Early Trauma Intensives with Michael – Frequently Asked Questions

How can I know if intensive treatment for early trauma and neglect is for me?

1. An initial 20 – 30 minute phone consult is free of charge for all prospective clients, so that Michael can get a sense of where you are in your life and the nature of any therapeutic work you’ve done up to now, and so that you may ask questions that you may have about early trauma reprocessing. At this point, if it seems appropriate, you’ll be able to schedule an initial assessment. When assessing for appropriateness for early trauma reprocessing, you’ll either speak with Michael in person, or via phone or Skype (depending on whether you’re local or out of the area) for approximately 90 minutes (two 45 minute units/sessions). The fee for early trauma initial assessment is $250.00.

2. Highly dissociative people are only appropriate for this method if they have already established considerable groundwork in therapy and the self-system is likely to allow the work. Michael is experienced in working with dissociative clients and addressing concerns protective parts may have. If you are dissociative and, after the initial evaluation, Michael agrees to work with you using the early trauma procedure, it will require you to have an ongoing therapeutic relationship to receive you after leaving the intensive work, assuming you won’t be working with Michael on a weekly basis, as well. It will be necessary for you to grant written permission for Michael to collaborate with your primary therapist before and/or after our work together. 

How much time does it take?

3. Many people need three or four days, some need five, sometimes more. If your budget permits only one or two days, then you may not get as far as you’d like, but you’ll be better off than without any of the early work, because it’s akin to laying a new foundation at the base. It integrates, bottom up.

4. It isn’t possible to rush this process, though Michael is very focused in how he uses the time. It’s simply not possible to skip resourcing, and it will be revisited as needed throughout the work. Resourcing, simply put, is the scaffolding that supports the work and makes it possible. It’s also impossible to skip dealing with any resistance that comes up. Fortunately, there are some efficient ways to address both of those issues for many people. These are issues that determine the pace of the work and rate of progress. 

How much does it cost?

5. For intensive treatment, you will owe $125.00 for each 45 minute “hour” you spend with Michael. He will collaborate with you on when to take breaks and how long to work. It’s easy to misunderstand this point, with some thinking that the fee is $125.00 per clock hour, but this isn’t the case. The basic unit of time measurement for intensive work with Michael is 45 minutes, so all fee calculation is based on that unit/rate. The total cost is ultimately determined by how many knots there are in the tapestry that is you and your story.

If the work goes from 9:00am until 12:00pm, and then again from 1:00pm to 4:00pm, on a particular day, then this does not translate to 7 hours x $125.00 equals $875.00. Rather, the cost is determined by the following: 

The total number of treatment minutes (which I closely track), not including breaks and lunch, divided by 45 (the basic unit of time per session), multiplied by $125.00 for each 45 minute unit. According to this formula, if we worked from 9:00am to 10:30am, with a 15 minute break, then 10:45am to 12:00pm, that equals 165 minutes. In the afternoon, if we worked from 1:00pm to 3:00pm, took a 15 minute break, then worked from 3:15pm to 4:00pm, that equals another 165 minutes. This equals a total for the day of 330 minutes, divided by 45, equals 7.333 units, multiplied by the rate of $125.00, which leaves us with a grand total of  =  $916.67 for that particular day.  

DMC Intensive Tx Grid

6. You will pre-pay for the bulk of the work, on the following schedule: 

Deposit is due at the time of scheduling to reserve the time for you, based on the number of days you are reserving—unless you have made other arrangements with me for payment of the deposit.  

Pre-payment is due two weeks before the intensive, assuming that you will incur, at minimum, $750.00 (six 45 minute sessions) per day in fees: 

# of Days Deposit Additional Pre-Payment Total Paid Upfront
1 Day 250.00 USD 500.00 USD 750.00 USD minimum
2 Days 500.00 USD 1000.00 USD 1500.00 USD minimum
3 Days 750.00 USD 1500.00 USD 2250.00 USD minimum

7. At the close of the intensive sessions, you will owe any remainder over and above the $750.00 per day already pre-paid. It is typical for people to engage in somewhere between six and nine 45 minute ‘hours’ per day, so you may owe up to $1125.00 for a really ‘full’ day. So, although you prepaid $750.00 for each of, for example, two days ($1500.00), if you actually worked for eight ‘units’ on the first day and nine on the second day, you’d owe an additional $625.00 on the last day. If you have an absolute budget, please notify Michael of this ahead of time so that you can collaborate to use an appropriate amount of time. If you do not notify Michael ahead of time, it could have a significant, unforeseen impact on the treatment outcome. If you know that you do not want to participate in longer days, please notify Michael ahead of time so that he can adjust his schedule to accommodate both your and other clients’ needs.  

How does payment work?

8. Pay As You Go. Many people find the cost challenging, and may need to save for some months or more to be prepared to pay for the work prior to undertaking the work. Sorry, but Michael doesn’t carry balances or do ‘IOUs’ over the course of the work, so it’s important to schedule ONLY once you are ready financially for such a large commitment.

9. Payment Methods: Michael accepts payment for intensive treatment by the following methods:

  • Personal or bank check, or money order
  • ACH bank transfer through Chase QuickPay
  • Direct credit card payment with Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover
  • FSA and HSA cards (Michael is considered a ‘health care’ designated merchant by his credit card processor)
  • Paypal

If Michael has not received payment by the specified due dates (unless other arrangements have been made), the time you have reserved will be released in favor of others’ scheduling needs.

10. Super Bills: Insurance is unlikely to pay for this treatment. Michael does not accept insurance, but is happy to provide a ‘superbill’ if you request it and provide necessary insurance coverage information on the registration form.

What is your cancellation policy?

27. Due to the amount of time being held for you when you schedule an intensive as part of your healing, the cancellation policy, for any reason, is as follows.

• Cancellation after paying deposit : No return on initial deposit, but the payment may be applied to future work if you reschedule.

• Cancellation after additional pre-payment is paid, and more than one week prior to doing intensive sessions: 50% of additional pre-payment will be returned. No return on initial deposit.

• Cancellation for any reason after additional pre-payment is paid and less than one week prior to intensive sessions: None of pre-payment will be returned. No return on initial deposit.

• Cancellation after intensive has begun. None of pre-payment will be returned. No return on initial deposit.

What are the steps ahead of the intensive?

13. Your initial deposit saves the dates you have arranged with Michael.

14. You’ll need to register ahead of time, and those forms are available to complete once you have registered with Michael as a client via his secure online portal. (You’ll be directed to register once you’ve completed an initial phone screen with Michael directly.) All of the registration forms are available on the secure website, aside from the form required for Michael to speak freely with your current therapist (if applicable). Michael will guide you through that piece directly.

15. Michael generally schedules an initial appointment in person or by phone/secure video link in order to conduct a ‘proper’ assessment. Some of actual  history-taking may be accomplished via the secure portal, as well. In this way, the first day of the intensive can be used efficiently and in an economically sound manner. The most important reason for the initial assessment is to make certain that an intensive approach to treatment is appropriate for you, your story, and your needs. It isn’t for everyone.

16. If you are nearby and using the intensive for the purposes of treating early trauma, you may opt for one or two sessions to begin/complete the preparation steps for early trauma clearing. Then, the time set aside for the intensive itself can be most effectively used for clearing early traumatic experience. Those preparation steps are described elsewhere on the website, but typically include: 1) developing container imagery, 2) installing a ‘safe state’ or other resources, and 3) resetting the affective circuits.

17. For some people, more complex maneuvering may be involved, including getting the self-system on board (see information about Ego State Therapy elsewhere on this site for more information about this), and familiarizing them with the function of emotions (and the fight, flight, and freeze/collapse responses) and how they operate in all mammals for survival and safety. It’s rarely easy to know how much fancy footwork may be required in these instances, or how long it might take. Making certain that the self-system is consenting to the work in non-negotiable. It’s simply unavoidable–but many find an increased sense of calm merely as a result of addressing long-standing, entrenched internal conflicts) We’ll also make sure you can look at emotions from a distance and not just feel hijacked by them willy-nilly. That’s a critical piece to ensure success in this–or any–reprocessing work.

18. For some people, additional assessment and evaluation may be indicated before launching on intensive early trauma work, to ensure your safety and strength in the face of reviewing, releasing, and repairing trauma.

19. Before finalizing air travel, if you are traveling from a notable distance, please be certain to confirm that you are in fact on Michael’a schedule during the window of time that you understand yourself to be.

20. As described above, both a deposit to save the dates and prepayment of the minimum likely treatment time are required. Cancellation policies apply as described above.

When do we start and end each day?

21. Full days will typically begin at 9:00am, and end between 4:00pm and 5:00pm. Start/end times, though, may be negotiable if Michael has nothing else scheduled for the day.  For information about travel to the office, please direct your browser to Michael’s ‘Locations’ page elsewhere on this site.

What about travel logistics if I'm coming from far away?

Seattle is a fabulous city, full of art, music, sport, great food, and everything else under the sun (and the clouds and rain—it is Seattle, after all). If you’re visiting from out of town for your intensive and have never been to Seattle before, it can be a bit of an adventure to navigate. There is one airport, Seattle-Tacoma—known as ‘SeaTac’—to the south of Seattle. Michael’s office is accessible via public transportation, and this mode of transport is highly recommended. Car rental can be a viable option, as long as you make certain you know the parking rules around Michael’s office. Another alternative is taxi cabs, but passenger beware: It can get a bit pricey. For more information on public transit in the Seattle Metro area, direct your web browser to http://metro.kingcounty.gov.

Where should I stay?

22. Hotels, motels, B&Bs, we have it all in Seattle. Michael recommends the following as helpful resources for booking (and with which he is not associated in any way, beyond liking them on a personal level):

Bed and Breakfast dot com

http://www.bedandbreakfast.com/seattle-washington.html

TripAdvisor dot com

http://www.tripadvisor.com

Yelp!

http://www.yelp.com/

Please note that Michael’s office is located at 2401 ½ 10th Avenue E, Suite B, Seattle, Washington 98102. Be kind to yourself by using this information as a guide in deciding how close to (or far away from) the work you’d like to be, and how far you’d like to commute, each day.

While I'm at the office there, working with you, where should I eat?

23. Ah, Capitol Hill is a wonderful neighborhood…and Michael’s office is located in the ‘sleepier’ northern edge of it. Tastes vary, so the best way to scout for something tasty is to click/press here to consult the oracle known as Yelp!.

I'm not familiar with the area. What else is nearby?

24. Maybe a better question is, ‘What isn’t there to do nearby?’ There are all sorts of things to do in Seattle–and lots of resources for finding them–and so Michael suggests starting on Capitol Hill, since you’ll be so close to what many consider one of the very best neighborhoods in Seattle.

Is there anything more I should know about the intensive work itself?

25. On the first day of the intensive, we’ll ensure that all the necessary preparatory steps have either already been undertaken, or we’ll begin there in the work together.

26. It is not unusual to feel ‘drained’ after early trauma reprocessing has taken place. Most people don’t want to do much in the evenings after an intensive session. The work is profound and will take some time set aside for introspection just plain rest. Self-care is key in this work, so plan on drinking plenty of water, getting plenty of sleep, inviting yourself to dream, eat good food, maybe take some anti-oxidants because you’ll be releasing energetic holdings. Fruits and vegetables will be put to good work in reconfiguring your new you. If you’re traveling from a different time zone, ensure you are taking Melatonin or some other supplement (as approved by your primary care physician, as appropriate) to manage the effects of jet lag.

27. After the work, your nervous system will be “knitting and purling” for a time, and this is usually gentle and comfortable. Occasionally, if we ran out of time in a gnarly hurtful baby spot, you may feel stuck there. Let Michael know if you need help in person or by phone moving through one of these spots.

28. Please keep in mind that any unusual experiences during the work or in the time right after the work may be related to the work. Think of them as ‘vapors leaking up from King Tut’s tomb’. So, for example, if your spouse, partner, or a good friend seems, for whatever reason, suddenly to resemble demon spawn, consider the possibility that something about the early work has a theme of demon spawn in it somewhere. Similarly, if it seems to you that Michael is suddenly just like the meanest parent ever, please mention this to him, because, although it may have a basis in present time (and Michael’s dogs might agree with you, depending on which chew-thing he’s taken from them that day), we’ll consider that, often those kinds of feelings and perceptions are part of the client’s story, telling itself without words. We use information in the room and about what is happening between us as clues to that story. We’ll be detectives together, and we’ll hear your story together, however it seems to want to be heard.

29. The most common unsettling experience after the ET work is to feel oddly inert or flaccid. This seems to be part of a baby state, as if baby is just sitting, waiting, not mobilized for much action.

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The licensed mental health professionals practicing in association with the Bainbridge Institute for Integrative Psychology are independent practitioners whose practices are separate from one another. There is no legal relationship between these professionals. None of these professionals has any responsibility for either the conduct of any other professional associated with the Bainbridge Institute for Integrative Psychology or the clients served by any other professional associated with the Bainbridge Institute for Integrative Psychology.