Eye movement desensitization and processing for children in Singapore


Psychological trauma causes “one to develop an erroneous belief about oneself and subsequently results in behaviour that is maladaptive” (Parnell 2007, p.3). Singleincident traumas, such as car accidents, tend to be impersonal, isolated incidents that are brief and will not be repeated. Isolated traumatic incidents tend to result in “discrete conditioned behavioural and biological responses to reminders of the trauma” that are captured in the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder diagnosis (van der Kolk, 2005, p.402). Complex traumas, on the other hand, involve exposure to severe stressors that most often begin in childhood, occur repeatedly over time and are perpetrated by significant caregivers who are typically expected to be the source of security, stability and protection (Ford & Courtois, 2009). When caregiving relationships become sources of trauma, children tend to develop insecurities with attachment and become emotionally dysregulated or have difficulties relating to others.

Insecure attachment has a severe impact on a child’s neurophysiological development, leading to somatisation, behavioural and emotional dysregulation and difficulties with identity formation and relationships (Schore, 2003; Siegel, 2012). Cook et al. (2005) categorised this impact into areas of impairment, namely: biology, affect regulation, dissociation, behavioural control, cognition, and self-concept. As children are a vulnerable group and are more susceptible to the long-term effects of complex trauma (Price, Higa-McMillan, Kim & Frueh et al., 2013), early intervention is crucial in helping them develop resiliency and lower the risk of longer-term ramifications. As evidence-based complex trauma treatments are lacking in Singapore, there is a need to identify efficacious interventions to address the needs of local children exposed to complex trauma (Liu, Chu, Neo et al., 2016).






Yvonne Lee-Lek Siew Ling

Original Work Citation

Lee-Lek Siew Ling, Y. (2019). Eye movement desensitization and processing for children in Singapore. (Doctoral Dissertation, Swinburne University of Technology)



“Eye movement desensitization and processing for children in Singapore,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed July 29, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/25765.

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