EMDR bilateral movement groups for children with ADHD


Using EMDR to treat children diagnosed with ADHD is challenging on many levels. Differentiating the effects of trauma versus pure ADHD or other diagnoses such as OCD, learning disabilities, and even autism is difficult at best because these symptoms could be present as the result of early trauma (Tinker, 1999). These experiences include birth trauma, illness, medical procedures and surgery as well as abuse or neglect (Becker, 2000). These children may be unintentionally further traumatized on a daily basis by parents, teachers, coaches and peers for missing social cues, being impulsive and disruptive and no paying attention or cooperating. They may not easily engage in therapy and tend to avoid new situations due to past failures and harbor negative views of themselves because of their belief that they somehow need to be “fixed.” These response could also be due to attachment disorders or to a “poor match” between temperament of parent and child (Bowlby, 1973).






Deborah Withers

Original Work Citation

Withers, D. (2000, December). EMDR bilateral movement groups for children with ADHD. EMDRIA Newsletter, 5(Special Edition), 11-13



“EMDR bilateral movement groups for children with ADHD,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed August 14, 2020, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/16682.

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