EMDR Therapy in Los Angeles

an introduction

Thousand Oaks EMDR Therapy

ARTS IOP offers EMDR therapy in Los Angeles alongside a wide variety of other treatments used for mental health and substance abuse. While EMDR has grown in popularity throughout the years, not everyone knows what to expect during their sessions. So, what exactly is EMDR, and what can you anticipate during the treatment process?


First, let’s define EMDR therapy and the benefits of EMDR treatment. Then, we’ll discuss what to expect as a client in EMDR therapy and reasons to choose ARTS IOP if you’re looking for EMDR therapy in Los Angeles.

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Understanding treatment at the arts

What is EMDR Therapy?

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. EMDR therapy is a form of treatment used in mental health settings that was first created to address trauma in people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). EMDR therapy involves moving your eyes as directed by a trained EMDR therapist while you process traumatic memories. This is called bilateral stimulation. Often, the provider will direct your vision with their fingers, but some use other avenues.


Studies show overwhelmingly positive rates of efficacy for EMDR. Nowadays, providers use EMDR for more than trauma alone. For example, many people find it effective for anxiety and substance abuse. In the case of addiction, EMDR therapy is said to be particularly beneficial if you have co-occurring trauma.

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Benefits of EMDR Treatment

Many of us who endure trauma, live with substance use disorders, or face other adverse experiences have a nervous system that is on high alert. This can impact your quality of life tremendously and may lead to health complications. It is also very common for substance abuse to co-occur with trauma, and in this case, a trauma-focused therapy like EMDR can be a key tool in the healing process. 


Benefits of EMDR treatment may include but aren’t limited to the following:


  • Reduced physical and emotional reactions to triggers.
  • Trauma processing and whole-person healing.
  • Positive self-talk and perception.
  • Better quality of life scores.

What to Expect in EMDR Therapy Sessions

In EMDR therapy, you will go through eight stages. This means that you will not jump into the bulk of the work or the bilateral stimulation process right away, though it will make up a large portion of your overall treatment. Here are the eight stages of EMDR and what to expect in each when you pursue EMDR therapy in Los Angeles with ARTS IOP. Some of these stages will take one session only, whereas others will take multiple sessions or repeat.

In the history and treatment planning phase, you will tell your therapist about your personal trauma history and current symptoms. Then, you will work together to create a treatment plan and goals to work toward in EMDR therapy sessions.

The preparation phase helps clients understand what to expect during EMDR. During the preparation stage, you’ll learn what to do during an EMDR session, potential reactions, and how to cope with distress during treatment. Since EMDR can feel daunting, building trust with your therapist is important, which can be a major component of the initial stages of treatment.

During the assessment phase, you will identify traumatic memories or triggers and “rate” your reactions to them on a scale of 0-10. Usually, 10 is the most distress, and 0 is the least.

During the desensitization stage, your therapist will instruct you to follow their hands with your eyes. Some therapists may use other tools, such as a dot on the screen (especially if it is an online session), tapping, or sounds instead.

The installation phase is designed to instill a positive belief or thought surrounding a traumatic memory. You’ll work with your therapist to “install” positive beliefs or thoughts during this stage. In time, these positive thoughts will replace the automatic and undesirable reactions a client usually experiences when met with triggers.

After the desensitization and installation stages, clients engage in a body scan. During a body scan, you’ll take time to notice how your body feels, one body part at a time. Some people start at their toes and move up; others start at the top of the body.

Each reprocessing session ends with the “closure” stage. The goal of this stage is to return you to a state of relaxation. During this stage, you should experience neutral feelings about the event, a lack of bodily disturbance, and positive thoughts.

During the reevaluation stage, you’ll rate your level of distress again, just like you did in the assessment stage. However, your reaction will ideally have decreased in severity, and the number should be lower. After that, you and one of our EMDR therapists in Los Angeles will reevaluate your treatment and talk about what future sessions will entail, with the goal to continue lowering distress until treatment is satisfactory.

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Reasons to Choose ARTS IOP for EMDR Therapy in Los Angeles

We have a range of providers on staff who use different therapeutic modalities to address substance abuse and mental health. EMDR is just one of them. Our compassionate EMDR therapists in Los Angeles have specialized training in the modality and are here to listen to your unique needs as a client. In addition to our expert staff members, here are some of the reasons to choose us for your treatment needs.

ARTS IOP is a fully outpatient rehab in the San Fernando Valley offering EMDR therapy in Los Angeles and a range of other therapies and treatments. We offer every level of outpatient care, including partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and outpatient programs. Outpatient treatment offers flexibility that inpatient care does not. This makes treatment more accessible to a range of clients, including those who must work or attend school while in treatment.

At ARTS IOP, we help clients on a case-by-case basis. When you enter care with us, our staff members will work with you to create a personalized treatment plan that will inform what your treatment schedule looks like, including specific therapies and activities. If you’re interested in EMDR therapy in Los Angeles and want to learn more about pursuing it through ARTS IOP, feel free to give us a call with any questions that arise.

Our clients come from all walks of life. We have specialized programs available for clients with experiences that may inform their treatment needs. For example, veterans, women, men, and the LGBTQIA+ community. These programs foster a safe environment and let you connect with others while cultivating new skills and working toward your goals.

We work with most major insurance carriers and will verify your insurance for free when you get in touch. To find out whether we accept your insurance plan, you can fill out the online insurance verification form on our website or give us a call.

ARTS IOP is a drug rehab in Canoga Park, CA. Our location makes our substance abuse and mental health treatment programs highly accessible to people in Los Angeles County and surrounding areas.

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Insurance Coverage

ARTS IOP is an in-network provider for BlueShield of California, Magellan, HMC, and Com Psych. Contact us today to find out if your insurance will help cover many of the costs associated with treatment at our program.

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Contact Our EMDR Therapists in the San Fernando Valley

If you’re ready to rediscover the best parts of yourself with our EMDR therapists in the San Fernando Valley, contact us today. Our unique treatment center takes a truly individualized approach to treatment and is here to help you or your family heal, no matter where your journey began. 

To get in touch with ARTS IOP, call (877) 407-2787 or fill out the contact form on our website. If we miss your call or message, a staff member will reach out shortly.

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