EMDR Therapy For Teens – Effective Treatment for Trauma

EMDR Therapy For Teens

If your teen has experienced a traumatic event, EMDR therapy may be the best treatment option. EMDR, or eye movement desensitization & reprocessing, is a powerful therapeutic tool that can help teens work through their trauma effectively. In this blog post, we will discuss what is EMDR therapy for teens, how it works, & why it may be the best treatment option for your teen.

What Is EMDR Therapy?

EMDR therapy is an evidence-based practice that helps individuals process & heals from traumatic events. It was developed by psychologist Francine Shapiro in the late 1980s. It become a widely accepted form of treatment for trauma. EMDR works by having the individual recall their traumatic event while engaging in bilateral stimulation, such as eye movements or tapping on alternating sides of the body. This type of stimulation helps to activate both sides of the brain, allowing for more effective processing of distressing memories & emotions.

How Does EMDR Therapy For Teens Work?

How Does EMDR Therapy For Teens Work?

The goal of EMDR therapy is to help individuals process the emotional distress associated with a traumatic event. During sessions, clients will be asked to recall their experiences related to the trauma while engaging in alternating bilateral stimulation. As the client focuses on their memories, thoughts & feelings, the therapist will guide them through a series of questions to help them process the trauma in a healthy way. After a course of EMDR therapy, clients should be able to confront any triggers related to the traumatic event without feeling overwhelmed or having flashbacks. In this way, EMDR therapy can provide teens with an effective way to heal and recover from their trauma.

Why Is EMDR Therapy For Teens The Best Treatment Option?

EMDR therapy is an effective treatment option for teens suffering from trauma because it helps to address both the physical & psychological aspects associated with traumatic events. Studies show that EMDR can reduce symptoms of PTSD, depression & anxiety in just 8-12 sessions. Additionally, EMDR is non-invasive, meaning there are no medications involved in treatment. This makes it a great option for teens who do not respond well to traditional medications or therapies. Here are some of the benefits Of EMDR Therapy For Teens:

  • Addresses physical & psychological aspects of traumatic events.
  • Can reduce symptoms of PTSD, depression & anxiety in 8-12 sessions.
  • Non-invasive treatment option with no medications involved.
  • Safe & effective treatment for teenagers.
  • Helps teens confront triggers related to the trauma without feeling overwhelmed.

Steps Of EMDR Therapy For Teenagers

Here are the 8 steps of EMDR therapy for teens:

History Taking

During this phase, the therapist will take a detailed history of past & current events that may be contributing to the trauma. This will help the therapist to create an individualized treatment plan for your teen. In this phase, teens will also be educated about the purpose of EMDR & how it works.


In this phase, the therapist will help teenagers to develop healthy coping skills & relaxation techniques that will help them manage their symptoms during treatment. Teens may also learn grounding exercises that are useful. It works to help them stay in control when processing difficult memories.


The therapist will assess your teen’s readiness for reprocessing the traumatic event. This involves determining what type of stimulation is needed & the intensity of the stimuli that would be most beneficial for your teen. The assessment phase should also involve discussing any resources or other interventions that may need to be in place prior to treatment.


During this phase, the therapist will guide your teen through the memories associated with their traumatic event while engaging in bilateral stimulation. This is done to help them reprocess the stressful memories & emotions in a healthy way.


This stage of EMDR therapy works to install new beliefs or positive experiences that can replace negative ones. During this phase, the therapist will ask your teen questions about how they want to feel & what positive statements they want to believe about themselves post-treatment.

Body Scan

In this phase, your teen will be guided through a body scan to identify any physical sensations or emotions associated with the traumatic event. This helps them to have an awareness of their body’s response & how it may have been affected by the trauma.


This step ensures that teens are feeling safe before ending the session. The therapist will lead them in relaxation techniques as they process their experiences & help them develop coping strategies for managing symptoms outside of therapy.


At the end of EMDR treatment, a re-evaluation is done to assess your teen’s progress & determine if additional sessions are necessary. The therapist may also provide resources or referrals for continued support after treatment has ended.

What Age Is Appropriate For EMDR?

What Age Is Appropriate For EMDR?

EMDR therapy can be used with children as young as 8 years old. However, it is important to consult a therapist experienced in EMDR therapy for teens. This will help you to determine if your child is ready to embark on this type of treatment. Additionally, the therapist should discuss any risks or concerns that might arise during treatment.

Overall, EMDR offers many benefits for teens who have suffered from traumatic experiences. With its non-invasive approach & ability to help reprocess traumatic memories in a healthy way, it is an effective alternative to traditional therapies & medications. If you think your teen may benefit from EMDR therapy, talk to your doctor or mental health provider. Afterward, start finding an experienced therapist who can provide this type of treatment.


EMDR therapy is a safe & effective treatment option for teens suffering from trauma. It helps to address both physical & psychological aspects associated with traumatic events. This can often reduce symptoms of PTSD, depression & anxiety in 8-12 sessions. Additionally, it is a non-invasive treatment that does not involve medications. Teens who are considering EMDR should speak with their mental health provider about this type of therapy. This will help you to know the benefits it could provide.

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