Theraplay & EMDR: Integrating trauma work and child's play


As holistic medicine is finding its place in conventional health centers, there is a parallel movement toward integrative psychotherapy within the world of mental health. In the 1970's clinicians who drew from more than one school of thought were considered avant-garde and called themselves "eclectic." Today many graduate schools in mental health offer courses in "integrative" psychotherapy and experienced practitioners in mental health are continually seeking to broaden their expertise. My own efforts in this regard have led me to seek advanced training in two currently separate schools of psychotherapy – in attachment based Theraplay® and in a trauma oriented EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. My experience suggests that there is a natural pairing of these two therapeutic approaches, particularly when treating traumatized children. This article summarizes the ideas that prompted an enthusiastically received Theraplay workshop for the EMDR-Israel child-trauma therapists in July 2008.






Phyllis Strauss

Original Work Citation

Strauss, P. (2009, Winter). Theraplay & EMDR: Integrating trauma work and child's play. Theraplay Institute, Efrat, Israel



“Theraplay & EMDR: Integrating trauma work and child's play,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed December 3, 2020,

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