I received my Level I and Level II EMDR training in 2011 and completed all EMDRIA requirements to be a Certified EMDR therapist in 2019. I am currently a Consultant in Training (CIT).
What is EMDR?
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a psychotherapy treatment that is effective for resolving emotional difficulties caused by disturbing, difficult, or frightening life experiences. When children are traumatized, have upsetting experiences or repeated failures, they lose a sense of control over their lives.
This can result in symptoms of anxiety, depression, irritability, anger, guilt, and/or behavioral problems. Events such as accidents, abuse, violence, death, and natural disasters are traumatic, but we do not always recognize the ways they effect and influence a child’s everyday life.
Even common upsetting childhood events, such as divorce, school problems, peer difficulties, failures, and family problems, can deeply affect a child’s sense of security, self-esteem, and development.
When an upsetting, scary or painful experience happens, sometimes the memory of the experience stays “stuck” or “frozen” in the mind and body. The experience may return in a distressing and intrusive way and the child may cope by avoiding everything associated with the upsetting experience. For example, a child who has experienced a bad bicycle accident may have repeated nightmares, be fearful of trying new things, and avoid things that are associated with a bicycle.
Most experts agree that the best way to get “unstuck” and become free from the symptoms is through exposure to the traumatic experience. This means the person will work through facing the memories or troubling events until they are no longer disturbing.
Dual Attention Stimulation (DAS)
Dual Attention Stimulation (DAS) refers to the use of alternating, right-left tracking that may take the form of eye movements, tones or music delivered to each ear, or tactile stimulation, such as alternating hand taps. Creative alternatives have been developed for children that incorporate Dual Attention Stimulation, through the use of puppets, stories, dance, art, and even swimming.
EMDR helps resolve the troubling thoughts and feelings related to the distressing memories so that children can return to their normal developmental tasks and prior levels of coping. In addition, EMDR can help to strengthen feelings of confidence, calmness and mastery.
-Cited from EMDR and Children EMDRIA