Creative approaches to motivate, prepare, and guide children to use EMDR


This workshop is intended to teach specific ways to use storytelling, metaphors and play therapy techniques within the context of the EMDR protocol. Participants will learn play therapy techniques to use during the target identification phase. Techniques such as the "mixed up box", "My yucky bags" among others, will provide a playful approach to assist children in identifying EMDR targets as well as to provide an opportunity for containment. Safe place, as well as other types of resource development, will be addressed using alternative ways to cue the child, such as olfactory stimulation. Participants will learn metaphors and stories to help children understand what happens in the mind and body when trauma occurs. These metaphors are intended to motivate children that are reluctant to embrace the memories associated to the trauma. By using stones and metaphors, children can also maintain emotional distance from their own struggles. One of the main goals of this workshop is to help clinicians learn to communicate more effectively with children by using metaphors, stones and play. How to talk to children about EMDR and how to prepare children for the outcome of EMDR will be addressed. By making the process more predictable, the likelihood of children stopping the process when they experience the difficult feelings associated with the trauma might be minimized. Participants will also learn to use creative, fun and playful ways to assist children in understanding and using the measure scales of the EMDR protocol (SUDS and VOC).






Ana M. Gomez

Original Work Citation

Gomez, A. M. (2006, September). Creative approaches to motivate, prepare, and guide children to use EMDR. Presentation at the 11th EMDR International Association Conference, Philadelphia, PA



“Creative approaches to motivate, prepare, and guide children to use EMDR,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed October 19, 2021,

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