People outside the therapy community often wonder if EMDR can be used with children. Yes, it can. Meet Ann Beckley Forest, LCSW, RPT-S, who had made it her life’s work to help the most vulnerable of our human race: children. Learn more about how therapists can use EMDR therapy with children.
- EMDR Therapy and Children Toolkit
- Focal Point Blog
- EMDRIA Practice Resources
- EMDRIA Online EMDR Therapy Resources
- EMDRIA’s Find an EMDR Therapist Directory lists more than 14,000 EMDR therapists.
- Follow @EMDRIA on Twitter. Connect with EMDRIA on Facebook or subscribe to our YouTube Channel.
- EMDRIA Online Membership Communities for EMDR Therapists
Musical soundtrack, Acoustic Motivation 11290, supplied royalty-free by Pixabay.
Produced by Kim Howard, CAE.
Kim Howard 00:04
Welcome to the Let’s Talk EMDR podcast brought to you by the EMDR International Association or EMDRIA. I’m your host Kim Howard. In this episode we are talking with EMDR certified therapist, consultant, and trainer, Ann Beckley-Forest about EMDR, therapy and children. Ann it’s located in Buffalo, New York. Let’s get started. Today we are speaking with EMDR, certified therapist, consultant and trainer Ann Beckley-Forest about EMDR therapy and children. Thank you and for being here today. We are so happy that you said yes.
Ann Beckley-Forest 00:36
Well, thank you for inviting me, it’s very exciting.
Kim Howard 00:39
And tell us a little bit about your journey to becoming an EMDR. therapist.
Ann Beckley-Forest 00:44
I was thinking about that when I was getting ready to chat with you. Because really, I didn’t come to EMDR until you know, kind of mid-career. So I had already been a play therapist for a long time. And in play therapy trainer. And I was actually reluctant student of EMDR, my agency asked that I was working for at the time asked me to go, and I was like, ‘Oh, you know, it’s that just a thing where you’re waving your hands in front of somebody. But like sure if it works or not. Oh, right.’ I mean, actually, by then I think if I had been paying close attention, I think the data was already out. So it was about 12 years ago. And actually, I was trained. And I was one of those annoying students that kept asking the trainer who was Annie Monaco, who is now my collaborator on a lot of trainings and projects and stuff. But she was my EMDR instructor, and she loves to tell the story about how annoying I was: I feel like I don’t really see how we’re gonna get children to do this, you know. So that was the beginning. And I was working in a general setting now. So I didn’t have nearly as good a model for adults. And so I began using EMDR with all my adult clients, and then of course, looking for ways to integrate it with children. And that’s kind of where I really sort of got going in terms of my own thinking about, about integration about getting out of the silos, because there’s really a lot of therapists treating traumatized children who do not know EMDR. Right? And don’t really see clearly how, you know, aren’t based on, you know, at least what’s on the outside of the package? How would they integrate that into the work that they’re already doing with children. So that’s where that’s where the excitement is from me right now.
Kim Howard 02:23
Got it. I think that healthy dose of skepticism in life in general is a good thing. And I especially believe that healthy dose of skepticism is healthy is good when you were working in any kind of field that impacts somebody else, you know, and my goodness, being a therapist certainly does impact someone else. And so I don’t see anything wrong with somebody looking at, you know, some new idea and going, hmm, is that really legitimate? Do I really want to do that? Do I really want to integrate that into my practice? And how do I make that happen? So I don’t see anything wrong with that. And you are one of those people that you probably a lot like me, you’ve got questions when you go to sessions or seminars or conferences. And that’s how people learn and grow. Because if you have that question, somebody else in that class certainly has that same question. And so you just got to answer ask it before, you know they could. And so I want to go to the things that like, Oh, should I raise my hand? I’m like, I can’t be the only one ask thinking about this – wondering about this question. Let me just put it out there.
Ann Beckley-Forest 03:28
Yeah, I would agree. And I also think that now that I’m a consultant, and also I do some advanced trainings, I also do basic training with Annie Monaco, to the Child Trauma Institute. So now that I have, you know, my hands in a lot of different levels of EMDR, you know, development out there. I meet lots of people who say the same thing they’re like, I’m curious about it, and I’m interested in the evidence, but I can’t see how it would work with my clients, right? In particular, for those of us who work with children and adolescents. Therapy, in general can be kind of tricky. Population, because they’re not wired the same way as adults are. And yet the I am passionate now about getting child therapists trained in EMDR. Because really, for this reason, kids heading into adolescence, with unprocessed trauma is a disaster. Oh, you know, now that I’ve sort of figured out at least for myself, and you know, consultation with other people how to try to make EMDR accessible for the younger kids. We don’t want to wait until they can sit, you know, properly on the edge of the couch and do the standard protocol. Right. You know, we want to get to them young because then we prevent so many of the kind of trauma related problems of adolescence and young adulthood.
Kim Howard 04:45
So, yeah, I can see that I can see why I mean, I would I would presume it’s more difficult when the children are younger, but you’re right, letting it stay inside their person and grow and fester as they get older. You know, and then become I mean, I remember when that study came out and my, my children were older teenagers, I believe when it came out, they’re now 25 and 22. And the study came out and said, basically said that the teenage brain doesn’t mature until the age of 25, right? I looked at them, and I thought, ‘Oh my God, that is so on point because they can be so good and so smart about so many things. And then they can just do something so dumb.’ And you’re like, that must be the undeveloped part of your brain, you know, that decision making part where you’re not making the right decisions all the time? And so I’m like, yep, that seems about right.
Ann Beckley-Forest 05:36
Well, one of the narratives that I would love to challenge is this idea that it’s harder to do trauma work with kids. I mean, it certainly requires different kinds of preparation on the part of the therapist, and it’s personally very challenging and even painful to be the person who’s asking a child to revisit the worst days of their lives. Right, right. There’s something in our bones that just resists that. Yes. And we really have to overwhelm that with evidence with data. People experienced that like, ‘Oh, look how much better kids do afterwards.’ But the actual doing of EMDR with kids doesn’t have to be harder. And so that’s really that’s, you know, one of the things that I love talking and chatting about wish I was so excited to get your invitation. Yeah, I like I would like to challenge my EMDR colleagues to sort of get out of that mindset that this is going to be too hard to do with kids. Because what we know, at least anecdotally, is that a little bit of EMDR goes a long way in the child’s nervous system, because everything’s so elastic, still growing, those neural networks are still making linkages. Yes, you know, to us, kind of France, scenes verbiage, if we can clear away those blockages, those memory nodes, traumatic memories, and allow adaptive information to flow, right, that’s AIP, who is doing more learning than kids?
Kim Howard 06:55
Yes, this is very true. And they, they seem to be at least with my children, my experience with, at least physically, they’re extremely resilient, right. So everybody in the house gets sick. But the kids are always the first one is to recover, right. And so I would also presume, and this may be partially true, that if you’re doing any kind of mental health work with them, that they will recover quickly, and be able to implement what they’re learning, because their brains are just like a sponge at that point. And so they’re soaking up all that information, rather than, you know, as an adult when you try to process things.
Ann Beckley-Forest 07:32
Right. Now, as adults, we have sort of habits of mind or rigidities that are much harder to challenge. They get entrenched. The other thing about younger kids especially is that they have character, they have parents or caregivers, and they may be imperfect caregivers, but they still are more likely to accept, nurturing, and attachment and grounding and support from them, then, you know, once you get into adolescence, that’s not really developmentally, where kids are at, you know, to kind of accept the reassurance of adults. So if we’re doing trauma work with younger kids, and we can find ways to harness that caregiving system as a resource, or even as part of processing, then it’s just much more powerful, and we don’t end up in the risks are lower also of opening house. So for all those reasons, challenge the idea that it’s harder.
Kim Howard 08:27
I remember when my kids were teenagers living in house, I mean, to be honest, there were times I don’t even think they wanted to be in the same room as as us.
Ann Beckley-Forest 08:35
Kim Howard 08:36
You know, so….much less us telling them something, right, anything because nothing we nothing we told them with ever correct or ever, right. And we didn’t know what we were talking about, right? Because all adults are stupid, especially your parents. But when you’re younger, you sort of look up to them, you know, your parents or caregivers and you think oh, they’re they’re so smart. They know what they’re talking about. So I get what you’re saying about working with children versus it’s a little bit more difficult working with teenagers, because there is a little bit of mistrust in the in a teenager and adolescents brain when it comes to adults and what they’re saying to them.
Ann Beckley-Forest 09:07
So, yeah, and they need that in order to separate otherwise nobody would ever leave home. Right? That’s true.
Kim Howard 09:14
We don’t want we don’t want a whole generation of failure-to-launch kids. So no, that’s right. Can you tell us what’s your favorite part of working with EMDR children?
Ann Beckley-Forest 09:24
So I would say the idea that we can be very physical, with the, you know, kind of channel this physicality that children have is their kind of native natural way of being and use that to do you know, increase dual attention for bilateral stimulation. It’s in a way, you know, it’s almost easier to get kids to, you know, once they once they sort of understand what it is we’re up to, it’s easier to move kids through some of the processing because they want to be up out of their seats, you know, and I use a lot of drumming. I use you know, I have kids kind of doing like a pool noodle sword fight, you can’t see, I know, it’s just audio, but I’m waving my arms back and forth. There’s just a real physicality that I think is an enhancement to EMDR. And I actually think even in adult EMDR, all over the EMDR world, we are all about somatic, somatic inner we’ve somatic resourcing, integrating with, you know, some of the more body focused, you know, therapies in order to enhance the power of EMDR, especially for folks with very complex histories. And with kids, that is sort of our natural way of being with them anyway. And that’s where I kind of lean on my heritage as a play therapist that, you know, we always were kind of up out of the seats, not doing pencil and paper, you know, worksheet II kind of therapy, but more acting stuff out more dramatic and all that. And so, thinking about how that really makes it possible to get to those memory networks of EMDR. That to me, that’s the dozen magic sauce. That’s what
Kim Howard 10:59
I love magic sauce. I like that. So you may have already touched on this, but in case you want to add anything to what what successes, have you seen using EMDR therapy with children?
Ann Beckley-Forest 11:08
Many, I would say that, you know, especially helping caregivers, you know, like most child therapists, I have an uneasy relationship with the idea of how am I going to involve parents? Because parents are complicated, right? Often parents are a factor in their own child’s trauma, right? They’re the cause, or they, you know, the, you know, the important things that didn’t happen to quote surely gene Schmitt, right, the attachment, wounding, as well as on the other end of the spectrum, the parents whose need to, to over soothe has shut down the kind of organic processing that could have taken place. So I think about I worked with a lot of kids with medical trauma, early chronic pain, early in life, surgeries, premature birth, all of those kinds of things. And then one of the things that happens a lot of times in some of those family systems is really an invalidation of the child’s experience, so that the child is left to bear alone, some of the fear or that, you know, and it’s like, be nice behave for the doctors, you know, don’t cry, it’s going to be fine. All of this. And we, you know, as parents, a lot of times, these are well intentioned caregivers who nevertheless Miss attune those messages. And then what happens is you have a child who’s got unprocessed trauma, or who’s maybe using dissociation or other strategies in order to manage what’s what they haven’t had support with. So finding ways to help caregivers repair as a part of the processing, I think, is probably some of the most rewarding experiences. I mean, yes. Also, having kids, you know, have experiences in processing where they feel more empowered, and, you know, mobilized as opposed to frozen or, you know, victimized that too, but really figuring out how to reattach help kids to reattach to caregivers. You know, I just think that’s very powerful. And, you know, I think it’s taken in part, you have to be a pretty strong leader, to have the whole family system in the room. Oh, yeah. But, and that’s where I think the devils in the details, right, like, it can definitely go off the rails too. But when it works, it’s good.
Kim Howard 13:18
Yeah, I feel like becoming a parent is one of the major life events that quite frankly, nobody trains you for. Right, you are not prepared, you don’t have to go to class, you don’t have to get a certificate, you don’t have to go. Nothing, you know, you just simply have to procreate, and then all of a sudden, or you can adopt, and then all of a sudden, you’ve got this new life that you’re responsible for. And you can only base your parenting skills mostly are mainly on what you see other people do. Maybe what you experienced in your family and you decide to follow that path or go against it, if it was a negative experience, and you came from a home that was not healthy. And so you know, you’ve got the most important job you’ve ever have. And you just hope you don’t screw it up. So I would imagine, you know, being in a room with not just the child isn’t therapy, but with the parents, or any other siblings that might be involved is trying to manage that dynamic is there’s a handful, I would suspect so.
Ann Beckley-Forest 14:18
Yeah. But you know what, when we’re able to that’s it I really am curious now and more and more where I see my kind of growing edge as a therapist is being more creative about how I how I get even parents that maybe before I would have been Oh, I don’t know this parents can be too triggered or you know, because a lot of times the child’s traumas also the parents trauma. Yeah. And you know, I’m I’m actually an adoptive parent myself, my kids are all older, like young adult, but I rock I totally recognize that from from that end of it that, you know, we are we’re involved as our children are in a kind of avoidance pattern, right, which is PTSD right, and it’s contagious so that you know, as the The child’s nervous system is organized around avoiding reminders of the trauma than the family system is often organized around that as well. And we end up with kids where they’re getting treatment, but it’s all behavioral focused. It’s not, you know, quite often, therapists who work with children are not really tapping into the role that trauma has played in getting more to where we are, and, you know, are just so caught up in trying to help the parents manage day to day, you know, take the time to do this other work, which I think very fruitful.
Kim Howard 15:34
And what Miss, would you like to bust about EMDR therapy and children?
Ann Beckley-Forest 15:39
Oh, well, that’s a great question. I love that question. Well, I mean, I would say the biggest one is that I hear over and over again, is people saying, Is it okay to data? In other words, you know, our emphasis in EMDR training is on model fidelity. And that, you know, there’s good reason for that, right? Because we are, first of all, as you, you know, said at the beginning, we’re sort of traipsing around in another person’s nervous system and life and emotions. And so we need to have, you know, full humility in that, and we need to follow the paths that have been laid before us, and all that. But the problem is, is I think, then child therapists try to take that piece of paper that they got in basic training and read it to a six year old. And it doesn’t work, because now my therapist is not attuned to me. Usually, we play usually we move around the room, and now they’re worried about getting these words exactly right. And they’re asking me, What does that make me believe about myself? Which is a question. I don’t have mental tools to answer.
Kim Howard 16:48
Yeah, I don’t think a six year old can answer that. Yeah.
Ann Beckley-Forest 16:52
You know, yeah, people will be like, Well, is it? Okay, if I don’t ask that question? What will happen? It’s the protocol. Right? And so I think looking for developmentally sensitive ways to accomplish all of the pieces of the protocol, so that in that sense, yes, model fidelity, but feeling kind of permission, that as a child therapist, we have to prioritize attunement, and flexibility within that one of the problems is there isn’t really enough clinical research on clinical strategies. We do have research that establishes that children respond to EMDR positively. But well, we don’t have a lot of is we don’t have a lot of research that says, you know, do it this way versus that way. Right. But what you end up with is therapists who are a little bit frozen, who, you know, maybe with all great intention, they go and get trained in EMDR. And then they just are kind of paralyzed in terms of how to implement it. I think this idea that we there’s some, like, sort of EMDR, you know, permission, grantor out there? That’s gonna say yes. While you do the protocol, yes. If you…
Kim Howard 17:59
Wave your wand and said yes, go make it so.
Ann Beckley-Forest 18:02
They will come to a training and I go, Is it okay, if I do this from like? I don’t know. I have to think about it a little bit. But, you know, obviously, we need to have good case formulation, good clinical rationale, for the choices that we do make in terms of adaptation. But the hallmark of an integrative model is flexibility. And I think we need to be integrative when it comes to children, in order to do our best works.
Kim Howard 18:27
We’ve talked about this on the podcast before about how being in a mental health profession, being a therapist is, is science and art blended together, right? There’s science to back up what you’re doing that says, hey, when we do these things, it treats the patient in a good way. And the patient has a good positive, wholesome, healthy outcome. But then there’s this whole art part of it that says, I got to figure out as a therapist, what’s going to work with this client and what’s not going to work. And so you write the term and you use the term flexible, you have to be a little flexible, you have to be able to be like, here’s your rigidity, and here’s the protocols that you would follow and or here’s the treatment option you’ll be used, then you have to be flexible within what you’re doing. Because if it’s working, then it’s working. But if it’s not working, you have to go back to the drawing board and figure out why.
Ann Beckley-Forest 19:14
Well, and especially because I believe that a little bit of EMDR is better than no EMDR and imperfect EMDR is probably better than knowing EMDR for kids because exposure work by itself is the really the key you know, and you have in a small child’s nervous system, even getting a little bit of exposure to the you know, the bad thing would happen with right away that adaptive information is available that I’m in the room now and it’s over, right? A little bit even if we do three sets four sets on the target is better than not doing any at all. And of course that bothers people because we want we love the predictability of the protocol as it was, as it’s laid out, right, most ago, you know, with the zeros and sevens, and that, you know, we love how clear that all is. And with kids, we’re rarely getting the data in real time like that. But we can you know, one of the things that I learned from Annie Monaco, who we’re talking about the beginning, who taught me EMDR is that reevaluation phase with kids, it’s not about me asking the kid so much is it’s about me, talking to caregivers, about what they’re seeing, you know, the evidence is in their lives and their daily lives versus trying to get a kid to rate their level of disturbances is kind of a dicey business.
Kim Howard 20:38
You’ve already answered this question a little bit. But in case you want to add on, are there any specific complexities or difficulties with using EMDR therapy for this population?
Ann Beckley-Forest 20:47
So talking about, you know, their own sense of what’s how to describe your own distress, children just don’t have the capacity for that, it’s interesting that they can often kind of more act it out, or show it in different ways. And in a sense, that’s part of what I’m trying to do when I, you know, think about how can I integrate EMDR processing into what might be already going on in the room, you know, because I have like, kind of a standard play therapy space where I see kids, and that offers a lot of opportunities for like, projection and creativity, and kids kind of like to run with that. And then what I’m looking for, when processing is on the menu, is opportunities to kind of organically get into that, because I don’t think if I sit them down and go, Wait a minute, stop playing now let’s talk about these things.
Kim Howard 21:40
It doesn’t work so well, huh?
Ann Beckley-Forest 21:41
No. Fun, and you know, part of it, I don’t think it’s necessarily resistance, I think it’s really that’s not the level at which kids connect. So if I’m, you know, if I’ve brought up a target, and I’m trying to do a little bit of processing with a kid, and they get up, and you know, start grabbing dinosaurs and making them roar and become, you know, very kind of big, muscle dramatic play in that moment. That’s, you know, that’s what’s coming up. It’s a way of saying I have big feelings right now connected to the kid can’t say I’m feeling a little bit distressed. Right? Yeah. So the figuring out how to recognize that I think that’s, that’s challenging. And it takes, you know, trial and error, sometimes to do that, and then also trying to find a way to do the cognitive, the cognition stuff, because kids don’t have that kind of meta thinking about themselves. And yet, we don’t want to not, you know, follow those channels, either. So I think that’s the other part that’s, that is challenging, but intriguing. You know, if you’re able to kind of follow some of that around?
Kim Howard 22:45
Yeah, I would, I would think it’s difficult a lot of times for most adults, to articulate what they’re feeling beyond certain normal words, right, regular words, you know, sometimes the words have to be beyond unhappy, or I’m sad, or I’m angry. They need sometimes you need a more detailed description of what you’re feeling. Sometimes adults can’t even come up with that much less than a child. So, you know, it’s good that you are telling people who are interested in child therapy to pick up on their clues when they’re playing and what they’re doing and notice what they’re doing. And notice that, no pun intended.
Ann Beckley-Forest 23:24
But, yeah, as we talk about, like the portals of learning, right, if you’re, you know, and a lot of therapy is really based on this kind of verbal, auditory EMDR is innovative in that it added this visual piece where you have the client, like go inside and, you know, bring up an image that was like revolutionary, if you think about it, that that no, we added another dimension to that. And so for kids, though, it’s they’re not so good at that all the time. So that’s where it’s at, you know, they talk about in learning theory, it’s the tactile and the kinesthetic, right. So it’s having things to touch and hold, and also doing all of this while moving the body. That really seems to help kids with integration, especially the little ones. So that’s kind of my favorite population is like 10 and under So, especially for them.
Kim Howard 24:15
How do you practice cultural humility as an EMDR rherapist?
Ann Beckley-Forest 24:19
Well, I think the first step is to practice humility as a human right, and humility, in terms of our clients experiences, that’s a starting point. And then it’s to do with culture and all the aspects of who they are as people. So I’ve been really interested in I went to a workshop, Mark Nickerson, who wrote, you know, kind of wrote the book on in the VR world, right? One of the things that I got from one of his workshops, and then I kind of followed down the rabbit hole is this idea of confirmation bias. So that, you know, we sort of see what we’re anticipating that we’ll see we have an innate desire to categorize each other and that what it really takes to be you know, truly humble is Is to that part of myself that wants to create a category or a box? Or think I know what someone else’s experience is because it’s just like these other experiences, right? That that I have to, you know, kind of say to that part of myself go sit down for a second and just wait, partly about pacing and patience, I think, you know, obviously, we want to be overtly welcoming, you know, all of the things. So that goes, I mean, hopefully that goes without saying, I know, maybe it doesn’t in every setting, but you know, I think as as a drama therapy community, we’re trying to be very intentional about that. But I’m more curious about that kind of next level of humility, which is really about how do I conduct myself in the presence of other humans. And so that, to me, that idea of confirmation bias and the role that it plays in, in how when we miss a tune, and we miss the mark, and we rush to judgment, and all of those plays, I always, I think is really important.
Kim Howard 26:00
Good point. Thank you. And do you have a favorite free EMDR related resource that you would suggest either for the public or other EMDR therapists?
Ann Beckley-Forest 26:10
Now this, I didn’t do my homework, let me think about this first. So many things in life are not free there actually, actually, I do. I really have appreciated what EMDRIA has been, you know, not just making a pitch since it’s their podcast, but there is now free to some child resources for free.
Kim Howard 26:30
Ann Beckley-Forest 26:31
What?! So that was cool. When I discovered that I tell all my EMDR classes about that. Now, there are some an EMDR learning community that does a lot of free content around children. I don’t know if you know about that. So that’s Rodin Breyer, and he has Jackie Flynn, who’s kind of a colleague and friend of mine, there are some things that they do that are paid for sure. But this particular EMDR learning community, they have a monthly, like, I don’t know what to
Kim Howard 27:02
Watch and learn or something. Yeah, it’s not really a training.
Ann Beckley-Forest 27:05
It’s like everybody hop in to the community. And then they have different guests. And it’s so it’s not a CTE event. It’s just like, let’s chat or tell some stories. And you know, they’ve had a lot of I’ve done it and I have on this month coming up, Ana Gomez is coming on to talk about her work and stuff like well.
Kim Howard 27:22
if you shoot me the link, I will add it in the description of the podcast. Yeah, I’ll take a look when I’ve set everything up, and then people can access it and go check it out.
Ann Beckley-Forest 27:31
There’s one other thing that I that I would mention, and this is not to plug my website. But this is something that I we put on our website because of how important it is for EMDR. With children, which is I have a very short it’s a 30 minute course on how to use John Lovett storytelling method. So the storytelling method Joan love it is it was very early for people who don’t know child EMDR. So very early proponent of using EMDR. With children kind of back in the early Francine days, she created a protocol or an approach, which is where the parent tells the story of the trauma. So the parents literally sets up the target in the form of a story. And then the therapist does the bilateral where the other parent, and then often that’s a springboard then for things to come up. And it’s you know, a titrated approach in the story, there might just be one kind of slice of the trauma in the context of like you were born beautiful and amazing. And now you’re getting bigger and stronger every day. But in the middle, that happened. And so I…Dad is such an important process to be aware of, for anybody who’s going to do EMDR with kids that I do have a little free thing on my website, and it’s behind, you have to sign up only because it’s only accessible to EMDR. Clinicians, you have to state that you’re an EMDR clinician in order to get to it. But that’s playfulemdr.com is our website that Annie Monica and I have.
Kim Howard 28:56
we will include that link as well. And this description. My approach to this is I mean, yeah, we are EMDRIA. And yes, this is our podcast. Yes, we do have good information on our website for people. But if there are other sources out there that are legitimate and educational, and accurate, we don’t have any problem sharing that information so that people can be can be educated. You know, this is our goal is not to try to monopolize the community. Our goal is just to spread the word.
Ann Beckley-Forest 29:26
Well, and there really would be no way to because things are have kind of exploded for for EMDR therapy, right. And if you just scroll through the EMDRIA Training Calendar now, it’s an explosion of trainings on how to use EMDR in conjunction with other therapies for all ages. You know, certainly there’s an explosion of EMDR with kids right now and there’s a lot of play therapists learning EMDR which I feel some pride in. Yeah, I’ve been trying to get them to pay attention to what’s going on on the on the EMDR side of the fence and that is very exciting. So there are certainly many, many, many things out there right now. And it’s, there’s a lot going on.
Kim Howard 30:06
That’s good. What would you like people outside of the EMDR community to know about EMDR therapy with children?
Ann Beckley-Forest 30:13
I think the same things that we want people to know about EMDR with all ages, which is that it seems backwards. But in fact, if we can do the opposite of our instinct to avoid these tough feelings, and instead move towards them, and through them with support, we heal, really, our clients heal themselves. Just the bravery of doing that, and we’re just facilitating that. So it just is countered to what our neurons are telling us to do. And that’s what makes it a tough sell, sometimes.
Kim Howard 30:46
I don’t know, I grew up in an Italian family, we kind of like confrontation. And I used that as a joke. You know, I don’t mean literally, like, negative confrontation. But we, you know, I grew up in a family where, you know, you just put it out there on the table, and you discuss it, and then you just move on, right, you bring it up, you talk about it, come to some kind of resolution, and you move on. But there are some families where they don’t talk about anything that might be serious to talk about, and they will have those hard conversations. And so I, I do nobody likes it. I mean, even the even people who like who grew up in a family like mine, we don’t necessarily like it. We just know that it’s sometimes it’s just part of the process. You know, sometimes you have to have a hard conversation.
Ann Beckley-Forest 31:25
Even in a family like, yeah, even in family, I’m sorry, even a family like that, like, where the free you know, there’s a freeze response or there’s,
EMDR International Association
Copyright © 2023 EMDR International Association
Howard, K. (Host). (2023, June 1). EMDR Therapy and Children with Ann Beckley-Forest, LCSW, RPT-S (Season 2, No. 11) [Audio podcast episode]. In Let’s Talk EMDR podcast. EMDR International Association. https://www.emdria.org/letstalkemdrpodcast/
EMDR Therapists, General/Public
Let's Talk EMDR podcast