1201 11th Street, Suite 200 B, Bellingham, WA 98225
Phone: 360-393-8755

Play By the Bay, Inc. ~ Bellingham Play Therapy


Integrating Play Therapy & EMDR with Children

Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR) has earned its reputation as an effective, evidence-based process for healing painful memories, anxiety, intrusive thoughts and other disturbances of trauma.

With the emergence of EMDR in the 90's, symptomatic and emotional recovery and relief from trauma can happen quickly - and more thoroughly than the drawn out "talk therapy" of the past. Discovered and developed by a California psychologist, Dr. Francine Shapiro, therapists all over the world have had time to test this method. The benefits of this process have proven to be pretty amazing for client's of all ages and level of trauma.

Providing EMDR with children, especially very young children, involves using creative and safe ways of weaving EMDR into a play session. So, in a traditional, child-centered therapy session, even a few minutes of "bi-lateral brain stimulation" can move the healing process forward. Serious issues such as nightmares, bedwetting, fear, anger, intrusive thoughts, behavior problems, phobias or other developmental interruptions can be quickly relieved with the integration of play therapy and EMDR.

Many children, especially older kids, say over 8 years-old, often enjoy the processing of their thoughts and feelings using EMDR. We use puppets, hand-taps, the "buzzy thing" artwork, sandtrays, dreams images, and so on to "target" annoying or disruptive images in your child's mind. Kids like to be brave, target their unwanted thoughts and feelings, "blow them up" or whatever they choose to get clear, in control and happy again.