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EMDR Therapy for Kids & Teens in Broward County
(Fort Lauderdale, Coral Springs, & Plantation, FL)

The Healing Power of EMDR Therapy
for Children & Teens

You might be wondering about EMDR therapy for kids and how it can help your child overcome negative thoughts or feelings related to an event that happened in their past…

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy, or EMDR for short, has long been recognized as a powerful and effective treatment for individuals grappling with symptoms of trauma and/or post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). What you may not know is that EMDR can also be a transformative therapy for children, depending on several factors that can be discussed with a trained EMDR therapist.

EMDR therapy is a comprehensive approach that integrates elements of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and bilateral stimulation techniques. By tailoring EMDR to suit the unique needs of children and adolescents, therapists can facilitate profound healing and positive change.

EMDR therapy also offers a ray of hope for children struggling with anxiety and depression. Through this specialized therapeutic approach, children can effectively process distressing memories and negative beliefs that often contribute to their emotional challenges. By desensitizing these harmful thoughts and feelings, EMDR helps children replace them with healthier beliefs, fostering emotional resilience and improved self-esteem.


EMDR therapy also equips children with valuable coping skills and resources to better manage their anxiety and depression symptoms. The result is often a remarkable transformation in their emotional well-being, allowing them to experience greater peace, happiness, and emotional stability as they navigate the ups and downs of childhood and adolescence. EMDR can help a child’s negative thoughts about themselves and the world to transition into healthier beliefs by focusing on the present moment.


In addition, EMDR can be accompanied by other treatment modalities to fit a child's developmental needs. For example, art therapy, child-centered play therapy, sand tray therapy, equine-assisted therapy, and yoga therapy techniques are usually integrated into treatment. These approaches allow children to use their creativity, and imagination (through imagery) to develop resources for grounding and positive thinking.


We have several EMDR Trained Therapists and EMDR Certified Therapists on our team. We offer several different locations across south Florida for your convenience (Fort Lauderdale, Coral Springs and Plantation) as well as online therapy via our secure telehealth platform (phone and video therapy) for those who reside in Florida. 

Understanding Trauma in Children


Trauma is best understood as a distressing event or a series of events that may cause emotional, psychological, and physical disturbance in a person's life. Our brains naturally process experiences through a system that involves both our emotional mind (right side of the brain) and our rational mind (left side of the brain). This processing allows us to transform our experiences into accessible and useful memories.

However, when a traumatic event occurs, it can overwhelm the brain, leaving it stuck with overwhelming emotions. This emotional overload prevents us from making sense of the experience in a healthier way.

Types of Trauma in Children:

Trauma can occur at any stage of a child's life, and it can be categorized into "Big T" traumas and "little t" traumas. "Big T" traumas are more acute and intense, often associated with conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). They include experiences like exposure to domestic violence, separation from a loved one, natural disasters, life-threatening events, chronic illness, bullying, grief, and loss.

On the other hand, "little t" traumas involve events that exceed a child's ability to cope and can disrupt daily functioning. These can include financial distress, neglect, family disruptions, bullying, interpersonal conflicts, and legal or immigration-related problems.

Symptoms of trauma in children can manifest differently depending on their age and coping mechanisms. These symptoms may include sleep problems, nightmares, increased tantrums or crying spells, phobias, anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, separation anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and avoidance of certain places, people, or situations.

Benefits to EMDR Therapy
for Children & Teens


EMDR Therapy for Children: 

EMDR therapy brings a multitude of benefits to children facing emotional challenges. This innovative approach offers a child-centered path to healing, effectively addressing a wide range of issues, from trauma and anxiety to phobias and behavioral problems.


EMDR's efficiency means children often experience significant improvements in a shorter timeframe compared to traditional talk therapy. By tapping into a child's natural creativity and imagination, EMDR allows them to develop essential grounding resources and positive thinking patterns.


Moreover, this therapy enhances emotional regulation, coping skills, and resilience, equipping children with the tools they need to navigate the complexities of childhood and adolescence with confidence and strength. EMDR therapy empowers children to rewrite their stories, replacing distressing memories with newfound hope and a brighter future.


EMDR therapy is adaptable and responsive to a child's age and developmental stage. Trained therapists use age-appropriate techniques and language, creating a therapeutic environment that feels safe, engaging, and non-threatening.


EMDR is known for its efficiency. Children often experience significant improvements in a shorter time frame compared to traditional talk therapy. The rapid progress can provide relief for both the child and their parents/family.

EMDR can be complemented by various treatment modalities tailored to a child's developmental needs. Techniques like art therapy, child-centered play therapy, sand tray therapy, equine-assisted therapy, and yoga therapy can be integrated into EMDR treatment. These approaches tap into children's creativity, imagination, and imagery, helping them develop grounding resources and positive thinking patterns.

EMDR Therapy with Teens:


Initially developed to help individuals recover from traumatic experiences, EMDR’s application has expanded to address a wide range of mental health issues that people of all ages (including teens) face daily. EMDR aims to alleviate distress by facilitating the processing of traumatic memories and negative beliefs associated with them.


Not only has EMDR therapy proven effective with adults, it is equally beneficial for teenagers.


EMDR adapts to suit the unique challenges and specific news of adolescents. Skilled therapists combine the core principles of EMDR with age-appropriate language, creative techniques, and a safe therapeutic environment to engage teens effectively.


EMDR therapy offers teenagers a path to resolve traumatic memories, whether from a single event or multiple experiences. By reprocessing these memories, EMDR reduces emotional distress, improving well-being.

While EMDR Therapy comprises eight essential phases, each playing a pivotal role in the systematic and structured path to healing, the 'Resource Phase' holds particular significance in the journey of trauma resolution and the development of adaptive coping skills for children and teenagers.

In this phase, therapists work closely alongside the child to co-create a safe mental space and tap into their inner resilience, which becomes a vital resource for the later stages of EMDR treatment. These resources serve as pillars of stability and support, enabling teenagers to counter the discomfort associated with revisiting and reprocessing the negative memories that have fueled their anxiety or depression.

One key aspect that distinguishes the resource phase is the crucial involvement of parents. Parents play a vital role in cultivating a nurturing environment that nurtures trust and personal growth by actively participating in their child's treatment journey.


The Benefits of EMDR Therapy for Teens:

  • Transformation of Negative Beliefs: EMDR therapy empowers teens to replace negative and self-defeating beliefs with realistic and self-affirming ones. It allows them to challenge and reframe thoughts that have held them back, fostering a healthier self-concept.

  • Alleviation of Anxiety and Depression: EMDR effectively addresses anxiety and depression symptoms in children and teens. By reprocessing distressing memories and associated emotions, it reduces the emotional burden, leading to a significant decrease in anxiety and depressive feelings.

  • Enhanced Coping Skills: Teens who undergo EMDR therapy develop improved coping strategies to manage life's challenges. They acquire valuable tools to navigate stressors and adversity with resilience and emotional strength.

  • Increased Interpersonal Skills: EMDR therapy enhances teens' interpersonal skills, promoting healthier relationships with family, friends, and peers. It helps them communicate effectively, build trust, and foster positive connections.

  • Long-Lasting Results: EMDR therapy offers teens long-lasting results. By addressing the root causes of emotional distress, it provides enduring relief from symptoms, allowing them to move forward with renewed confidence.

  • Improved Emotional Regulation: EMDR equips teens with better emotional regulation skills. It helps them manage intense emotions and responses, leading to greater emotional stability and control.

  • Boosted Confidence: Teens who undergo EMDR therapy often experience a significant boost in self-esteem and confidence. They gain a newfound belief in their abilities and potential, which positively impacts all aspects of their lives.

  • Promotion of Personal Growth: EMDR fosters personal growth and empowerment in teens. It encourages them to embrace their strengths, overcome challenges, and work toward their goals with determination and resilience.

  • Support for Better Sleep: EMDR therapy can lead to improved sleep quality for teens. By alleviating emotional disturbances and anxieties, it promotes restful sleep patterns, allowing for better overall well-being.

What to Expect with EMDR Therapy
for Children & Teens?


You’re likely wondering what happens during an actual eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy session - EMDR for children. This depends on the EMDR child therapist you’re working with, because each of them have a unique style, personality and process. However, you can expect to work through eight phases during EMDR therapy in Coral Springs, FL, Fort Lauderdale, FL and Plantation, FL

EMDR therapy involves an eight-stage process, each designed to address distressing memories ("yucky memories") and the negative beliefs or "bad thoughts" linked to these experiences. During EMDR sessions, a trained therapist uses rapid sets of bilateral stimulation (BLS) to help children reshape their view of the world and themselves. Simultaneously, this desensitizes the distressing images, thoughts, feelings, and body sensations associated with these memories.

EMDR therapy for children is a compassionate and child-friendly process designed to help young individuals overcome emotional challenges and trauma. When a child begins EMDR therapy, they will work closely with a trained EMDR therapist who specializes in child therapy.


The therapist will create a safe and nurturing environment, using age-appropriate techniques and language to help the child feel comfortable and at ease. Together, they will explore distressing memories and negative beliefs, using bilateral stimulation techniques that can include guided movements, sounds, or tactile sensations.


Throughout the sessions, the child's thoughts, feelings, and sensations are honored and validated. The process is adapted to the child's developmental stage, allowing them to gradually reprocess and desensitize distressing memories.


Parents or caregivers are often involved in the process to provide support and encouragement. Over time, children typically experience a reduction in emotional distress, improved coping skills, and a renewed sense of well-being. EMDR therapy for kids is a gentle and effective approach that guides children toward healing and resilience.

It's important to note that the benefits of EMDR therapy may vary for each individual, and a comprehensive assessment by a qualified professional is recommended to determine best treatment options.


If you're ready to learn more about how EMDR therapy can help your child and family, give us a call at 954-391-5305 for your complimentary consultation. We provide EMDR therapy for children and adults at our Fort Lauderdale, Coral Springs, and Plantation, Florida offices. 

Tips for How Parents Can Support Their Children During EMDR Therapy


EMDR therapy is a powerful approach that directly addresses the complexities of anxiety and depression in children and teen. It delves deep into the underlying traumas and negative self-perceptions that contribute to their emotional distress. In this journey, parents play an invaluable role as active collaborators and pillars of support, ensuring the success of their child's EMDR experience.

As parents, you hold a wealth of knowledge about your child's experiences and emotions. Sharing this valuable information with the EMDR therapist creates a more comprehensive understanding of your child's unique needs.


Collaboration and support form the very foundation of EMDR therapy for children and teens. Together, we can empower your child or teen to conquer anxiety, depression, and other emotional obstacles, guiding them toward a brighter and more resilient future.

Below are some tips for how to get the most from your EMDR Therapy experience: 

1. Learn About EMDR:

Understanding the EMDR process can help parents communicate more effectively with their children about their symptoms and how to best support them at home.

2. Create a Supportive Environment:


Your role goes beyond providing insights; you are their wellspring of strength and encouragement. Creating a safe and nurturing environment at home fosters trust and amplifies the therapeutic process. Parents can help create a nurturing and safe environment at home while reinforcing deep breathing exercises and practicing bilateral stimulation (BLS) techniques.

3. Show Compassion:


Taking a non-judgmental approach and showing understanding and compassion for your child's progress is crucial. Listening and being present can create a sense of value and support.

4. Ask Questions:


Parents can help monitor their child's progress and understanding of treatment by asking open-ended questions. Encourage your child to share their experiences and thoughts about therapy.

5. Encourage Self-Care:


Trauma can also affect the family system, especially parents. Grounding before and after therapy sessions can be essential, as parents often serve as co-regulators during sessions. Planning quality time after sessions can enhance the parent-child connection.

Get Started with EMDR Therapy for Children in Fort Lauderdale, Plantation, and Coral Springs, FL

If you are ready to begin EMDR therapy for your child or teen, our EMDR trained therapists and psychologists would be honored to speak with you to discuss the many ways we can help you achieve your goals. Follow these steps to begin counseling in Fort Lauderdale, Coral Springs, and Plantation, FL today:

  1. Contact our counseling center to speak with our care coordinator.

  2. Participate in a free consultation phone call with an EMDR therapist to learn more about them and our EMDR therapy program at Bayview Therapy. 

  3. Begin EMDR therapy and walk the path towards peace, happiness, and fulfillment.

You and your family deserves to experience greater peace, purpose, and happiness so let us help! 

Additional Counseling Services at Our Coral Springs, Fort Lauderdale, & Plantation, FL Offices

If you're tired of feeling hopeless and struggling to get through the day, we are here to be your support. Our expert team of counselors and EMDR therapists are here to provide a safe and nonjudgmental space for you to be heard and develop healthier coping skills. Regardless of what brings you to counseling, we can serve you in many different ways.

EMDR therapy for kids isn’t the only type of counseling service we provide at our Fort LauderdaleCoral Springs, and Plantation offices. We help people across their life span... Sometimes, life gives us unexpected challenges. If you or your loved ones are struggling with more than one challenge, we want you to remember that you're not alone... no matter what you're going through, there's always a spark of hope and we're here to help! 


Our expert psychologists and counselors at Bayview Therapy specialize in different areas. We offer a wide range of counseling and psychological services to support our Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Plantation, Southwest Ranches, Davie, Weston, Coral Springs, Coconut Creek, and Parkland communities.


We provide therapy and psychological evaluations for children, teens, adults, couples, and families dealing with a wide variety of life's challenges across the lifespan. Some of our specialties include depression counseling; trauma therapy; First Responder counselingteen counseling; child and family counselingcouples counseling or marriage therapy; psychiatric medication management; and more.


We also provide affirmative counseling for the LGBTQ+ community and online counseling options using our secure HIPAA compliant platform.  

EMDR Related Blogs: 
Best EMDR Therapist in Fort Lauderdale,
Coral Springs, & Plantation, FL

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