EMDR Therapy In Orange County

What is EMDR and how do I know it is a good fit for me?

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing.

It is a powerful form of therapy that helps people heal from trauma or other distressing life experiences. EMDR therapy has been extensively researched and is designated as an effective therapy for trauma by the American Psychiatric Association, World Health Organization and more. (emdria.org)

As a therapist focused on working with mothers, I have found that EMDR is very effective for many issues that women are dealing with. If you had a difficult pregnancy, miscarriage, infertility, traumatic birth and/or NICU stay, you may be experiencing some symptoms of post-traumatic stress. Often times, women live their lives with regret, sadness or anger about their pregnancy and birth experience. You may have people minimizing what happened to you during birth and they wonder why you still have questions or doubts about why it did not go the way you expected. Our society expects you to move on and be strong, to get over what happened and stop grieving or wishing that things were different. It is ok that you still hold on to lost dreams of your birth experience or continue to grieve a loss of a baby.  Grieving is a normal part of making sense of a difficult pregnancy, birth, post birth, or NICU stay.

I want to loan you some hope and offer a way of resolving the feelings and traumatic memories you have by offering therapy and EMDR as an answer.

How does EMDR therapy work?

No one knows exactly how any form of psychotherapy works in the brain. We know that our brains have a natural way to recover from traumatic memories or events. This process involves different parts of the brain and how it processes difficult and upsetting experiences. Some events are so upsetting that the normal communication between the different areas in the brain becomes blocked and cannot be processed and integrated without help. This stress response is part of our natural fight, flight or freeze response. When distress from a disturbing event remains, the upsetting images, thoughts and emotions may create overwhelming feelings of being back in the moment, or of being “frozen in time.”

EMDR therapy seems to have a direct effect on the way that the brain processes information. It helps the brain process these memories and allows normal healing to resume. When normal information processing is resumed following a successful EMDR therapy session, you no longer relive the images, sounds and feelings of the disturbing event or experience.

Is EMDR the right kind of therapy for me?

If we determine that EMDR is the right kind of therapy for you, then together we will create a timeline about any trauma or distressing events that you have experienced up until now with the focus on the current situation you are seeking therapy for. As your therapist, I will then lead you through preparation exercises to get ready for the processing part of EMDR. We will look at any negative images, beliefs and body feelings related to the event(s) and then find a positive belief that you would like to have about yourself and the event(s) when the issue(s) is resolved.

I typically use “buzzers” where you hold one in each hand and it vibrates back and forth. If you prefer, you can also follow my fingers as I move them across in front of your eyes and you follow them. You will be guided to notice what comes to mind after each set. This is where the brain begins to reprocess the difficult and/or traumatic experiences you are seeking help for. The amazing thing is you don’t have to talk about everything that has happened to you in detail. It is designed to access your natural healing process in the brain through the tapping, sounds or alternating eye movements. You let your brain do the work and it is an amazing transformative experience for most people and is typically done in less time than traditional therapy.

EMDR for moms/women helps with:

  • Birth Trauma
  • Miscarriage/Infant Loss
  • Childhood Trauma
  • Premature Birth/NICU stays
  • Anxiety/Fears/Phobias
  • Many other difficult or upsetting experiences

EMDR for kids helps with the “yucky” feelings including:

  • Early childhood trauma
  • Difficult early experiences
  • Pre-verbal trauma
  • Anxiety/Fears/Phobias
  • Medical Trauma

EMDR helps children who continue to carry the “yucky” thoughts and memories in their minds, hearts and bodies. This therapy targets the experiences that are bothering them and helps them to be free from those difficult feelings and thoughts. This leads to a more happy and healthy childhood.

How Do I start EMDR Therapy?

1) The first step to starting therapy with Malaika is to contact me for a free 20 minute phone consultation to see if I’m the right fit for you or your child. If I determine that we are not the right fit or I can’t meet your needs then I will give you referrals to other trusted therapists in the area who can work with your specific situation. If I do not currently have openings then I will also give you some good therapist referrals.

2) If we are a good fit, then I will send you the link to my online confidential portal (HIPPA compliant) to fill out the initial paperwork and sign consents. When this is completed we will schedule your initial session in my office. My office is located at the corner of La Paz and Marguerite in Mission Viejo, directly across from the Mission Viejo library. Online EMDR sessions are not available.

3) We will meet together initially where I will gather more history and information about your life and experiences and then make goals together for EMDR. I also offer traditional therapy and this is often combined with EMDR if needed. I will give you more information about how the EMDR process works and answer any questions you may have.

4) Typically sessions are 50-55 minutes. However, with EMDR it is often helpful to schedule 90 minute sessions. The cost for a 55 minute session is $150 and a 90 minute session is $225. (For more information on fees and insurance visit my FAQ page) We will discuss your specific needs during our initial meeting. It is best if using EMDR that we meet at least once a week. Sometimes twice a week is encouraged but I will work with your specific situation and needs. I encourage you to ask any and all questions you have about working together and I will continue to check in with you about your goals and the progress you are making.

Contact me Today To Schedule Your Free 20 minute phone consultation to learn more about EMDR and how it can help you.

 

 

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