Integrating EMDR therapy and play therapy with children


When play therapists complete training in the 8 phase EMDR protocol, they sometimes find it challenging to integrate EMDR therapy into their current work. By the same token, clinicians with a primary focus in EMDR are often looking for ways to deliver the EMDR protocol in more developmentally sensitive ways which feel safer to the child. We will review the therapeutic power of each modality and then look for ways to maximize the healing of the youngest clients through integration of the two approaches. This half day workshop will follow the flow of the 8 phases of EMDR, bringing the power of play, specific play-based tools, and playful protocols to each phase, in particular trauma history, preparation, assessment and reprocessing, focusing on how to use play therapy and the child’s post-traumatic play as the setting for EMDR, with interactive practice, video examples and discussion of how to respect the child’s ability to move towards and away from the trauma content.






Ann Beckley Forest

Original Work Citation

Forest, A. B. (2020, January). Integrating EMDR therapy and play therapy with children. Presentation at the 4th EMDR Asia International Conference, Bangkok, Thailand



“Integrating EMDR therapy and play therapy with children,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed October 27, 2020,

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