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Where Can I Find EMDR Therapy in Orange County, CA?

If you’re dealing with deep-seated trauma, various therapies can help. One of the most effective is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). In this article, you’ll learn about the trauma-healing benefits of EMDR therapy in Orange County, California.

What Is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a type of therapy used to treat those suffering from trauma. Psychologist Francine Shapiro invented the technique in the late 1980s.

The core concept of EMDR involves utilizing bilateral stimulation. That means eye movements, hand tapping, or audio tones. These help the processing of traumatic memories. During an EMDR session, the therapist guides the client to recall distressing memories. At the same time, they engage in these bilateral stimulations. This process aims to help the individual reprocess traumatic memories. It also reduces the emotional charge associated with them and integrates more adaptive beliefs and emotions.

EMDR therapy in Orange County needs the expertise of licensed mental health professionals who have received specialized training in this therapeutic approach. This includes psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, counselors, and other qualified practitioners.

The goals of EMDR therapy include:

  • Desensitization: Helping individuals to become less reactive to traumatic memories and experiences.
  • Reprocessing: Facilitating the processing and integration of traumatic memories into more adaptive beliefs and emotions.
  • Resolution of symptoms: Reducing or eliminating symptoms associated with trauma, such as flashbacks, nightmares, hypervigilance, and avoidance behaviors.
  • Enhancing coping skills: Equipping individuals with effective coping strategies to manage distressing emotions and triggers related to trauma.


EMDR aims to reduce the distress caused by traumatic experiences and promote psychological healing and resilience. It is an evidence-based treatment for PTSD and is effective for a wide range of trauma-related conditions.

What Mental Health Disorders Does EMDR Therapy Treat?

The main goal of EMDR therapy in Orange County, CA is to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It also addresses a range of other mental health disorders and issues.

Some of the disorders and conditions that EMDR therapy can help treat include:

  • Anxiety Disorders: EMDR therapy has shown promise in treating various anxiety disorders. These include panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder, and specific phobias. By targeting distressing memories, EMDR can help individuals reduce anxiety symptoms and improve coping skills.
  • Depression: While known as a treatment for trauma-related conditions, EMDR therapy also addresses depression. By processing underlying traumas and negative beliefs, EMDR can contribute to reducing depressive symptoms and promoting emotional well-being.
  • Phobias and Fears: EMDR therapy treats specific phobias and irrational fears. It desensitizes individuals to triggering stimuli and addresses underlying traumatic experiences or negative beliefs associated with the phobia.
  • Addictions and Substance Abuse: EMDR therapy in Costa Mesa, CA happens alongside other comprehensive treatment programs for substance abuse and addiction. It can help individuals process trauma, control addictive behaviors, and address associated psychological distress.


While EMDR therapy is most associated with treating PTSD, its adaptive nature and effectiveness in processing distressing memories make it a valuable therapeutic approach for addressing a wide range of mental health disorders and issues.

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What Is EMDR Therapy in Orange County Like?

EMDR therapy in Orange County follows a structured approach consisting of eight phases.

Here’s an overview of what you might expect during EMDR therapy:

  • History Taking and Treatment Planning: The therapist begins by conducting a thorough assessment of your history. This includes past traumatic experiences, current symptoms, and goals for therapy. Together, you and the therapist develop a treatment plan. Your plan identifies specific targets for processing during EMDR sessions.
  • Preparation: In this phase, the therapist educates you about EMDR therapy, explains the process, and teaches coping skills to manage distress and regulate emotions. This phase aims to ensure that you feel safe and prepared to engage in the therapeutic process.
  • Assessment: The therapist helps you identify specific memories, beliefs, sensations, and emotions related to the targeted issue or trauma. This involves identifying the most distressing aspects of the memory or experience to target during EMDR processing.
  • Desensitization: This is the core phase of EMDR therapy. During desensitization, you focus on the distressing memory or target while at the same time engaging in bilateral stimulation, such as following the therapist’s hand movements with your eyes or listening to alternating sounds. The bilateral stimulation helps the processing and integration of the traumatic memory, reducing its emotional charge.
  • Installation: In this phase, positive beliefs and emotions get stronger and integrated to replace negative beliefs associated with the traumatic memory. You work with the therapist to cultivate feelings of safety, empowerment, and self-compassion related to the targeted issue.
  • Body Scan: The therapist guides you in scanning your body to identify any residual tension, discomfort, or emotional distress remaining after desensitization and installation. This phase helps ensure that the processing is thorough and complete.
  • Closure: At the end of each session, the therapist helps you stabilize and return to a state of emotional equilibrium. This may involve relaxation techniques, grounding exercises, or other strategies to promote a sense of safety and containment until the next session.
  • Reevaluation: In future sessions, the therapist reassesses your progress and identifies any remaining targets for processing. EMDR therapy happens over several sessions, with the number of sessions varying depending on the complexity of the issues addressed and your individual treatment goals.


After completing EMDR therapy, you may experience a reduction in symptoms. Other benefits include increased resilience and a greater sense of empowerment and self-understanding. The therapist may also provide recommendations for ongoing self-care and support. This helps to maintain the gains achieved during treatment. Follow-up sessions or booster sessions are often recommended as needed. These address any remaining symptoms or issues.

Can EMDR Therapists in Orange County Help Me?

An EMDR therapist in Orange County can help you in several ways if you are struggling with trauma or other distressing life experiences.

Here’s how:

  • Processing Traumatic Memories: EMDR therapy helps your brain process these traumatic memories. It reduces their lingering effects on your mental health. Through bilateral stimulation (often eye movements), EMDR therapy facilitates the accessing and processing of traumatic memories to bring about adaptive resolution.
  • Reducing Emotional Distress: By reprocessing the memory of the event, EMDR therapy aims to reduce the emotional distress linked to it. It helps desensitize your body’s reaction to the traumatic or triggering stimuli. This makes the memory less disturbing and reduces the emotional response.
  • Changing Negative Beliefs: Part of EMDR therapy involves identifying and challenging negative beliefs about oneself. These are often linked to the traumatic event. The therapist helps you form positive beliefs to replace these negative ones. That leads to improved self-esteem and personal beliefs about yourself.
  • Decreasing Symptoms of PTSD, Anxiety, and Depression: EMDR is effective in treating symptoms of PTSD, anxiety, and depression. It can help decrease or dismiss symptoms such as flashbacks, nightmares, and intrusive thoughts.
  • Improving Daily Functioning: By addressing the root causes of your distress, EMDR therapy can help improve your functioning in daily life. This includes better relationships, increased work performance, and a greater ability to engage with and enjoy life.


If you are considering seeking help from an EMDR therapist in Orange County, it’s important to look for a licensed professional trained in EMDR. They will be able to assess your specific situation and guide you through the process in a safe and supportive environment. Remember that therapy outcomes vary among individuals.  Many people have found EMDR to be an effective approach to overcoming the effects of trauma and other distressing life experiences.

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EMDR Therapy in California

If you or a loved one are seeking addiction treatment, South Coast Behavioral Health is here to help. The first step in treating addiction is a medical detox. This means using drugs to manage withdrawal symptoms.

Our medical detox program in California features caring and compassionate professionals who can provide you with medications to manage your withdrawal symptoms.

At South Coast, we take pride in offering care tailored to specific issues. To that end, we offer gender-specific detox programs, with medical detox for men in Irvine, CA, and medical detox for women in Huntington Beach, CA.

After detoxing, proper treatment can begin.

Treatment for substance abuse takes place along an entire spectrum of care. Along that entire spectrum are various behavioral therapies, support groups, and the use of medically-assisted treatment (MAT).

These levels of treatment are, in order, as follows:

Residential Treatment in California

After completing medical detox, you’ll receive inpatient treatment in Orange County California. There, you’ll receive medically-assisted treatment and dual diagnosis treatment to deal with any cravings or co-occurring mental health issues you may be battling.

We also offer residential treatment facilities in Costa Mesa, Irvine, and Huntington Beach for those who desire gender-specific treatment. There, patients get round-the-clock medical attention and monitoring while living at the institution full-time.

Along with individual and group counseling and medication management, you’ll also have access to leisure activities and family support services.

Partial Hospitalization in California

Most clients start substance abuse treatment with South Coast in our residential treatment program. After completing that, many desire something that still provides structure and support, but with extra space and time to oneself. For that, we offer Partial Hospitalization in Newport Beach.

A step down from inpatient care but with more structure than conventional outpatient programs, partial hospitalization offers a good balance for those looking to ease back into normal life. Clients can receive care five to seven days a week for several hours each day, returning to their homes in the evening.

This way, they can recover without putting their daily lives completely on hold, receiving intense therapeutic interventions like group and individual therapy, skill development, and medication management as necessary.

Intensive Outpatient Treatment in California

For those leaving inpatient residential treatment or partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient programs (IOP) are yet another gradual step forward on the road to recovery.

With a focus on group therapy, individual counseling, and education, clients undergoing Intensive Outpatient Treatment in Newport Beach can meet three to five days a week. Each session lasts three hours.


This level of care requires the least amount of attendance at a facility.

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If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction but wonder how long addiction treatment takes or have other questions, call us at 866-881-1184 or contact us here. Our qualified staff will be happy to help give you an idea of what to expect from your addiction recovery timeline. We can also help verify your insurance and assist with any other questions you may have.