Recorded webinar

Treating preverbal trauma in infants, children and adults with EMDR

Who should attend?

This webinar is intended for clinicians who are trained in EMDR, experiences in the use of the EMDR basis protocol and have knowledge of the Storytelling EMDR protocol.


To process traumatic memories with the EMDR basic protocol clients need to be able to tell you about their experiences. However, clients can also experience traumatizing situations at a very young age, such as abuse, domestic violence, sexual abuse, neglect but also painful medical procedures, hospitalization, accidents. Those traumatizing experiences are then stored in a different way and can be expressed in physical and sensory sensations, feelings, sounds, smells or images. When these experiences cannot be consciously recalled and verbalized, this is called preverbal trauma. Also, clients with an intellectual disability, who function at a lower developmental level, can store trauma preverbally.

Clients who experienced preverbal trauma can display symptoms, such as anger, oppositional behavior, depression, emptiness, anxiety and hypervigilance, pain, sexualized behavior, and dissociation. Young children and infants can have problems with sleeping or eating or their attachment can be disturbed.

These symptoms can be related to those preverbal experiences and when that is suspected, those experiences need to be processed in order to overcome those symptoms. In 1999 Joan Lovett developed the Storytelling protocol to access and process these preverbal memories with EMDR. Over the years Storytelling has been widely used and further developed. Arianne Struik has been using EMDR with infants, children and adults for twenty years and she will share her experiences in this workshop.

This workshop addresses the use of EMDR with preverbal trauma in infants and young children, in older children and in adults. Arianne Struik discusses topics such as:

  • What is known about preverbal trauma and about the use of EMDR?
  • What is the impact of preverbal trauma?
  • How to decide whether to use EMDR for preverbal traumatic memories and deal with dilemma’s?
  • What are prerequisites for this treatment?
  • How to structure the sessions, who is present?
  • How can EMDR be used with very young children and infants with preverbal trauma and how can parents become co-therapists
  • Can this be done online?
  • How to choose a target and process chronic preverbal trauma
  • How to develop the narrative and what if it is unclear what the client has experienced?
  • Which form of bilateral stimulation can be used?
  • How to assess if the preverbal trauma is activated, what to expect?
  • What to do when clients have strong (physical) abreactions or dissociate?
  • How often is the same narrative used?
  • How can understanding the steps from the basic EMDR protocol be helpful in processing preverbal trauma in clients?

Learning Objectives

  • Participants will have an understanding of the state of the art on preverbal trauma
  • Participants will be able to identify potential preverbal trauma in clients
  • Participants will be able to process preverbal trauma with EMDR
  • Participants will learn to handle situations where clients have strong (physical) abreactions or dissociate?

Register and pay

Australian with GST

Non-Australian (no GST)

The ICTC uses Tickettailor for registration and payment. Payments can be made with Stripe or Paypal and with Applepay. Payments with IDEAL can be made via Stripe. Multiple participants can be registered at the same time.

About the trainer

Arianne Struik is a clinical psychologist, family therapist and EMDR consultant, originally from the Netherlands and director of the Institute for Chronically Traumatized Children (ICTC) from which she provides specialized trauma treatment in remote areas, as well as workshops, training, supervision and research. She developed the award-winning Sleeping Dogs method, described in the book Treating Chronically Traumatized Children and teaches internationally on the treatment of trauma and dissociation in children. She is member of the ESTD Child and Adolescent Committee and the Australian Psychological Society EMDR Interest Group national committee.





100 AUD ex GST

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