EMDR for Children
What does EMDR mean?
Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) is part of approved psychotherapy treatment for children and is supported by clinical research. It is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines and is used within the NHS.
At Butterfly Counselling, we have a fully qualified EMDR specialist who has attended accredited training with the EMDR Association for UK/Europe. The psychotherapist/counsellor is trained in EMDR Part 1/2/3/4/ and has also attended the Child Trauma Therapy Centre. She undertook training in EMDR with children Level 1 and in Advanced Level 2.
What does EMDR do?
EMDR is a psychotherapy approach which identifies and processes memories from an over-whelming traumatic/distressing event which has occurred in a child’s life. When a traumatic or upsetting experience occurs, children can feel as though they have no control over their thoughts and feelings. This can feel frightening for children.
EMDR uses the natural function of the body, REM (rapid eye movement) as a way to process trauma. REM happens when we sleep, which can help us process our everyday emotional experiences.
When children experience a distressing event, sometimes the memories become ‘stuck’ due to the high level of stress/disturbance experienced at that time. The memory then becomes an unprocessed memory, a ‘stuck’ memory. The unprocessed memory of the distressing event becomes stuck in the original time and place. This means that one cannot remember the distressing event or similar events without feeling emotionally triggered. Emotional triggers usually arise from our senses – sight/hearing/touch/smell/taste. The painful emotions, negative cognitions and physical sensations experienced in the body during the original event will become triggered in the here and now.
EMDR can help reduce the intensity of the distressing emotions and thoughts associated with the past traumatic event and give children a sense of control back in their lives.
What issues can EMDR help children with?
- PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
- Panic attacks
- Traumas/Complex Trauma
- All forms of anxiety and the symptoms linked to it, for example, nausea, sickness, avoiding situations, angry outbursts, struggling with focus and concentration, sleep disturbances, nightmares, sense of dread, body pains associated with anxiety
- Depression and symptoms linked to it, for example, feelings of sadness, guilt, hopelessness, helplessness, irritability, low mood, lack of motivation
- Schooling – For example, peer difficulties, stress linked to schoolwork and exams, the effects of bullying
- Low confidence/self-esteem
- Family issues
- All forms of abuse
- Transitions (E.g. Schools, classrooms, teachers, family homes, birth of a sibling)
- Attachment issues
- Grief and Loss
There are many other issues that EMDR can help you with – contact Butterfly Counselling Services Ltd for details.