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About Us

About  E M F M

EMFM MISSION: To engage beings of diverse identities and abilities in cultivating wise attention, deep meaning, and fiercely compassionate ways of being in the world as the foundations for transformation, loving interconnection and well-being.  


EMFM VISON: To realize a world of loving connected insight for every diversity of spirit and body.

It is not possible to remain a-political as a mental health provider, and to do so would be unethical.  Policies and the systems they regulate directly impact the personal and community lives of people in having freedom to access resources, organizations and the right to be safe in who they are.  What is political is personal and what is personal is political.  This is the world we live in.

“Develop a mind so filled with love that it resembles space, which cannot be painted, cannot be marred, cannot be ruined.”  - The Buddha

EMFM is no longer providing in-person speaking, support group or mental health services for reasons of ongoing public health and safety, therapy ethics of engagement, and financial health. EMFM ONLY provides on-line audio-visual services exclusively through a confidential and secure HIPAA compliant telehealth platforms provided by and web-based meeting platforms like ZOOM.

EMFM exists to support people at the intersections of diverse identities, including  chronic health, neurological and mental health conditions, their loved ones and communities through private therapy, seminars, webinars and workshops.  EMFM additionally partners and consults with medical, non-profit and professional organizations on integrating mindfulness and compassion into their productivity models of service and employee well-being.  


The goal is to support all beings in discovering their own sense of meaningful happiness and well-being through experiential engagement with contemplative neuroscience and positive psychology evidence based practices, which consist of cultivating mindfulness, optimism, meaningful contentment, compassion, self-compassion and living from deeply held core values.  These practices are in service to embracing the understanding that, regardless of deficiency or capability, all beings are whole human beings who share in a wish to be happy and free from suffering, which can open hearts to relating to happiness, suffering and their fellow human beings in transformative ways—to thrive.

EMFM is a proud partner and/or member of the above organizations. 

 *Any and all information disclosed through this webiste are the sole expressed views of EMFM and are in no way condoned or endorsed by any other contracted or associated entity.



B. Bartja Wachtel | MSW, LICSW, MHP



I am the founder and owner of EMFM.  I was born and raised in Eastern Washington State by my mother, a medical secretary, and my father, a high school teacher, who were also licensed foster parents through the state system.  My very early years were shaped by violence, trauma and grief.  I had this deep sense of the suffering of those young people who came in and out of my life that joined with my own early childhood experiences of trauma.  I was also contending with my romantic (sexual) orientation.  My first forays into therapy at age 15 involved reparative therapy programs that were less than helpful in addressing issues of abuse and trauma.  This only perpetuated my experiences of isolation and disconnection.  My early school and middle school experiences were riddled with self-judgment and being bullied.  All of these experiences greatly shaped my awareness and relationship to my own suffering, but also a sensitivity to the suffering of others and a desire to be a force for compassion in the world.  Our social structures often devalue the voices of those who are not the dominant identity, which creates injustice through silencing, judgment and exclusion from access. 


In the mid to late 1990’s I began practicing mindfulness, and self-compassion personally and professionally, along with more gentle forms of yoga, all of which have allowed me to respond to injustice, judgment and disconnection from the deeply powerful ways of love, kindness and compassion.  These ways of being inform how I live my life personally and in the work of supporting people who struggle with the pain of life.

I completed teacher training for Mindful Self-Compassion through the Center for Mindfulness at the University of California San Diego in early 2015.  I have my own very personal and meaningful meditation practice that has been a central part of my life since 1998, including formal sitting, informal daily, and walking meditation practices.   In addition I have had a yoga practice since 2004.


EMFM was founded to support people, regardless of identity, level of ability or health status, in finding a deep sense of their own wholeness just as they are.  In the Seattle area there are very few therapists with experience with chronic conditions and, specifically, neurological conditions and terminal illness.  This is very personal to me that people find a sense of meaning and connection with the world in their experience just as it is and in our being a fallible and whole human being.  When the pain of life comes, guiding people in cultivating ways of relating to their experience with a measure of  kindness that can sometimes relieve emotional and physical suffering.  However, often in acceptance of what is right in front of us, we find the courage it takes to hold in awareness what we can’t change.  This can lead to a “healing” of our perspective, which is a transformation of our relationship to what is broken, and a new sense of what it means to be a whole human being.


I graduated with my Masters of Social Work in 2001 from Eastern Washington University.and have had my license as an Independent Clinical Social Worker since 2005.  I have over 18 years of clinical therapy practice experience with a broad diversity of individuals of various ethnicities and income levels; from children, maternal and infant mental health, to queer (LGBTQ) persons to straight persons,  to elders and people living with chronic and terminal conditions.


My focus and experience are in partnering with adolescents (13+), adults, and elders in their relationship to chronic emotional and physical conditions, gender, sexual and social orientations and identities.  My primary areas of focus include: neurological conditions (ALS, MS, Parkinson's, early on-set Dementias); terminal illness and end of life; experiences of trauma, abuse, neglect, grief, and loss; challenges in spirituality and meaning; non-dominant gender, racial, cultural and romantic orientations; veterans and maternal mental health; family-friend and professional caregivers; as well as conditions of depression and anxiety.


From June 2013 - June 2016 I had the privilege of working at the Neuroscience Institute at Virginia Mason Medical Center, in downtown Seattle, providing  therapeutic support for people living with chronic and terminal neurological conditions: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, various forms of Dementia and other related neurological conditions and interventions. This is a rare area of expertise in mental health for which I am honored to be engaged.


My background, training experience and clinical approaches are in mindfulness based interventions, positive psychology, narrative therapy, ecological systems, crisis intervention, motivational interviewing and support around ethical monogamy and poly-open relationships.   I provide individual, couples and group therapy, caregiver support, as well as engaging communities in the exciting evidence based research practices of Contemplative Neuroscience and Positive Psychology through seminars for people living with chronic conditions, their loved ones, caregivers, healthcare professionals and supportive community organizations.



I facilitate mindfulness based support groups for people living with ALS and Parkinson’s Disease and their caregivers.  I have hopes of running mindfulness support groups for people living with MS, early on-set dementias and their caregivers.  I have co-developed/facilitated an 8-Week mind-body workshop for professional medical staff, ongoing Self-Compassion half-hour mini-workshops for medical professionals through area medical centers and an 8-week Mindful Self-Compassion Workshop for pople living with MS at the Neuroscience Institute at Virginia Mason Medical Center. I continue to run seminars and workshops in the Puget Sound area in the community.



  • sCenter for Chronic Illness

  • Center for Mindful Self-Compassion at UC San Diego

  • Charter for Compassion International

  • MS Society

  • National Association of Social Workers

  • Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation

 *Any and all information disclosed through this website are the sole expressed views of EMFM and are in no way condoned or endorsed of any other contracted or associated entity.

E M F M Contact

Mailing Address: 4111 STONE WAY N | SUITE A | SEATTLE WA 98103

Please go to the “Therapy” tab for information regarding my therapy practice or scheduling at MINDFUL THERAPY GROUP.


I provide seminars, workshops, support groups, webinars, as well as 8-week Mindful Self-Compassion workshop courses.  I provide these services from various rental spaces and individual agency spaces in Seattle.  Please contact me to request a free consultation by phone for any mindfulness programs outside of therapy.    I look forward to speaking with you to see if my approach to well-being might be helpful to supporting the vision of your organization or group.  Any information exchanged though this contact page is not secure and by sending any information through this contact or email you acknowledge that this is not therapy, therapeutic advice or a therapetutic relationship.  


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