Treating Chronically Traumatized Children with or without EMDR: The Sleeping Dogs Method

Location : Calgary, AB
Date : April 28, 2020 - April 29, 2020
Trainer : Arianne Struik
Language(s) : English
Info or registration : -

Treating Chronically Traumatized Children with or without EMDR: The Sleeping Dogs Method

With Arianne Struik

Calgary, AB - April 28-29, 2020

Info & Registration:


Workshop Description

The treatment of severely traumatized children and adolescents usually focuses on helping the child and the family to process their traumatic experiences with EMDR therapy. But in some cases, children cannot or do not want to participate in EMDR therapy. These children may, for example, refuse to talk about their traumatic memories, they may dissociate, or may say they have forgotten about it. Or clinicians are afraid to address the traumatic memories out of fear to dysregulate the child. Or a child becomes very aggressive or dissociates when the trauma is mentioned. And some children are very young and can’t speak about what happened or we don’t know exactly what happened. Cases such as these get stuck and often the trauma doesn’t get processed. We let ‘sleeping dogs lie’, with devastating consequences for future development. But how to help these children?

The metaphor ‘sleeping dogs’ refers to traumatic memories that children refuse to or cannot discuss; by waking up the ‘sleeping dogs,’ traumatic memories become accessible and treatable. The goal of this treatment method is to get traumatized children and adolescents stabilized as quickly as possible so they can start processing those traumatic memories.

This two-day workshop will focus on how to use the Sleeping Dogs method to analyze the child’s barriers to participate in trauma processing with EMDR therapy and to plan interventions to overcome these barriers.

Participants will learn to analyze cases by using the Six Tests Form to discover possible reasons why the child is resistant. For example, a child may not want to discuss sexual abuse by dad because of fears that contact with him would be ceased, or not wanting to discuss domestic violence by the divorced foster parents for fear that may trigger and upset the foster mother. This structured assessment provides a framework to plan interventions focused on overcoming the identified barriers and start the processing of traumatic memories with EMDR therapy. One of the key factors in this method is the involvement of family members, even when they have abused or neglected the child and may have little or no contact with them, and when reunification is no option. Case examples and video material will be used to demonstrate the use of this method.

This is a practical workshop in which Ms. Struik will ground the method in case examples. Participants will need to practice the use of this method with their own cases and develop treatment plans. The theory will be explained in straightforward language; the same language that participants can use with their clients

This training includes the book Treating Chronically Traumatized Children (Struik, 2014).