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Harnessing Healing: Exploring the Benefits of EMDR Therapy for Children

At Trauma Aid, we constantly seek innovative and effective methods to help adults and tamariki. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is a type of psychological therapy, offering a unique approach to treating trauma and other psychological challenges in children.

EMDR in the Classroom

EMDR therapy, initially developed by Francine Shapiro in the late 1980s, has gained significant recognition for its efficacy in treating trauma-related disorders in adults and children. For our younger clients, we don't even need to leave the classroom to help them.

One of the primary advantages of EMDR therapy in children is the speed - we often see rapid and lasting healing. Children, particularly those who have experienced trauma, often struggle to articulate their emotions verbally. Traditional talk therapies may prove challenging for them to engage with fully. EMDR overcomes this barrier by harnessing the brain's natural processing mechanisms through bilateral stimulation, typically achieved through eye movements or tactile stimulation.

How it Works

Through a structured approach, EMDR allows children to access and process traumatic memories in a safe and controlled environment. By engaging in bilateral stimulation while revisiting distressing experiences, children can effectively reprocess these memories, enabling them to integrate them into their narrative in a healthier manner. This process empowers children to recover from distressing symptoms associated with trauma, such as anxiety, nightmares, and behavioural difficulties.

EMDR therapy also fosters empowerment and resilience in children by enhancing their sense of control and mastery over their experiences. By guiding children through the reprocessing of traumatic memories, Trauma Aid therapists help them develop coping skills and adaptive strategies to manage future stressors. This empowerment not only facilitates healing but also equips children with invaluable tools to navigate life's challenges with greater resilience.

Additionally, EMDR therapy offers a holistic approach to addressing the varied nature of childhood trauma. Beyond targeting specific symptoms, EMDR recognizes the interconnectedness of psychological, emotional, and physiological aspects of distress. By addressing these dimensions comprehensively, EMDR promotes holistic healing, leading to rapid and sustainable improvements in children's overall well-being.

Group EMDR & Children

EMDR's flexibility allows therapists to tailor interventions to suit the developmental needs and unique circumstances of each child. For example, we are able to offer group EMDR to an entire classroom, maximising the healing and minimising disruptions from learning. Whether addressing a single traumatic event or complex, cumulative trauma, EMDR can be adapted to accommodate diverse presentations and therapeutic goals. This personalised approach ensures that tamariki receive targeted interventions that resonate with their individual experiences and promote optimal outcomes.

EMDR therapy is a valuable asset in the mental health toolkit for children, offering a range of benefits that promote healing, empowerment, and resilience. By harnessing the brain's innate capacity for adaptive processing, EMDR facilitates transformative change in children, enabling them to reclaim their sense of safety, agency, and hope for the future. Trauma Aid is committed to the well-being of our young clients, embracing EMDR therapy opens doors to profound healing journeys, shaping brighter futures for generations to come.


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