EMDR & Family Therapy
EMDR is an effective treatment to address trauma in children and adults and provide them with a more integrated way of processing past experiences into a coherent narrative which leads to a more adaptive psychological functioning.
The effectiveness of EMDR therapy has been well supported by an increasing amount of evidence-based research into addressing traumatic memories, including early abuse and neglect, mental health issues such as depression, phobias and anxiety, as well as pain management, addictions and complex grief. It has been successfully used in treating children and young people affected by multiple traumas and specific conditions such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism Spectrum Disorder (AS) and Asperger’s Syndrome.
It is based on bi-lateral stimulation of the brain and the activation of the right and left hemispheres that seems to have a positive effect in the processing of memories and traumatic experiences, which are stored in the body. With children EMDR treatment will take into account their developmental stages and the time of the onset of the trauma and be adapted to specific needs. It will tap into the natural capacity of the brain to heal and find its own ways of integrating difficult past experiences into a more adaptive way of coping with difficulties. For more information see the official website.
The EMDR treatment for the child will be carried out with at least one parent present to support their child and become witness to their pain in sessions, as well as promoting the healing process at home by providing comfort and answering any questions that may emerge.
With children who have experienced multiple traumas it is important that the treatment is carried out at the child’s pace to ensure they are always within their window of tolerance i.e. feeling safe. A period of stabilisation might be needed before, during and after each treatment to ensure that children and parents can tolerate processing disturbing material rather than dissociating from it.
Through a combination of Family therapy and E.M.D.R treatment, a new shared narrative about current difficulties and past trauma will strengthen all family attachments and a child’s sense of belonging to their family as a safe place to grow. This work will help develop a new emerging reality where the child’s and family’s life stories can be woven together to restore hope for a happy and successful future.