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What is EMDR - For Parents

You have in your hands the delicate and complex work of shaping another human being. Being a parent is such a privilege but it also requires a great commitment and work. If you have a child with emotional or behavioral difficulties, the good news is that there is help and there are many therapeutic modalities that can help you and your child. One of these therapies is called EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). EMDR is a psychotherapy approach developed by Dr. Francine Shapiro to help people heal from trauma or adversities such as issues of abuse, bullying, domestic violence, grief/loss, attachment wounds, abandonment, and many other complicated life issues. EMDR therapy is now validated as an evidence-based approach and included in SAMHSA (the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) and the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices. If you want to read more in depth information on EMDR therapy go to http://consults.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/16/expert-answers-on-e-m-d-r/ and access a variety of questions and answers given directly by Dr. Shapiro at the New York Times.

It is worth highlighting how the traumas that have not healed in this generation have the potential of being passed into the next. The sense of self in any child does not develop in isolation; in fact it develops in the parent-child relationship and other important relationships early in life. We came to this world to connect with others and when these connections do not happen or they happen in a way that hurt us or injure us, our sense of self does not develop appropriately. In many cases having the child as well as the parent receive EMDR therapy may be recommended for best results. Sometimes the parent may be highly traumatized by living through the traumas of their children and the healing needs to take place in both, the child and the parent. Sometimes because of the parents’ early experiences with their own parents, they may have difficulties setting boundaries with their kids, or they may be overprotective, neglectful or abusive or too distant or too intrusive. Parent’s emotional problems can affect their children’s emotional, physical and psychological development. For instance, a parent with depression, without knowing or intending to, may neglect their child’s needs for connection and love. This can result in having a child with emotional and behavioral problems.

We are privileged now to have so many tools and options that can help us heal. All of us at some point in our lives need help. We are biologically hard wired to need others and need help from others. Don’t give up! There is hope and so many ways to find healing and become whole. Remember you don’t have to go through this alone. There are EMDR therapists all over the world that can assist you.

If you would like to schedule and appointment with Ana Gomez for your child or yourself to receive EMDR therapy please contact Ana Gomez directly at anag@anagomez.org or Jim Mason  at 602-803-1797. If you need a way to explain EMDR therapy to your child or teen, please click on “for kids” or “for tees” to watch the videos and read about EMDR therapy.

If you live in a different area and are interested in receiving EMDR therapy below are some sites where you can find EMDR therapists:

  • If you live in the US or anywhere in the world go to www.EMDR.com
  • If you want a therapist that is certified and is a consultant go to www.EMDRIA.org
    Clinicians that are certified have received 20 more hours of consultation with an approved consultant after completing their EMDR basic training and have been certified by the EMDR International Association. EMDR consultants have even more experience and have received more hours of consultation. They also provide consultation to other EMDR therapists. Please remember that the effectiveness of EMDR treatment also depends on how well the therapist knows how to use it.
  • If you live in Latin America or Central America go to www.EMDRiberoamerica.org
  • If you live in Europe go to www.emdr-europe.org
  • If you live in Asia go to http://emdr-asia.org
  • If you live in Australia go to http://emdraa.org

Make sure the therapist providing EMDR therapy has attended a training approved by the EMDR International association in the US or if you are going outside the US, that it is approved by the country’s main EMDR association.