William E. Callahan, Jr., MD  
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions

Directions and Parking

Directions to 120 Vantis, Suite 540, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656

Parking: In free parking structure that is 5 stories high, adjacent to 120 Vantis. It has a visible "122" on it for 122 Vantis, and is located along Aliso Viejo Parkway, just west of my office building. You cannot make a legal left turn into the parking structure from Aliso Viejo Parkway. You must follow Aliso Viejo Parkway down to Grand Avenue traffic light, and either make a "U" turn there, or turn left on Grand and then the first left is the entrance to Vantis Drive, and you can access the parking structure on the left after you pass the office building under contruction. Please note that as of July 2006 the entrance to Vantis Dr directly from Aliso Viejo Parkway is closed due to construction.

Easiest and quickest access to the office is via the 73 Tollroad which connects to the 405 and 5 freeways

PARKING is available in the parking structure next to the 120 Vantis building, and is accessible from Aliso Viejo Parkway as well as by turning on to Grand Avenue. Parking is free.

From the North via the 73 Freeway (Tollroad) Headed South

Exit at Glenwood/Pacific Park
Proceed straight through intersection at end of off ramp on to Enterprise.
Turn Rt on Aliso Viejo Parkway and building will be on the left in the next block.

From the North

5 South or 405 South
Take the Lake Forest Exit (from the 5 it is labeled Bake Pkwy/Lake Forest Drive)
Rt on Lake Forest DR
Lt on Moulton Pkwy
Rt on Aliso Viejo Pkwy
Building is a block past Enterprise on left hand side.

From the Coast and West

Take the 133 Fwy from Laguna Beach
Turn Rt on El Toro Rd
Rt on Aliso Creek Rd
Rt on Aliso Viejo Parkway
Turn left on to Vantis (one block after Enterprise)

From Crown Valley Parkway

Go north from the coast on Crown Valley
Left on Alicia Pkwy
Left on Aliso Creek Rd
Left on Aliso Viejo Pkwy
Turn Rt on Vantis (just after passing Grand St)

From the South

Easiest access is via the 73 Freeway (tollroad)

Proceed north and exit at Aliso Creek Rd
Rt on Aliso Creek Rd
Lt on Aliso Viejo Pkwy
Lt at Vantis (one block after Enterprise)

Headed North on 5 freeway (from above the 73 tollroad
Oso is closest exit from 5 freeway

From the Oso Pkwy exit head southwest. Oso becomes Pacific Park Drive
Rt on Aliso Viejo Pkwy
Turn Rt at Vantis (one block after Grand)

Cancellation Policy

Appointments not cancelled a minimum of 24 hours in advance are the responsibility of the patient to pay for. My voicemail system will date and time stamp every message so that I know exactly when the notification came, and it is accessible to you 24 hours a day by calling my office at 949-916-5656.

My desire is to strike a balance between understanding that my patients may need to make changes in their schedules, and also that there are a limited number of hours in a day and many patients cannot get in to see me as fast as they would like. It is very hard for most people to change their schedules and make an appointment if they have less than 24 hours notice to do so.

This policy attempts to balance my desire to keep waiting times to see me at a minimum, with wanting to be flexible and understanding of your occasional need to make changes after your appointment is set.

Preparation for sessions with me

Many people will experience anxiety or fear about meeting with a psychiatrist for the first time. This fear is not unlike the fear you might have going in to any new situation, or that you might have before any medical or dental procedure. If you are actively involved in psychotherapy and the work is going well, then you will note an increase in anxiety (fear) just before each meeting, as we will be advancing into areas of your feelings and functioning that you may have been afraid to face or experience on your own, and often neither one of us will know for sure what we will face as we proceed. At the end of most sessions, if we have successfully faced and experienced previously scary things from inside you, then you will note a significant decrease in anxiety, but you may also be fatigued from the hard work, a lot like going for a hard workout in the gym. You can be assured that I have experience in helping you go at the fastest pace you can without overwhelming you. Many people have a natural, all be it unhealthy, tendency to avoid feelings and forces in them that are painful or angry. These feelings and forces when held in create a constant stream of anxiety and can manifest in very unhealthy ways. Similarly, many people are not able to distinguish anger from anxiety, or may associate anger with destructive behavior that is more of a tantrum, and in no way allows release of anger (things like screaming, foul language, breaking things, throwing things, etc ),which temporarily decrease anxiety but have a negative effect on relationships. So prepare yourself that in coming in we are both determined to face things in you that may scare you, and that each week we will further face things that scare you from inside, until there is nothing left in you to be scared to feel or face and you can leave my office as a very free and strong individual. This may mean seeing things about yourself that you have not seen, and that may not be flattering, but then you have a chance to fix them yourself for good. Many people are not familiar with the physical experience of emotion within their own body, which allows for a healing release (even when the situation that may be causing it is not immediately able to be changed) that is much more healing than an intellectual explaining of the reason why one feels a certain way, which rarely produces relief from the symptoms.

The other preparation that is critical is that in individual treatment we are examining the presenting person's difficulties. Often patients are struggling within a relationship with another person, and want to focus their energy on the other person and what is wrong with their behavior. However, we will always want to focus on your individual reaction, feelings, and role in that relationship, since it is you that we will be focusing on and who is presenting with the courage to look at (and change if you choose to) your own behavior. So be prepared to look carefully always at your own role.

Psychotherapy work is like going to the gym. Each meeting with me is a chance to increase your capacity to feel emotions at a higher intensity, until there is nothing that can occur in your life that would create an emotion that would overwhelm you, which equates to a high level of resiliency. This is the same way an athlete exposes him or herself to an ever higher level of physical training so as to become as strong, fast, or maximize endurance as possible. This also heightens the capacity for emotional honesty and directness in a way that is healing for both sides of a relationship, and this practice and ability is something that you can take with you every day of your life and will be your accomplishment. When you reach the point that you are as maximally able to do this as you wish our work naturally draws to a close, and we reach our goodbye.

Be prepared that you may tend initially to interact with me as your therapist with similar strengths and difficulties as you have in the rest of your life, and I will be highlighting those as we go along, so that we can increase your emotional capacity for directness and closeness and maximally reduce any anxiety.

In some traditional therapies, the therapist very much works to make the patient more comfortable rather than to use the anxiety as an indicator of a problem below the surface that needs to be addressed. If you are relying on others to make you comfortable and have not learned healthy ways to resolve these forces and feelings within yourself this will make you more vulnerable to an anxiety or other disorder during your life. If you follow then my reasoning, you will understand why we must, just like in surgery, operate where the pain is and fix it, rather than do cosmetic surgery on the surface and leave the deep seated problems festering below.

Media Inquiries

Public education regarding mental health is a major commitment of mine. I am happy to respond to media inquiries and have experience working with print, radio, and television reporters. Please specify your deadline in any message that you leave. If the time line is less than 24 hours, please contact the Orange County Psychiatric Society and speak with Holly Appelbaum, our Executive Director, who can give you further assistance reaching qualified professionals. Her number at the non-profit Orange County Psychiatric Society is 714-978-3016.


ABOUT YOUR PHYSICIAN                              Think clearer.  Feel more.  Fear Less.  TM

As a Special Forces flight surgeon turned psychiatrist I discovered early in my medical career that there truly is no health without mental health.  With the constant deployments in my military unit on clandestine missions, I observed how stress in a family member can jump from person to person and lead to physical illness as well.  After 5 years of active duty and 9 of total service, I left the military to get the training to become a board certified psychiatrist.

I provide  a complete gamut of services for full recovery from stress, depression, and problems with relationships, as well as recovery from the more serious conditions such as bipolar disorder, substance abuse, and schizophrenia.  I combine my 23 years experience with my extensive knowledge of advanced therapy techniques, medications, exercise, life coaching, while connecting with your unique experience and goals allows us to get the recovery you want in the least amount of time.  You won’t have to be bounced between different offices here.

I believe the quicker you get effective treatment the faster and easier your recovery will be.  I have tremendous experience across the age spectrum too, and treat patients from 13 to end of life.  I work with individuals, families, and couples in therapy.  Procrastination with stress and thinking and feeling problems, just like other medical conditions, only leads to unnecessary suffering and lost time. I want to help you be your best.

I serve in a number of leadership positions.  I earned the honor of Distinguished Fellowship with the American Psychiatric Association in 2003, awarded for both excellence in psychiatry, community service and leadership which only 19% of members achieve in their lifetimes. I am the vice chairman of the APA’s Council on Communications, and take very seriously my role in public education.  I am a regular contributor to Health This Week (healthtelevision.com) and have appeared on CNN, Today Show, and many cable TV outlets.  I am a past president of the Orange County Psychiatric Society, and continue to serve on both the Board of OCPS and of the Orange County Medical Association.  I have provided a two hour a week, free, open-to-the-public group for families dealing with a mental illness called Interactive Solutions for the past 15 years.

My service in the military included a general surgery internship at David Grant Medical Center at Travis AFB, CA followed by assignment to the 8th Special Operations Squadron as a flight surgeon, at Hurlburt Field, FL.  I served in both the First Gulf War and Panama Wars, among other operations, and received two Meritorious Service Medals and was the 1988 Flight Surgeon of the Year within the First Special Operations Wing.

I am a graduate of Deerfield Academy (1978), Tufts University (1982), Tufts Medical School (1986), General Surgery Internship at Travis AFB, CA (1987), and Residency in Psychiatry at UC Irvine (1994).

Family Support Group

For Families Living with Mental Illness

Free family group for families dealing with mental illness in a member. Educational and interpersonal. Every Wednesday night from 7:00 to 9:00 PM. Free as a public service.

Group meets in various rooms at South Coast Medical Center in Laguna Beach, and is run by Dr. Callahan. Check for signs at lobby desk, or hospital operator's booth just to left inside lobby entrance, for each week's location.  We normally meet in the doctor's dining room.  It is a National Alliance for the Mentally Ill affiliated group. The hospital's website is www.southcoastmedcenter.com and the address is 31872 Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach,CA.

No pre-screening needed. The group is not for the identified family member with the mental illness, but is for everyone else who is concerned about someone with a known, or possible, mental illness.

History of Rapid Therapy Development

Please click the following link for one of the most comprehensive, and concise, summaries of the development of the therapies that have rapid change, emotional freedom, and enhanced intimacy and closeness as some of their major aims, including Intensive Short Term Dynamic Psychotherapy:


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