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Child & Adolescent

EMDR Europe Child & Adolescent (C & A) Section Website

History of the C & A

In 2000 the first Conference on EMDR with Children and Adolescents was held in London hosted by The Association for Child and Adolescent Psychology and Psychiatry which is now known as ACAMHS and was attended by around 300 child and adolescent clinicians. The key note speakers were Bob Tinker & Ricky Greenwald and papers on cases were presented by clinicians working in Europe. It was attended by 300 professionals in the field.

The European Child Section was formed following this conference. In addition in 2001 a paper entitled EMDR: Clinical Applications with Children was published: ACPP Occasional Paper No 19.

The first Child and Adolescent Trainers Training was given by Dr Bob Tinker and Sandra Wilson in 2001. Since then further C & A Trainers trainings have been given in 2003, 2005 and 2010. To date 15 C & A Trainers have been Accredited by EMDR Europe and 6 more are in the process of acquiring this.

The goal for the Child Section has been to develop C & A Trainers for each country in Europe so that they are able to teach in their own language and with examples from their own cultures to keep the highest ethical and professional standards.

In this process we have achieved the development of a consistent European model for treating children and adolescents of different ages and developed gold standards for these Trainers and trainings. This in turn has led to the development of a Child and Adolescent stream for the EMDR Europe conferences which is now providing a rich body of knowledge, research and publications.

Countries that are represented on the EMDR Europe Child Section to date.

Austria Belgium

Denmark France

Finland Germany

Greece Israel

Italy Netherlands

Norway Spain

Sweden Switzerland

Turkey UK & I

Why was it felt necessary to develop a Child and Adolescent Section with its own specialised additional training in Europe? Children and adolescents do not exist alone but in the context of their families and their symptoms must be assessed and treated with this in mind. They are dependent upon the quality of their attachments to their primary carers. The history of the family and the developmental history of the child are fundamental in treatment planning. Children’s problems are those identified by their adults, they do not bring themselves for treatment and they are physiologically, neurologically, cognitively, emotionally and socially in a process of dynamic evolution, their structures are not fully formed.

When working in the field of trauma it is not uncommon for the clinician to find her or himself confronting issues of child abuse, child protection and a context in which familiarity with the law relating to these areas is crucial.


Children are in a constant process of change and development -cognitively, neurologically, emotionally, etc. The child therapist needs to have wide knowledge of the developmental processes as they relate to all of those areas. Many children have complex needs and require a range of interventions in addition to EMDR.

The EMDR therapist has to know how to evaluate the strength of the trauma in relation to the adults in the child's life. They also need to find ways of integrating the parent into the complete EMDR protocol to increase safety and deal with the parents' trauma as well. The EMDR Child & Adolescent training teaches the practice of these skills.

EMDR is a very powerful therapy. Children need even more care in their treatment planning because they are constantly developing and have yet to develop their resources independently.

Standards required for eligibility to undertake an EMDR Europe Accredited Child and Adolescent Training are high. Participants must have the required qualifications and licensing to practise C & A work that is required by the Country in which they live and to be working in the field of C & A mental health. They must also have as a minimum, completed a generic EMDR Europe Accredited Level I or Parts I & II. Entry to Level II C & A requires all the above and also the completion of the Level II or Part 3 of an accredited EMDR Europe training.

The dates for EMDR Child trainings are to be found at……………

Training to Become an EMDR Europe Accredited C & A Trainer.

The decision of who may be accepted to undertake a C & A Trainers training rests with the EMDR Europe Child Committee in consultation with the applicant’s national association and the EMDR Europe Standards Committee. To be eligible to train an applicant must:

• Be accredited Consultant and member of their national association

• Be licensed in their own country to work with C & A

• Supply references of their professional work and their work with EMDR

• Have successfully completed C & A trainings Level I & II

• Shadow 2 C & A level I trainings & 1 Level II training

• Produce four videos of using EMDR with different developmental ages which are evaluated and passed by Trainers who are training them using the Europe Developmental Protocol correctly.

• Attend and pass a four day in-house group training being trained by EMDR Europe Accredited C & A Senior Trainers

The establishment of the European Child & Adolescent Committee was the first of its kind in the world. It has the highest ethical standards for the treatment and practise of EMDR with children and adolescents in the world. It has the only consistent developmental model for C & A training, accreditation and practice. EMDR Europe C & A Section has the only consistent training for its Trainers and using the developmental model for training it enables comparative, valid research to be carried out across Europe’s child and adolescent population.

To date it has achieved 1 Accredited/or soon to be accredited C & A trainer at least in 9 different European Countries. There are 15 European C & A Trainers Accredited and 6 more are in the process of qualifying. This has enabled over 3000 C & A professionals to have been trained to Level I C & A in more than 10 European countries over the last 10 years. There is now regular Level I C & A trainings occurring in many Countries in Europe. Standards exist in draft format and are being developed for C Standards for C & A Consultants/Supervisors & Practitioners and a C & A Supervisor’s training is developing.

Leaflets developed for explaining EMDR therapy to children, adolescents and their parents were developed by our two Dutch EMDR C & A Trainers, Carlijn de Roos and Renee Beer and have now been translated into 11 different languages by the Europe C & A Committee and can be downloaded from the following: http://www.emdrkindenjeugd.nl/

Research and articles are beginning to develop and below is a list of articles and publications by our EMDR Europe trained C & A clinicians.

Ahmad, A., and Sundelan-Wahlsten,V., (2008), Applying EMDR on children with PTSD, European Journal of child and adolescent psychiatry, 17:127-132.

Bronner, M.P., Beer, R., van Zelmvan Eldik, M.J., Grootenhuis, M.A. & Last, B.F.

(2009). Reducing acute distress in a 16 year-old girl using trauma-focussed cognitive behavioural therapy and eye movement desenstization and reprocessing. In Developmental Neuro-rehabilitation, 12:3 170 – 174.

“EMDR and Children: Europe Leads the Way”. Therapy Today & Encyclopedia Britannica online.

Fernandez, I. Gallinari, E. & Lorenzetti, A. (2004) A School-based EMDR Intervention for Children who Witnessed the Pirelli Building Airplane Crash in Milan, Italy. Journal of Brief Therapy, 2, 129-136.

Hensel, T., (2009), EMDR with children & adolescent after single incident trauma, journal of emdr practice & research, vol 3 n°1 pp 2-9.

Morris-Smith, J. (December 2006), EMDR and Children: Europe Leads the Way . In Counselling Children and Young People. BABCP. 24 – 26.

Ed: Morris-Smith J., (2002) EMDR: Clinical applications with children, ACPP Occasional Paper n°19. Association for Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

Oras, R., de Ezpeleta, S. C., Ahmad, A. (2004)Treatment of traumatized refugee children with Eye Movement Desesitization and Reprocessing in a psychodynamic context. In Nord J Psychiatry Vol:58 No 3 199-203.

Rodenburg, G., Benjamin, A., de Roos, C., Meijer, A.N., & Stams, G.J, (November 2009). Efficacy of EMDR with children: A meta-analysis. In Clinical Psychology Review Issue 7 599 – 606.

Tinker R. & Wilson S, (1999) Through the eyes of a child: EMDR with Children. Norton. New York.

Wisansky, B. (September 2006) Footsteps through the maze. The Emdria Newsletter, 6-11,17.

Wisansky, B. (November 2007), A Clinical Vignette: Resource Connection in EMDR work with Children. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, v.1(1), 57-61.

EMDR and the Challenge of Treating Childhood Trauma: A Theoretical and Clinical Discussion with Case Examples. in Post Traumatic Syndromes in Children and Adolescents, ed. Vittoria Ardino. pp 297-323. Wiley Blackwell: 2011.


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