In this blog post, we will discuss essential guidelines for working with children and teens using EMDR.
Build a rapport with the Young Person
The first step in working with young people is to build a strong therapeutic relationship. This means creating a safe, non-judgmental space where the young person can feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings. Use age-appropriate language and activities to engage the child or teen and help them feel at ease.
Use playful techniques
Children and teens often respond well to playful techniques. You can use games, art, and other creative activities to help them express their feelings and work through their trauma. For example, you could use puppets or dolls to act out a traumatic event or use drawing or colouring activities to help them express their emotions.
Keep sessions short and simple
Children and teens have shorter attention spans than adults, so it’s important to keep EMDR sessions short and simple. Plan sessions that are no longer than 30 minutes and break up the time with activities or breaks.
Use a modified protocol
EMDR protocol for adults may need to be modified for children and teens. This could include using shorter sets of eye movements or using different types of bilateral stimulation such as tapping or music. It’s important to work with a trained EMDR therapist who has experience working with children and teens.
Address safety concerns
Children and teens need to feel safe and secure during EMDR sessions. If they have experienced physical or sexual abuse, it’s important to address any safety concerns before beginning EMDR therapy. This may include ensuring that the child or teen is not alone with the therapist and working with parents or caregivers to create a safety plan.
Working with children and teens with EMDR requires a tailored approach that considers their unique needs and experiences. By building a strong therapeutic relationship, using playful techniques, and addressing safety concerns, EMDR therapy can be an effective tool for helping young persons heal from trauma and other mental health issues.
Would you like to discuss how EMDR Therapy can help for your specific concerns?
Click to book a call with Stephen Jacobs