EMDR as an elective treatment with children survivors of mass disasters


This paper describes the application of EMDR as an early trauma-focused treatment with children involved in mass disasters (natural disasters, accidents and intentionally provoked). EMDR treatment was part of a comprehensive treatment with the population and was the elective treatment for the children of elementary schools which were the most exposed to the traumatic events. In most cases, 3 cycles of EMDR treatment were organized at one month, three months and a year from the critical event. Individual sessions were used for the school children due to the serious exposure to trauma and grief including: threat to life, loss of friends and sibling. Psychological support and EMDR treatment were provided to parents and school personnel and this aspect has been considered in the last interventions fundamental to enhance treatment results in children. Results of questionnaires and clinical interviews to assess post-traumatic symptomatology before and after treatment will be shown, along with follow up data. Treatment group show a significant improvement after EMDR treatment. Statistical analysis of results will be discussed. The author will highlight clinical aspects of using EMDR with children following recent trauma of great magnitude. The post-traumatic stress reactions of this group in developmental age will be discussed. EMDR treatment for parents and other adults involved in the disaster has proved to be critical when dealing with children’s symptomatology. Guidelines and indications for structured interventions coming from our field studies will be presented.






Isabel Fernandez

Original Work Citation

Fernandez, I. (2008, June). EMDR as an elective treatment with children survivors of mass disasters. Presentation at the 9th EMDR Europe Association Conference, London, England



“EMDR as an elective treatment with children survivors of mass disasters,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed August 5, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/18268.

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