Category Archives: Mental Health Therapy Models

A woman practicing Somatic Experiencing exercises on a rocky beach, sitting with her knees drawn to her chest and her arms wrapped around them.

Top 8 Somatic Experiencing Exercises

Let’s chat about something quite extraordinary—somatic experiencing exercises. It’s a form of therapy that can seem almost mysterious in its simplicity and profound in its effects. So, what is Somatic Experiencing, and why is it such a powerful tool in the world of mental health and emotional regulation?

What Is Somatic Experiencing?

Developed by Dr. Peter Levine, Somatic Experiencing (SE) is a body-oriented approach to healing trauma and other stress disorders. It’s based on the observation that wild prey animals, though regularly threatened, are rarely traumatized.

Unlike humans, animals in the wild use innate mechanisms to regulate and discharge the high levels of energy arousal associated with survival behaviors. SE helps people tap into these natural rhythms to release traumatic shock, which is key to transforming PTSD and the wounds of emotional and early developmental attachment trauma.

Why and How Do Somatic Experiencing Exercises Help?

Somatic Experiencing helps by:

  • Restoring Self-Regulation: Helps to reset the nervous system, promoting a return to a state of balance.
  • Releasing Stored Energy: Facilitates the release of energy and tension stored in the body during a traumatic event.
  • Reinforcing Resilience: Builds resilience to stress by enhancing the body’s capacity to handle and recover from stress.
  • Fostering Awareness: Increases body awareness, which can help identify and prevent the physical onset of stress and trauma.

What Does It Help?

  • Trauma Recovery: Particularly effective in healing the symptoms of PTSD and other trauma-related health problems.
  • Stress and Anxiety: Useful for managing and alleviating symptoms of anxiety and chronic stress.
  • Physical Symptoms: Addresses physical symptoms associated with trauma such as chronic pain, digestive issues, and insomnia.
  • Emotional Regulation: Assists in better emotional regulation and the development of healthier coping mechanisms.

The Top 8 Somatic Experiencing Exercises

Now, let’s explore some of the best Somatic Experiencing exercises that can help create a sense of calm and stability in your body. These are simple yet powerful techniques to start incorporating into your daily routine (and below we give you some steps to try on your own):

  1. Grounding: Feel the floor beneath your feet or your back against a chair. Notice the support of the ground. This connection can help bring you back to the present moment.
  2. Resourcing: Identify resources—people, places, or memories that evoke feelings of peace and safety. Imagining these can calm your nervous system.
  3. Orientation: Slowly look around your environment, noticing colors, shapes, and objects. This helps reassure your nervous system that the environment is safe.
  4. Pendulation: Notice sensations in your body that feel comfortable, then slowly shift your attention to areas of discomfort. Pendulate back and forth to gradually reduce intensity of distress.
  5. Tracking: Pay attention to bodily sensations and changes. For example, you might notice warmth in your hands or a tingling in your toes. This awareness helps you stay connected to the present.
  6. Titration: Very gently expose yourself to distressing sensations or emotions in small doses—only as much as you can handle without becoming overwhelmed.
  7. Completion of Motor Actions: Often, traumatic responses are physical reactions frozen in time. Through SE, you might be guided to slowly complete a previously interrupted defensive motor response, like pushing away or running.
  8. Somatic Narration: As you move through exercises, narrate what’s happening in your body. Speaking it aloud can help integrate the experience.

Somatic Experience Exercise: Step-by-Step

Ready to Try It?


Find a quiet, comfortable space where you can sit or stand without interruption. If you’re sitting, choose a chair where your feet can rest flat on the floor, and your back can lean slightly against the back of the chair.

  1. Begin by Taking a Deep Breath:

    • Inhale deeply through your nose, allowing your belly to expand as you fill your lungs with air.
    • Exhale slowly through your mouth, letting out all the air and any tension you might be holding.
    • Repeat this breathing three times, each time noticing the air moving in and out of your body.
  2. Feel Your Feet:

    • Place your feet flat on the floor. Feel the soles of your feet touching the ground. Notice the pressure of the floor beneath you. Is it cold or warm? Hard or soft?
    • Imagine roots growing from the soles of your feet deep into the earth, anchoring you securely to this spot.
  3. Notice Your Body’s Contact Points:

    • Feel the weight of your body in the chair. Notice where your body touches the chair—the back of your thighs, your back, perhaps your arms.
    • Pay attention to these points of contact. How does the support of the chair feel against your body?
  4. Observe Your Surroundings:

    • Without moving your head, let your eyes wander around the room. Notice objects, colors, shapes, and textures.
    • Acknowledge these details quietly in your mind, letting each observation ground you more deeply into the present.
  5. Return to Your Breath:

    • Bring your focus back to your breathing. Feel each inhale and exhale as a grounding force.
    • With each breath, imagine drawing strength from the earth through your feet and spreading calm throughout your body.
  6. Check in With Your Body:

    • Notice any changes in your body or emotions. Do you feel calmer, more present?
    • Acknowledge any sensations or feelings that have arisen without judgment.
  7. Close the Exercise:

    • Take one more deep, grounding breath. As you exhale, thank yourself for taking this time to connect with your present experience.
    • When you feel ready, gently wiggle your fingers and toes, and slowly open your eyes if they were closed.

Each Step a Gentle Forward

These exercises might feel small, but each step is a profound leap forward in healing. The beauty of Somatic Experiencing lies in its ability to make vast changes through minute, almost imperceptible movements and moments. Remember, the key is patience and gentle attention—your body knows what it needs, and with Somatic Experiencing, you’re just learning to listen again.

At Lido Wellness our team is experienced at brining SE into treatment when it proves useful or, along with the patient, we believe it could be effective. If you want to know more about how we use somatic experiencing exercises in our mental health program, call us today: 949-541-8466.

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A collage of iconic Orange County landmarks intertwined with imagery of growing plants or trees showing recovery possible in IOP in Orange County

The Need for Mental Health IOP in Orange County

Mental health challenges have been on the rise, with the stresses of modern life, economic pressures, and the aftermath of public health crises taking a toll. In Orange County, as in many parts of the world, there’s a growing recognition of the need for comprehensive mental health services that are both effective and adaptable to individuals’ lives. A Mental Health IOP in Orange County can serve as a critical bridge between traditional outpatient therapy and inpatient care, offering intensive support without the need for a residential stay.

What Research Says About Mental Health IOP Effectiveness

Studies have shown that Mental Health IOPs are effective in treating a variety of disorders, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and PTSD. A systematic review published in the American Journal of Psychiatry noted that patients participating in IOPs demonstrated significant improvements in symptoms and quality of life. These programs provide structured therapeutic interventions, including psychotherapy, medication management, and support groups, tailored to each individual’s needs.

Selecting the Right Mental Health IOP: Considerations for Orange County Residents

  • Location Convenience: Accessibility is paramount. For residents of Orange County’s diverse communities, from densely populated areas to quieter suburbs, the ease of reaching a Mental Health IOP can be crucial for sustained engagement and success.
  • Accreditation and Expertise: Ensuring that a facility has accreditation from reputable bodies, such as the Joint Commission, offers peace of mind regarding the quality of care and the professionalism of the staff. The expertise in treating specific mental health issues can also guide your choice, ensuring personalized and effective treatment.
  • Comprehensive and Tailored Treatment Plans: Effective Mental Health IOPs provide a range of therapeutic options tailored to individual diagnoses and needs. This might include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), and specialized groups for managing specific challenges such as grief, trauma, or stress.
  • Adaptable Scheduling: Many individuals seeking treatment have commitments to work, education, or family. IOPs in Orange County often offer flexible scheduling, including evening and weekend sessions, to ensure that treatment is accessible without significant disruption to daily life.

The Role of Community and Support

A robust support system enhances the efficacy of Mental Health IOP treatment. The integration of family therapy sessions, when appropriate, and access to peer support groups can foster a sense of community and belonging, which is vital for long-term recovery. Encouragement and understanding from peers and loved ones can be incredibly motivating and healing.

Choosing Between Inpatient and Outpatient Mental Health Care

The decision between inpatient and outpatient mental health care hinges on a comprehensive assessment of the individual’s condition, the severity of symptoms, and the level of support available outside of treatment. While inpatient care provides an immersive, structured environment for those in acute crisis, Mental Health IOPs offer flexibility and intensity without complete removal from daily life, suitable for those with stable living situations and less severe symptoms.

The Path Forward with Mental Health IOP

Mental Health IOPs represent a vital component of the mental health care continuum, especially for those seeking to balance treatment with life’s obligations. Facilities like LIDO Wellness Center in Orange County are dedicated to providing this critical service, offering hope and practical solutions for individuals struggling with mental health challenges. With a focus on personalized care, accessibility, and the support of a compassionate community, Mental Health IOPs stand as a beacon for those navigating the complexities of mental health recovery, offering a path forward that respects the individuality of each person’s journey.

Final Thoughts

The journey to recovery is highly personal and varies from one individual to another. Facilities like LIDO Wellness Center in Orange County are dedicated to providing personalized IOP treatments that respect the individual’s daily life commitments while offering the support and care necessary for recovery. As the landscape of mental health treatment continues to evolve, IOPs stand out as a vital option for those seeking a balance between treatment and life obligations.

Adding these considerations and statistics provides a comprehensive view of IOP treatment, especially tailored to individuals in Orange County, underlining the importance of accessible, high-quality care in the journey towards recovery.

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A man receiving therapy in a contemporary office setting, symbolizing the personalized and professional mental health treatment in OC.

Mental Health Treatment in OC

LIDO Wellness Center is a renowned treatment center for mental health in OC with a 4.3-star rating on Google. We offer three levels of care – IOP, PHP, and OP. Our clients can choose a treatment option that best suits the severity of their mental health issue, availability, and affordability.

Importance Of Professional Mental Health Treatment in OC

Most people avoid joining one of the trauma treatment facilities to prevent getting judged by those around them and the cost factor. However, attending PTSD and trauma treatment is the only way to heal and recover from your psychiatric disorder. Conditions like anxiety, depression, PTSD, etc., do not just go away on their own. It takes a science-based approach to help you overcome your mental health treatment in OC problems and achieve mental peace and wellness.

Attending a PTSD treatment program offers several other benefits besides helping you recover from your mental illness. Some of the benefits of signing up for PTSD treatment in Orange County include:

  • You can regain control of your career, relationships, health, and life.
  • It can improve your performance at work and school and promote personal growth and professional development.
  • It can equip you with essential skills to manage anger and stress and help you channel negative and unhealthy thoughts and emotions using a rational approach.

More importantly, seeking timely mental health treatment from one of the leading trauma and PTSD treatment centers can prevent your psychiatric disorder from worsening. Leaving your mental health issue untreated can lead to substance or alcohol abuse, suicidal tendencies, and other life-threatening consequences.

Who Should Seek Mental Health Treatment in OC?

While nobody wants to hear that they have a mental health condition, the sooner you introspect yourself and look for signs, the better the chances of achieving holistic recovery from your psychiatric disorder. You should sign up for a PTSD treatment program if you experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  1. You have no control over your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Your thoughts affect your relationships, performance at work, and your well-being.
  2. You are struggling with life’s challenges, such as an illness, loss of a loved one, divorce, breakup, job problems, etc.
  3. You are consuming alcohol or doing drugs to relax and feel normal. If your drinking or drug-using patterns interfere with your health, emotions, relationships, or job, you must seek help sooner than later.

Besides, if you feel confused or fraught with emotions, seeking the help of a trained professional can help you get an unbiased and professional’s perspective.

1. Is seeking treatment for mental health issues a sign of weakness?

Absolutely not. Seeking help for mental health concerns is a profound act of strength and self-awareness. It takes courage to acknowledge the need for support and to take steps towards healing and self-improvement.

Mental health, like physical health, requires care and attention. Just as you would see a doctor for a physical ailment, consulting a mental health professional for emotional or psychological challenges is a smart and healthy decision. Remember, prioritizing your mental health is a testament to your resilience and commitment to your well-being.

2. Will I have to be on medication for the rest of my life if I start treatment?

The path of mental health treatment is highly individualized, depending on specific needs, conditions, and responses to various interventions. For some, medication can be a temporary tool to manage symptoms while working on underlying issues through therapy. For others, medication may be a longer-term solution that enables them to maintain balance and function effectively.

The goal of any treatment plan is to support your well-being in the most effective and least intrusive way possible. Ongoing communication with your healthcare provider will be key to adjusting your treatment plan as your needs and circumstances evolve.

3. How do I know if therapy or counseling is working?

Recognizing progress in therapy can sometimes be subtle, especially in the beginning. It’s important to remember that healing and growth often occur in incremental steps. Some signs that therapy is working include feeling a greater sense of self-awareness, noticing shifts in your thoughts or behavior patterns, experiencing a reduction in symptoms, or finding it easier to cope with challenges. It’s also common to face ups and downs throughout the process, as addressing deep-seated issues can be complex.

Open communication with your therapist about your progress and any concerns is crucial. Therapy is a collaborative process, and adjustments can be made to ensure that you are moving towards your goals.

Top Reasons to Choose Us For Mental Health Treatment in OC

We are a dedicated, experienced, and passionate team of therapists and mental health professionals to improve the quality of life of those suffering from psychiatric disorders. Our clinicians go to great lengths to identify the root cause of your trauma and address it using evidence-based and proven therapies.

Call 949-541-8466 to verify your insurance with us. LIDO Wellness Center is a top-rated treatment center for mental health in OC with evidence-based therapies, experienced therapists, and hundreds of positive reviews from past clients. We have helped hundreds of people suffering from various mental health conditions overcome their mental health issues and attain improved psychological wellness. Get in touch with us today for a better and brighter tomorrow.

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Sailboats gracefully floating on the serene waters near LIDO Wellness Center, symbolizing tranquility and healing at the IOP treatment Newport Beach

IOP Treatment Newport Beach

Here at LIDO Wellness Center, we offer an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for mental health in our Newport Beach Facility. Our mission is to educate families and those struggling with mental health. If you have any questions about our IOP treatment in Newport Beach, here is a list of frequently asked questions about our services.

What is IOP?

An Intensive Outpatient Program is a treatment program that provides education, group therapy, skill-building, and family support. Here at LIDO Wellness Center, our program offers professional care, counseling, and peer support that allows our patients to keep their daily routines and live at home.

How can an IOP help me?

Intensive outpatient programs can help you in several ways. It provides a safe and secure environment that prevents further damage and develops a plan to cope with crises. Besides that, you will receive more extended care and be exposed to more treatments to help you cope with your health problems.

How do I know if an Intensive outpatient program is right for me?

An intensive outpatient program is not the right level of care if you are unsafe and pose a risk of danger to yourself or the people around you. If you feel moderate to severe symptoms and have difficulties functioning, IOP might not be the right level of care. However, if you are feeling mild to moderate symptoms and can function without problems, IOP might probably be the right level of care for you.

What happens after IOP?

After completing the intensive outpatient program, we’ll always check our patients for the first few months. We strive to support the progress of all our patients. You can easily opt out if you don’t want us to reach you. However, we strongly encourage continued contact from our health care professional since it’s linked to positive improvements.

Does insurance cover IOP?

Most insurance plans now cover mental health disorder treatment. Here at LIDO Wellness Center, we’ll help you determine the out-of-pocket cost once we have your insurance plan information if your provider doesn’t cover the service. We can also help you arrange a flexible payment plan if you have a large deductible.

Do you only work with patients in Newport Beach?

We see many folks in Newport Beach and the surrounding area. Our medical professionals are always ready and available to help you; it doesn’t matter where you are from, provided you can access our Newport Beach facility.

How do I get started with IOP treatment?

Getting started with Newport Beach IOP treatment is very simple. We only need your full name, address, phone number, date of birth, and insurance plan information. We’ll review some information with you during your appointment and collect your medical history.

We schedule most treatment sessions in the morning and afternoon. If our schedule doesn’t work for you, we will try to accommodate yours.

To get started with our IOP treatment in Newport Beach, please get in touch with us at 949-541-8466.

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