Play Therapy with EMDR


(Non-Contact) 2 CEs. Presenter: Dr. Whitehead

Similar to EMDR in adults, the use of EMDR in children allows them to be able to heal from emotional distress caused by their negative life experiences. EMDR can be used with children who are both verbal and even pre-verbal, and can be a great supplement to play therapy. As the therapist, your role is to help the child identify a target memory that causes them emotional distress and the child will then identify a negative thought that is associated with that accessible memory. Dual Attention Stimulation or Bilateral Stimulation (e.g. “EMDR buzzies”) is utilized in order to help the child think about the distressing event while engaging in something else. Therefore, with the use of “buzzies” children are able to relax and essentially reduce their negative emotions.




  • Understand the theory of EMDR and how it can be used in play therapy
  • Explain the 8 stages of EMDR and how/when to incorporate play therapy
  • Provide examples of ways to use relaxation and resource development techniques in play therapy
  • Explain how to use EMDR with play therapy with very young children