Session T3: Getting Creative with EMDR & Dissociation for Children and Teens

Thursday, April 18th

Advanced, Intermediate

About the Session

How do we help children and teens make sense of the internal fragmentation of dissociation? This session will focus on using playful, creative, and somatic strategies to support a titrated approach to EMDR preparation and processing phases for these young people. Interventions that borrow play therapy modalities such as fantasy, puppets, sand tray, and expressive materials, can help us work with the “parts of self” and defensive adaptations within dissociation to move from the preparation to processing phases of EMDR in a developmental sensitive way, even applicable with some adult clients. An active and flexible approach to EMDR makes us bolder in leading young people to trauma work, even in cases with significant and complex early trauma. Experiential activities and case examples will touch on children and teens and their unique developmental challenges, as well as how to structure the participation and support of attachment figures.

Learning Objectives

  1. Participants will be able to describe 5 characteristics of how dissociative fragmentation presents in our child and teen clients and how to engage and structure caregiver participation across the phases of EMDR.
  2. Participants will be able to list and describe 2 examples of how to initiate cooperation with self-states in the preparation phase and use developmentally appropriate ego-state language through play therapy modalities such as puppets, storytelling, sandtray or art.
  3. Participants will be able to describe 2 examples of playful, active and creative EMDR processing in order to help youth with dissociative parts to access and process traumatic material using EMDR.

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