Complex trauma, attachment and dissociation: Using EMDR Therapy with children with pervasive emotion dysregulation
This presentation will focus on practical and creative strategies for working with children with severe dysregulation of the affective system. These include children exhibiting insecure patterns of attachment, complex PTSD and dissociative symptoms. Strategies directed to titrate amount of trauma and keep children within manageable and tolerable levels of activation to optimize their integrative capacity will be demonstrated. This presentation will cover the use of pendulation, titration, EMD and “in” and “out” strategies. How to work with children with sensitized sympathetic and parasympathetic systems, as well as children with avoidant, disorganized and anxious attachment strategies and dissociative symptoms will be addressed. Considering that children with complex trauma present with attachment injuries inflicted when lower brain areas were still developing, their capacities for affect regulation can be compromised (Ogden & Gómez, 2013). The use of strategies that work directly with subcortical brain regions and the body, will be addressed. Clinicians will learn how to give a “voice” to the body, especially during the processing phases of EMDR therapy. This will allow children to playfully access somatic material. A wide range of interweaves will be presented. This includes the “reparative interweave” which is directed to heal the attachment system and assist children in meeting unmet attachment needs. In addition, clinicians will learn how to use strategies from the EMDR-Sandtray protocol (Gómez, 2013) to access implicit material and provide distance from the memories of trauma and hardship. These facilitate the exploration, accessing and processing of such memory systems while staying within the child’s window of tolerance.
Original Work Citation
Gomez, A. (2017, June). Complex trauma, attachment and dissociation: Using EMDR Therapy with children with pervasive emotion dysregulation. Presentation (Birgit Schulz, Chair) at the 18th EMDR Europe Association Conference, Barcelona, Spain
“Complex trauma, attachment and dissociation: Using EMDR Therapy with children with pervasive emotion dysregulation,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed April 17, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/24240.