worked through until you are able to think about the event without reliving it. The memory is still there, but it is less upsetting.
The exact mechanism for the effectiveness of EMDR is yet unknown. It appears that using rapid eye movements relieves the anxiety associated with the trauma so that the original event can be examined from a more detached perspective, somewhat like watching a movie of what happened. This enables you to access positive ways of reframing the original trauma (reprocessing), and to release the body’s stored negative emotional charges around it (desensitization).
Some experts have noted that the eye movements involved in EMDR might be similar to what occurs naturally during dreaming or REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. It may be thought of as a physiologically based therapy that allows a person to see material in a new and less distressing way. Others believe it reactivates parts of the brain that were “shut down” as a coping mechanism. In this way cognitive reorganizing takes place, allowing the negative, painful emotions to give way to more resolved, empowered feelings.
Trapped by Memories: How a single trauma can impact our lives Francine Shapiro, the creator of EMDR, uses the example of a rape survivor to illustrate how people can get “trapped” by memories of trauma. While a woman who has been raped might intellectually know that she’s not to blame, but she still may feel emotions of guilt and shame surrounding the attack. Her memory of the rape is then forever affected by these emotions, which she hasn’t fully explored or dealt with. Shapiro believes that as time goes by, “when the individual thinks about the trauma, or when the memory is triggered by similar situations, the person may feel like she is reliving it, or may experience strong emotions and physical sensations.”