Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing in the treatment of pre-adolescent children with post-traumatic symptoms
This article describes the treatment of PTSD using eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) with four pre-adolescent children. EMDR has been shown to bring rapid relief in adults with PTSD. Studies are beginning to show that it can also be useful in work with young children. However, the standard protocol requires some adjustment to make it suitable for use with young children. In addition, in situations where children have complex difficulties in addition to PTSD, EMDR may need to be used alongside other interventions within a complex treatment package. This study describes brief work carried out with four pre-adolescent children with PTSD. Three of these children had received no treatment despite suffering from significant and chronic symptoms for some years. One had suffered a recent traumatic bereavement. All had additional problems that required intervention. EMDR was used as part of a multimodal treatment package. In all cases, the children's PTSD symptoms resolved within 2-4 sessions of EMDR. The maximum total number of sessions was 7. The children's symptomatic improvements were maintained at 6-month follow-up. EMDR can be adapted for use with pre-adolescent children. It can provide rapid and lasting symptomatic relief. EMDR can be a useful part of a multi-modal treatment package for young children with PTSD and additional mental health problems.
Original Work Citation
Tufnell, G. (2005, October). Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing in the treatment of pre-adolescent children with post-traumatic symptoms. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 10(4), 587-600. doi:10.1177/1359104505056320
“Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing in the treatment of pre-adolescent children with post-traumatic symptoms,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed October 19, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/17484.