EMDR as an evaluation and treatment tool at the pediatric emergency department: A pilot study
In response to chronic or cumulative triggers of stress, children exhibit a wide and varying range of physical, behavioral, cognitive and emotional symptoms of distress. The literature indicates that adverse experiences early in life have negative physical and psychological effects during the lifespan, and that these life experiences can transmute into organic diseases over time. Among various traumatic events, childhood abuse was found to significantly increase the odds of presenting symptoms of distress such as anxiety, depression, dissociation and PTSD, in addition to physical manifestation and maladies. Medical personnel in Emergency Departments are trained to diagnosing organic mechanisms of pain and disease, while at times physical complaints may be manifestations of somatization due to a history of adverse childhood experiences. This pilot study demonstrates the use of EMDR Therapy in a Pediatric Emergency Department at a general hospital. EMDR Therapy was conducted with several patients who had physiological symptoms with no clear medical etiology. The study offers an analysis of children and adolescents who were admitted to the Emergency Department due to physiological complains following experiences of traumatic events. We emphasize the need for the use of EMDR Therapy as a bedside practical tool in the acute medical arena. Doing so enables better tailoring of treatment for children who have experienced traumatic events. Moreover, the study suggests that the use of EMDR in a Pediatric Medical setting has an added value and may assist in preventing the negative short and long-term health consequences of adverse experiences early in life.
Original Work Citation
Tekoah, S. D. (2018, June). EMDR as an evaluation and treatment tool at the pediatric emergency department: A pilot study. Children psychotherapy. Presentation at the 19th EMDR Europe Conference, Strasbourg, France
“EMDR as an evaluation and treatment tool at the pediatric emergency department: A pilot study,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed September 19, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/25173.