Using EMDR for Child Abuse and Trauma

Trauma can result from a single, multiple or a series of event. It can be a result of violence, sexual abuse, accidents, death of a significant loved one or a disaster. When a painful or traumatic experience happens, it usually remains stuck in our mind.

Children react different to trauma. But most of the time, they become unusually withdrawn, have frequent tantrums, have trouble sleeping or become more irritable. Young kids may even experience delays in reaching developmental milestones.

If your child has experienced child abuse or trauma and you are looking for ways that can help get them better, consider EMDR.

What is EMDR for?

As mentioned above, the memories of the painful and traumatic experiences remain with us. The child will be carrying all these negative thoughts and feelings. EMDR promotes healthy resolution of trauma. It helps the brain chew up and digest all the negative thoughts and feelings, so they can leave us. This way, we’ll have more space for the good feelings and good thoughts.

The goal here is not to help the person forget about that terrible event. Rather, it’s to help them face the memory in a safe setting, so they don’t feel overwhelmed. They will still remember it, but in a less distressing way.

EMDR can be used in dealing with any disturbing or distressing life event. It works well with both little traumas (bullying, divorce, change in schools) and big traumas (major injuries, death of a loved one, violence, rape, abuse).

Is EMDR safe for children?

Young children have a hard time expressing themselves. They usually lack the verbal and cognitive skills to voice out what’s been bothering them. Unlike traditional therapy, EMDR therapy does not require a detailed retelling of the traumatic event, making it beneficial for children.

EMDR is actually safe for children, provided that the therapist performing the procedure is skilled and trained in this treatment method and understands the complexities of trauma.

If you or someone you know would benefit from EMDR Therapy, please contact us directly to schedule an appointment.