EMDR Is Appropriate For Ages:
Changes within the family or changed relationships hit adolescents particularly hard. Different from adults, adolescents cannot draw on positive solution strategies from their past.
EMDR Can Help In The Following Areas:
Spirit: EMDR helps children recover their damaged souls.
Body: It helps children recovering from challenges such as bedwetting, facial tics, and phantom limb pain.
Mind: EMDR is especially useful for depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, withdrawal, and poor school performances caused by
Emotions: EMDR is great for children with low self-esteem caused by physical and/or sexual abuse.
Social: EMDR helps children who are violent, anti-social, or difficult to get along with in general due to trauma and abuse.
Description Of A Typical Session
- At the first session the therapist takes a history of the child’s traumas from parents (from child if 12 or older). The practitioner explains to the parent what EMDR is and how it works.
Together, practitioner, parent, and child when appropriate, set goals for work.
- In the next and following sessions if needed, EMDR is practiced; where processing is accomplished with the child. Parents are generally not in the room with the child, unless the child is
very young or is too fearful. (Parents, all children MUST be fully dressed at all times in our therapy office, no matter how young their age.)
- The practitioner has the child establish a safe place in his/her mind and “sets” the place with eye movements or other methods.
- The practitioner has the child picture in his/her mind whatever the problem is and asks them questions about the thoughts and feelings it brings up, and again has them do eye movements or other
- Both the safe exercise and the exercise about the problem may be repeated several times, until the safe place has replaced the problem space in the child’s mind.
- Goals and targets are reset during and after each session.
What is important when we are working with adolescents is we form a working alliance with the child's parents or caregivers. To achieve positive changes, the child's environment is just as
important as work we do in therapy. Parents and family members should work on trying to understand the problem as much as the child to be able to create a positive foundation for the therapy
Average Time Per Session
- Time per session depends upon the age of the child.
- There might be ten minutes of actual EMDR work for a five year old; up to an hour for older children.
- Most sessions are 50 to 60 minutes long and often include other things such as talk, play, drawing, etc.
Our therapies for adolescents focus on the following areas:
- Behavior disorders
- Divorce or separation
- Learning challenges & school performance
- Play therapy
What is EMDR - For Kids
What EMDR does for kids. When we have yucky things that happen to us, we have many mixed-up feelings and many mixed-up thoughts. We do not feel good in our minds, bodies, and hearts. It is like
carrying bags of mixed-up stuff. When we are so busy carrying all these bags, we do not have space in our hearts, minds, and bodies for the good feelings and thoughts.
EMDR can help kids by making those bags smaller or even get rid of them so kids will have space for the good feelings and the good thoughts. Grown- ups have a rather complicated name for EMDR: Eye
Movement Desensitization and reprocessing.
When kids receive EMDR, one of the things they do is move their eyes from one side to another with their therapist leading them in the movements, while they think about the things that have
happened to them that are good and not so good.
Most kids don’t know this, but they do this every night….yes kids move their eyes every night while they are asleep and are having dreams. Grown ups call this Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep
EMDR helpers like Dr. Buchanan can do other things instead of eye movement. They can tap your hands or knees back and forth or they can use sounds or music that move from one ear to the other.
When not good things happen, the brain has a hard time putting all the pieces together and as a result, things people say or do or things that kids see, hear, smell or touch can bring up the
memories, mixed-up thoughts, feelings and body feelings connected to those things.
EMDR helps the brain put all pieces together so the not so good stuff can leave us and good stuff or things we learned from it can stay so we get stronger. Then, the brain can chew up and digest
the mixed-up feelings and thoughts as well as the not so good feelings we may have in the body.