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Meet Rachel Moore, LMFT in Bankers Hill and Hillcrest

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rachel Moore.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I started as a poet — my undergraduate degree is in Creative Writing. I chose to focus on writing and literature in college because I knew it probably would be the only time in my life I could dedicate myself to those two things I loved. After graduating, I landed at the local newspaper and launched a career as a copy editor. I spent 14 years at various papers, including my final 5 years at the San Diego Union-Tribune.

As a newspaper copy editor, I almost always worked swing shift (3 pm-midnight), as well as most weekends and most holidays (sorry, Mom). In 2010, I realized it was time for a change. I left journalism and went back to school to become a psychotherapist. I graduated with my master’s degree in Marriage & Family Therapy in 2013. Then, I spent 4 arduous, enriching years gaining 3,000 hours of supervised experience before sitting for and passing my final exam to become a licensed therapist.

I now own and operate a private practice in the Bankers Hill/Hillcrest area. I have combined my love of art and creativity with my desire to help and inspire others. I’m not an art therapist, though I’m a therapist who helps artists (and writers and musicians) live life to their full potential. I’ve loved both of my careers and I’m grateful to be where I am now.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It hasn’t been a smooth road (is it ever?). For me, the biggest struggle to becoming a therapist was feeling intimidated by the requirement of gaining 3,000 hours before sitting for my licensing exam. Three thousand hours sounds like a LOT of hours when you’re starting from zero. Also, many of those hours were unpaid. And there was a 6-year limit to get them all done. I did it, though, with a lot of support from friends and family. If I had known at the beginning how hard it was going to be, I might not have done it. But I’m glad I did.

Please tell us about Rachel Moore, LMFT.
I specialize in helping San Diego’s creative community — writers, artists, and musicians — overcome anxiety and live to their full potential.

The thing I’m most proud of in my business is being an EMDR practitioner because I think this type of therapy can help clients resolve issues quicker and more effectively than talk therapy alone. EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. The theory is that during REM or dream sleep, the brain organizes memories in a way that makes sense to us and doesn’t cause distress. When there is trauma, however, this process can be interrupted. Memories can get “stuck” and become stressful, which can look like fear, anger, addiction, or other upsetting emotions, thoughts, or behaviors. EMDR can help move traumatic memories through the brain in a more adaptive way and reduce distress. EMDR practitioners do this by using “bilateral stimulation” — either having the client move their eyes back and forth or listening to alternating tones, for example. It’s not known exactly why or how this works. There have been many studies, though, showing EMDR to be effective.

Another service I offer that I love is a 12-week therapy group based on the book “The Artist’s Way,” by Julia Cameron. Participants in these groups learn to rediscover their passion for creativity and become audacious with their creative goals. I’m planning to start one or two groups new Artist’s Way groups in the fall.

What sets me apart from other therapists is my background in creativity. I’m a writer and a musician (I have sung on many stages in San Diego) and I know what it’s like to juggle a job and creative pursuits. I also get why, for many of us, art gives us a reason to live. My clients don’t need to spend time explaining to me why creativity is important to them — I understand it because I live it every day.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My favorite memory from childhood is being in marching band in high school. I played the piano and the saxophone as a kid, but in marching band, I was in the auxiliary percussion “pit.” We’re the ones who got to stand up front and bang on xylophones, triangles, tambourines, and, yes, even cowbells. My high school band director taught me the values of professionalism, being part of a team, and working hard to meet a goal. And I remain close friends with my band buddies. This experience helped contribute to my belief that art and creativity are vital to our survival — both individually and as a species. There’s something magical about sharing in a creative experience. Art takes us out of the mundane and into the realm of hope and possibility. I can’t imagine my life without it.

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