2018 – EMDR Therapy at Phoenix – One Year On

As one of only two recommended treat­ments for post-traumatic stress, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is gaining momentum as an advanced treatment plan for all those impacted by adverse life experiences and trauma. As such the available protocols and guide­lines for use continue to expand and allow for EMDR to be used with specific presentations and demographics. As research continues EMDR practitioners are upskilling to better meet client needs and specific issues.

One such area is the use of EMDR with children, where research has now led to advancements in protocols to allow for early childhood interventions and offers practical skills to treating trauma effec­tively and often in less time than other treatment modalities (Greenwald, 1993). Although using EMDR with children has been validated and in use since the 1990s, it is now appearing to be gaining popu­larity as a well-established research-based treatment for trauma and loss. Dr Ricky Greenwald’s contributions to the use of EMDR with children and teens has been one of the most influential in this area and has allowed for EMDR to be used with a variety of presenting childhood adverse experiences including Childhood Sexual Abuse.

Additionally, the research into the area of EDMR use with children and teens has also allowed for a greater understanding in ab-reactions in adults whose trauma may have occurred in pre-verbal child­hood states. Due to the lack of need of an expanded narrative of the trauma, to allow for treatment in traditional talk-based therapies, the client is able to focus on other aspects of the trauma, most sig­nificant to them, and allow bi-lateral stim­ulation to do the rest.

At Phoenix, EMDR therapy has led to some long-term clients coming to the end of their therapeutic journey due to pos­itive changes and integration of trauma. One example is a client that reported at every session to being triggered by vari­ous day to day things. The client reported a constant state of agitation and was often unable to regulate her emotions. Post EMDR the client reported a feeling of stability, integration and confidence in them self they had not experienced before. Triggers that prior to EMDR ther­apy had induced fear responses were now experienced without the previous feeling of overwhelm from anxiety and emotion. This client was successfully exited from counselling without their trauma narrative needing to be revealed to the counsellor.

EMDR continues to provide an alterna­tive to talk-based therapy that is an evi­dence-based treatment for adverse life experiences and is endorsed worldwide.


  • Greenwald, R Dr, 1993, Using EMDR With Children, Pacific Grove, CA: EMDR Institute


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