A Story of Rough Weather and Stormy Seas: Abused Children and EMDR


Michel Silvestre, Joanne Morris - Smith

Sunday 19 june 2016

10:45 - 12:15h at Yangtze 1

Categories: Children and adolescents

Parallel session: Children track


This workshop will focus on how to integrate EMDR therapy with family therapy where children have suffered abuse, broadening the therapeutic perspective for this specific population. Abuse is defined clinically as witnessing violence, emotional or physical neglect, sexual abuse and emotional abuse resulting in actual or potential harm to the child's health, development of dignity in the context of a relationship of responsibility, trust or power (WHO 1999). The aim of the workshop is to help clinicians choose a map to avoid crashing on the rocks, to navigate between the child, the parents and the perpetrator and to assess risk factors both within the child including self harm and suicidal thinking and safety within the family. Further to enable them to establish realistic treatment plans to guide them through rough currents and helping them to put these into practise interweaving therapy both to the traumatised family structures and relationships as well as the individual child's traumatic memories and developmental needs. An important premise in this work is the differential focus between those who have suffered abuse from a member of the family and those who have suffered abuse from an external perpetrator and how family hierarchies have been shattered. The workshop will assist the therapist to become mindful to the discrepancies between the explicit content of the family narrative and the internal emotional and non-verbal interactions in the messages. A presentation of some of the key navigation points, tools, charts, ideas through case vignettes, videos and practical case exercises will be given to help the future clinical crew find their way through these rough waters and learn how to handle the wind and reduce the sails just enough to keep a steady pace to carry the family and the therapist to safety.

Learning objectives

A presentation of some of the key navigation points, tools, charts, ideas through case vignettes, videos and practical case exercises will be given to help the future clinical crew find their way through these rough waters and learn how to handle the wind and reduce the sails just enough to keep a steady pace to carry the family and the therapist to safety.