Traumatised parents of traumatised children: A brief EMDR intervention


Where children have suffered traumatic experience, parents may also have been affected by the same event and may themselves suffer significant post traumatic symptoms. Parents affected in this way are often unable to attend as well as they would like to the needs of their children, to respond appropriately, or to provide optimal support for their children. It is well known that parental mental ill-health – especially maternal mental health problems - is a risk factor for mental health problems and the development and perpetuation of PTSDs in children. Our clinic has seen many children with parents who have been affected in this way. This paper describes a brief EMDR intervention developed by our team for providing help to these traumatized parents. It is shows how a brief intervention of this kind can be useful in bringing rapid relief to parents suffering from PTSs and how the resulting improvement in attunement and responsiveness to the child is associated with improvements in the child’s functioning.






Guinevere Tufnell

Original Work Citation

Tufnell, G. (2008, June). Traumatised parents of traumatised children: A brief EMDR intervention. Presentation at the 9th EMDR Europe Association Conference, London, England




“Traumatised parents of traumatised children: A brief EMDR intervention,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed July 27, 2021,

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