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EMDR with Children and what it teaches us about working with adults traumatized in childhood

Event number: 19124
20 CPD hours
Presenter(s): Dr Joan Lovett

Workshop Overview

Do you work with children who have experienced preverbal trauma, medical trauma, trauma resulting from ruptured attachment with a caregiver, or other traumatic experiences that interfere with their well-being or primary relationships?

Do you work with adults who have a history of childhood trauma that interferes with their parenting and/or relationships?

This masterclass is for you if you would like to know how to use EMDR to help children who are angry, uncooperative, anxious, have temper tantrums, problems with sleep, difficulty learning, unusual symptoms, and unknown or unidentified traumatic experiences. You will also learn how to use EMDR to help parents resolve their own issues so they can develop an effective, loving relationship with their child. This masterclass will focus on EMDR for children, for clinicians who work with children and/or clinicians who work with adults traumatized when they were children.  

One of the prerequisites for doing EMDR with children is cooperation. Participants will learn EMDR-assisted games that teach parents how to get their children to cooperate and that make it fun for children to cooperate. Resource installation is important for preparing a child for EMDR processing, for strengthening positive emotions and for increasing resiliency. Participants will gain experience and expertise in doing EMDR resourcing by observing demonstrations and videos and by practicing with one another.

Dr Joan Lovett will guide you through the 8 phases of EMDR with children and show modifications of the standard protocol that allow you to integrate play, art, and stories with EMDR. Learn special considerations for children who have experienced medical trauma, adoption, and other forms of complex trauma. 

Learn the similarities and differences between EMDR with traumatized children and EMDR with adults traumatized as children. When you learn interweaves that work best for children at different stages of development, it becomes easier to provide appropriate interweaves for your adult clients who were traumatized in childhood.

Confusion is a central element of childhood trauma. Learn how to recognize, label and target confusion in hard to resolve trauma for children and for adults traumatized in childhood.

Expect 3 days filled with practical information presented through videos, demos and practicum. You will be able to put your new skills to use immediately.

Overall Learning Outcomes 

The overall objective is to provide participants with conceptual knowledge and practical skill needed to help children and their parents overcome the effects of trauma within an EMDR-based framework. This masterclass offers an array of valuable tools specifically designed for treating post-traumatic symptoms in children and for strengthening family bonds.

This master class teaches participants

1. To understand the similarities and differences between EMDR with children and EMDR with adults

2. To utilize what we learn from children to inform our work with adults

3. To incorporate EMDR into games that teach parents how to elicit cooperation and teach children the joy of cooperating

4. To use EMDR-enhanced resources to build resilience and prepare children for EMDR processing

5. To discuss developmental differences in the encoding and retrieval of a memory that may impact EMDR processing with children and adults traumatized in childhood

6. Identify treatment goals and formulate a plan for treating children with trauma and attachment issues

7. To use or modify the standard 8 phase EMDR protocol and 3 prongs of EMDR for use with children

8. To identify positive cognitions and cognitive interweaves that are effective with children

9. To describe how medical experiences can result in psychological trauma and how physical symptoms can be traced to traumatic experiences

10. To recognize the implications of the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study

You will return to your practice energized with practical tools to assist parents and children maximize their potential in order to lead fulfilling lives with loving relationships.

One day of the Masterclass will be devoted to ‘Narrative as Case Conceptualization and Scaffolding for EMDR’

Everyone loves a good story! Like a good positive cognition, a good story results in beliefs that are true, useful, and self-enhancing. This day of the Masterclass will give you a chance to listen to good stories, see videos of good stories and write good stories. You do not need to be a writer! Participants will be given all the tools they need to develop a coherent healing narrative to facilitate resolution of trauma and to enhance attachment potential.

A story is an effective way to reach the child who is young, silent or avoidant. Also, writing a story with parents helps them resolve their own trauma, the trauma of not being able to protect their child from traumatic experiences.

An effective story parallels the phases of EMDR. It begins with resources that help the child or adult in life, has a middle section that offers a matter-of-fact description of the traumatic experience, and finally a section that resolves confusions and provides positive cognitions and a future template.

In this workshop, you will be given complete guidelines and see demonstrations that will sharpen your case conceptualization skills. You will learn to address the “hot issues”, to choose targets, to provide effective cognitive interweaves to resolve confusion, and to determine positive cognitions that will enhance attachment potential, as well as resolve trauma. 

Giving a child or an adult a coherent life narrative may contribute to the development of secure attachment. Research by Mary Main (1996) and her colleagues indicates that it was not whether a parent had been deprived or nurtured as a child, but the degree of coherence of her narrative about her own childhood that was the most important predictor of attachment style. By writing a coherent life story with adults, we can help them begin to achieve earned secure attachment.

Dr Joan Lovett will provide templates for stories that can serve as scaffolding for EMDR processing for children and adults who experienced preverbal trauma, attachment trauma and complex trauma. Through lecture, videos, case studies, demonstrations, and practicum, participants will explore the important elements of constructing a therapeutic narrative and will have an opportunity to write a therapeutic narrative for one of their clients. 

Learning Outcomes for this day of the Masterclass are:

1. to transform your view of your client’s problem into a case conceptualization compatible with EMDR processing and to choose issues, targets, and information that will resolve trauma

2. to identify elements of a good story and a good healing narrative

3. to construct a story to resolve trauma and promote healthy attachment for a child, adolescent or adult

4. to use a story as scaffolding for EMDR processing

5. to use imaginal interweaves to fill in gaps in nurturing and to enhance attachment potential 

About the presenter(s)

Joan Lovett, MD, FAAP is a behavioral pediatrician in private practice in Berkeley, California. She has been using EMDR with children, adolescents, and adults for 25 years. She graduated from Wellesley College and University of California San Francisco School of Medicine. Dr. Lovett completed pediatric internship and residency at Montreal Children’s Hospital, after which she was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at Stanford University. Currently, Dr. Lovett is an EMDRIA Approved Consultant. She has given presentations at EMDRIA conferences in the US, Canada, and Europe, EMDR trainings in the US, Canada, Europe, Asia, and Costa Rica. She is on the faculty of JFK where she teaches EMDR with children. Dr. Lovett is the author of Small Wonders: Healing Childhood Trauma with EMDR (The Free Press 1999) and Trauma-Attachment Tangle: Modifying EMDR to Help Children Resolve Trauma and Develop Loving Relationships (Routledge 2014).


Non APS member, EMDR interest group subscriber - please email the APS Member Group Events team for registration assistance -

Details regarding Dinner TBC - please direct any queries to event organiser

Online registration


Mantra on Russell
222 Russell Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000
Venue is wheelchair accessible
Start date: 3/3/2018
End date: 5/3/2018
Time: 8.30am - 5.30pm


Register before 8 Jan 2018 to receive early bird pricing (discounts appear on registration page)

EMDR Interest Group member $650
EMDR Interest Group student member $350
APS member $700
APS student member $400
Non APS member $850


APS - EMDR and Psychology Interest Group - National Committee
The APS EMDR and Psychology Interest Group: 1.Provide a professional resource to the APS and its members, on matters related to EMDR therapy. 2.Provide ongoing professional development opportunities through advanced EMDR therapy trainings, both face-to face and via webinar. 3.Connect and support APS EMDR and Psychology Interest Group members across Australia by establishing and supporting EMDR Peer Groups, both face-to-face and online.
Contact Mary Harvey
0417 311 246