When children are traumatized, have upsetting experiences or repeated failures, they lose a sense of control over their lives. This can result in anxiety, depression, irritability, anger, guilt and behavioural problems. Events such as accidents, abuse, violence, death and natural disasters are traumatic, but we do not always recognize how they affect and influence a child's everyday life. Even common upsetting childhood events such as divorce, school problems, peer difficulties, failures and family problems can profoundly affect a child's sense of security, self-esteem, and developmental issues.
How does it work?
When an upsetting, scary or painful experience happens, sometimes the memory of the experience stays "stuck" or "frozen" in the mind and body. The experience may return in a distressing and intrusive way. The child may cope by avoiding everything associated with the upsetting incident. EMDR therapy helps resolve the troubling thoughts and feelings related to the distressing memories so that children can return to their regular developmental tasks and prior levels of coping. In addition, EMDR therapy can help to strengthen feelings of confidence, calmness and mastery.
Dual Attention Stimulation (DAS) refers to the use of alternating, right-left tracking that may take the form of eye movements, tones or music delivered to each ear, or tactile stimulation, such as alternating hand taps. Creative alternatives have been developed for children that incorporate DAS through puppets, stories, toys, dance and art.
What can I expect?
A typical EMDR therapy session begins positively by having children use their imagination to strengthen their sense of confidence and well-being. For example, children may be asked to imagine a safe or protected place where they feel relaxed or to remember when they felt strong and confident. These positive images, thoughts and feelings are combined with eye movements or other forms of Dual Attention Stimulation (DAS). These beginning experiences with EMDR typically give children increased positive emotions and help children know what to expect during a session.
Typically, parents are asked to come in for an initial consultation session without the child present to obtain a thorough background and review the presenting issues. Parents will also be required to remain available for the duration of their child's session, as they may be invited to take part in portions of the therapy, particularly when dealing with attachment issues.
We follow the recommended fees set forth by the Psychologists' Association of Alberta.
Counseling (Individual, Couple, Family)
Billing may also occur in 10 minute increments for services done outside the therapy hour such as phone calls, writing letters, etc., letters and will be charged based on the hourly rate of the therapist for the service rendered. Sessions are billed based on the actual time, not the estimated time.