Rachael Starr is a licensed therapist who has spent the last decade helping veterans, police, firefighters, dispatchers and other first responders recover from job-related trauma.
Rachael specializes in treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Complex PTSD, and sex addiction with therapies that include Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and animal-assisted therapy. She founded The 11th Hour Trauma Retreat in 2017 to provide a unique therapeutic option that allows first responders to do intensive work in a safe environment.
Specializing in retreats run by licensed therapists over a series of days, The 11th Hour offers first responders a chance to jumpstart the healing process, overcome isolation, reclaim their lives and continue their careers. The 11th Hour now serves the Employee Assistance Program at one of the largest fire departments in the country.
“I have learned that once or twice a week of any therapy is simply not enough, and that intensive work yields powerful results,” she said. “That’s why I created The 11th Hour. We provide a safe environment to work through past events, present triggers and anxiety about the future, leaving people far more resilient.”
Rachael’s interest in therapy grew from her own experience. “Growing-up, I was always curious why my family members overreacted the way that they did in simple situations,” she said. “In an effort to seek help for myself, and to better understand my loved ones, I went to therapy. Talk therapy was helpful in the beginning, but it became clear that it alone was not enough. I was recommended to try EMDR, and it changed my world.”
Rachael dedicated her career to providing that kind of help for others, earning a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master’s degree in social work before training in EMDR and other therapeutic techniques. She quickly decided to focus on helping first responders and others who experience intense traumatic incidents over a sustained period of time on the job.
“My passion is to help first responders and military personnel,” she said. “I had the privilege of growing-up with them and living with them. I understand them in a way that only a family member can.”