EMDR and Children

EMDR looks different for children than with adults.  Because play is the child’s language, play therapy is used in conjunction with bilateral stimulation. A child gravitates toward drawing, using sandtray figurines or puppets to play out or act out their disturbance. Books and crafted stories (stories the therapist creates to help the child access and process the disturbance) are often used as well. Even during scheduled free-play, where child-centered play therapy techniques are used, the child often plays out the trauma. The EMDR therapist knows when to apply bilateral stimulation during the session and how to help the child move to a more adaptive place and healing.  EMDR with children has been shown to be highly effective as the brain can heal from traumatic and/or disturbing experiences. 




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