EMDR therapy in treating posttraumatic stress disorder in adolescents - A case report


The existence of child physical and sexual abuse was covered up for a very long time, all until the beginning of the 1960s. The recognition of the existence and frequency of various types of child abuse and neglect encouraged numerous experts to look for ways to protect children, as well as for causes that would be the basis of treatment and prevention. All types of child abuse do occur, but the topic is still rarely discussed in public. There are indications that rates of child abuse, especially sexual abuse, are much higher than reported. According to ûoriü (2008), studies show that 12-25% of girls and 8-10% of boys experience sexual abuse by the time they reach the age of 18. The same author states that between 30% and 80% of sexually abused children report that they were abused only when they reach adulthood. Sexual abuse is a traumatic experience that represents a major stressor for every individual, especially for children. It refers to various activities encompassing everything from watching pornographic content together, delicate cuddling, masturbation etc. to sexual intercourse. The child concerned can be either active or passive. Children of all ages – from babies to older adolescents – can be exposed to a type of abuse and neglect. Whitman (2002) claims that the most critical period for child sexual abuse is between the ages of 8 and 12 (according to Buljan Flander & Kocijan-Hercigonja 2003). For child physical abuse it is the period between the ages of 4 and 8, while in terms of emotional abuse the period between 6 and 8 years is the most critical. According to a large body of data, girls fall victims to abuse five times more frequently in comparison to boys. Sexual abuse is more frequently performed by men. The abuser is usually someone whom child knows and trusts. The most frequent type of incest occurs between brothers and sisters, as well as between fathers/stepfathers and daughters/stepdaughters (Popoviü-Deušiü 1999).






Ajsela Bucan-Varatanović
Šemsa Šabanović

Original Work Citation

Bucan-Varatanović, A., & Šabanović, S. (2018). EMDR therapy in treating posttraumatic stress disorder in adolescents - A case report.  Psychiatria Danubina, 30(Supplement 5), S291-S296. Presentation at the 1st EMDR Conference (2017, November) in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo



“EMDR therapy in treating posttraumatic stress disorder in adolescents - A case report,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed October 20, 2020, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/25493.

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