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  • EMDR for Children and Adolescents


    For Parents: If your child has experienced one or multiple upsetting/confusing or scary events, that might be affecting how they feel day-to-day, how they act, and how they cope with their feelings. They may experience changed beliefs about themselves, others or the world such as: I am bad. I’m not safe. I can’t handle it. When kids believe these things, they may act out in anger, feel anxious or depressed, have bad dreams about the event(s) or act in ways that just isn’t like them.

    EMDR can help kids to process through these feelings, thoughts and sensations and engage more with positive beliefs about themselves, such as:

    I am safe! I am good! I can handle it!

    EMDR is safe for most kids. It is an 8 phase protocol that helps kids process upsetting events from the past, present and also anything they might worry about or encounter in the future. We go at their pace and we try to make it engaging!

    For Kids:

    Sometimes things happen to kids that make them feel bad or yucky inside. Kids can have mixed-up thoughts and feelings that get in the way of playing, learning and getting along with others. EMDR is something grown-ups call Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. This is a big way of saying that your eyes move back and forth or you hold on to little tappers that vibrate gently while Sarah helps to sort that yucky stuff out.

    Sarah is an EMDR helper and will teach you how to do EMDR and we will try to make it fun! We can draw, use puppets and move around to help your body, mind and heart to know that things are OK now and you are OK, too!

    For Teens:

    Are you a teenager struggling with anxiety or depression? Do you ever use substances to cope with feelings or try to “forget” about things that have happened in the past that weren’t OK? Do you feel like you need to keep things pushed down inside just to get through the day?

    Think of it like your phone with all the apps you have on it; when you are trying to hit your Snapchat app, you accidentally hit your camera app instead. Then maybe you try to move the camera app farther away on the screen but then you accidentally hit the TikTok app instead.

    With upsetting memories this is like trying to “uninstall” the bad memories, or take that “bad memory app” off your home page altogether. You don’t expect to look at it, but every now and then, the app gets opened up with the upsetting memory and it all comes back to you. Not to mention it’s still hanging around in there taking up “storage space”.

    For upsetting memories, maybe this happens while you’re out with friends, eating dinner or watching a video, and something someone says, a specific feeling, or a certain sound triggers that upsetting memory. Now you are starting to feel bad…You might shut down, push people away, feel anxious or panicky, feel irritated, or even numb.

    EMDR might be able to help you!

    EMDR can help get those thoughts, feelings or body sensations that are keeping you “stuck” and/or triggered when certain things happen. By desensitizing to the upsetting memory, it can “unhook” the intense emotions and physical sensations connected to the memory, which allows you more clarity in thought. We then work on building in positive and healthy beliefs about yourself, other people and the world that are based in the present truth.

    Ask your parents or guardian for help connecting you to an EMDR therapist.