This article explores the effectiveness of treating a 17-month-old male diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and a disrupted secure attachment utilizing eye movement desensitization reprocessing (EMDR) and an integrative family therapy approach. The child experienced a life-threatening choking incident requiring hospitalization. Pretreatment, the child was inconsolable by his parents when distressed and could not tolerate anything touching his throat. Posttreatment, the child accepts comfort from his parents and allows his mother to kiss his throat. Results demonstrate a reduction or elimination of PTSD symptoms and a return to a secure attachment. This case study underscores Shapiro’s Adaptive Information Processing (AIP) model (2001). Application and customization of the eight phases of EMDR therapy are highlighted along with the Integrative Attachment Trauma Protocol for Children (IATP-C). Treatment consisted of five sessions. Customization included caregiver psychoeducation; EMDR resource development, focused on strengthening attachment and regulating emotion; and facilitating caregiver co-regulation throughout EMDR. The use of EMDR therapy with customization through the IATP-C protocol shows promise as an effective intervention for treating posttraumatic stress symptoms and repairing attachment in very young children.
Springer Publishing Company
Copyright © 2018 EMDR International Association
Swimm, L. L. (2018). EMDR Intervention for a 17-Month-Old Child to Treat Attachment Trauma: Clinical Case Presentation. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 12(4), 269–281. https://doi.org/10.1891/1933-3220.127.116.119
Journal of EMDR Practice and Research