"Blank" ...Using EMDR with children who dissociate


Dissociation is a common response for children who experience abuse, severe neglect, or extreme disorganized attachment. EMDR can help (1) increase a child´s sense of safety and stability, (2) decrease disconnection between aspects of self, and (3) process trauma. While the part of the child existing in the `now´ may be aware of safety, the younger or infant part of the child to whom trauma occurred often is not aware of present safety. This younger part which continues in fear disrupts the child´s functioning. Ideas will be presented for using EMDR to increase knowledge of present safety across the child´s dissociative system as well as recognizing where safety may not exist. Use of EMDR for building secure attachment with child and parent, processing triggers, increasing the child´s connection between dissociative states, and processing both explicit and implicit memories will be described. Dissociative children are often difficult to work with. Ideas will be given for adapting EMDR for use with these highly volatile, dissociative children. The importance of recognizing and acknowledging dissociation when it appears within the child´s EMDR processing will be emphasized. This workshop is appropriate for therapists already trained in EMDR. Numerous case examples will be given.






Sandra Wieland
Sandra Baita

Original Work Citation

Wieland, S., & Baita, S. (2009, November). "Blank" ...Using EMDR with children who dissociate. Presentation at the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation 26th Annual International Conference, Washington, DC. doi:10.1037/e608902012-130



“"Blank" ...Using EMDR with children who dissociate,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed December 5, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/19043.

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