EMDR for Parents
Being a parent is one of the greatest privileges we can experience, but it also requires great commitment and work. If you have a child with emotional and behavioral difficulties, the good news is there is help and there are many different therapeutic modalities that can help you and your child. EMDR is one of these therapeutic modalities. EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy approach developed by Dr. Francine Shapiro (for more information click here http://coonsults.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/16/expert-answers-on-e-m-d-r/).
EMDR is a psychotherapy treatment that is effective for resolving emotional difficulties caused by disturbing, difficult, frightening life experiences, trauma, abuse, bullying, domestic violence, grief/loss, attachment wounds, abandonment or other life issues. When a child has a yucky thing that happens to them, they lose a sense of control over their lives. This can result in symptoms of anxiety, depression, irritability, anger, guilt, and or other behavioral problems. Even more common events such as divorce, school problems, peer difficulties, failures, and family problems can deeply affect a child’s sense of security, self-esteem and development.
When a yucky thing happens to a child, sometimes the event stays frozen or stuck in the child’s memory. The experience may return in a distressing and intrusive way and the child may respond in the present in a manner that is confusing to those around the child. For example, a child who has experienced a bad bicycle accident may have repeated nightmares, be fearful of trying new things and avoid things that are associated with a bicycle.
EMDR helps resolve the troubling thoughts, feelings and sensations related to the distressing memory so that a child can return to their normal developmental tasks and prior level of coping while strengthening the child’s sense of confidence, mastery and calmness.