This conclusion presents some closing thoughts on key concepts discussed in the preceding chapters of this book. The book attempts to contribute to improving children’s lives by providing a comprehensive and effective treatment protocol. To enhance treatment efficacy and improve the trajectory for children’s lives, case conceptualization in child psychotherapy must integrate developmental theory, neuroscience, and best practice models into clinical practice. The book reviews some of the latest research on attachment and neuroscience that impacts case conceptualization in child psychotherapy. In 1989, Shapiro proposed a new treatment approach she entitled eye movement desensitization (EMD) and, later, eye movement desensitization reprocessing (EMDR) to treat trauma. After reviewing the major theories of attachment and Schore’s current rendition that he labels self-regulation theory, the book offers a foundation for therapists to use develop-mentally grounded theory through the lens of adaptive information processing (AIP) to treat attachment issues in clients of all ages.
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- Go to chapter: Integrating Theories of Developmental Psychology Into the Enactment of Child Psychotherapy
Child psychotherapy requires case conceptualization through the lens of developmental psychology in a multimodal approach to assessment, diagnosis, treatment planning, and clinical interventions. This chapter outlines a blueprint for therapists to provide treatment for children by integrating these fundamental principles while collaborating with the other people in the child’s life. The chapter guides the therapist through case conceptualization that integrates the most efficacious treatment interventions into the eight-phase template of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). Adaptive information processing (AIP) theory drives treatment with EMDR throughout the eight phases of that protocol and provides a template for case conceptualization and treatment planning. The use of the EMDR approach to psychotherapy is well documented and approved as evidence-based practice in Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) and California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare (CEBC).
- Go to chapter: In Search of Mental Health and Resiliency: The Need to Integrate Developmental Theory Into Clinical Practice
In Search of Mental Health and Resiliency: The Need to Integrate Developmental Theory Into Clinical Practice
This introduction presents an overview of key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book illustrates how child therapists can arrange clinical practice by exploring considerations for ethical issues and the unique forensic challenges that arise from practicing child psychotherapy. The practice of child psychotherapy has often been extrapolated from adult treatment models, with practice regularly focused on the treatment of a specific mental health diagnosis such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), phobia, or other disorders of childhood. The book provides an overview of theories of human development, personality development, attachment and bonding, and psychotherapy. It organizes phased treatment of child psychotherapy through the eight phases of the eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) integrative treatment protocol proposed by Shapiro exploring developmental challenges, and the impact of attachment, and trauma on symptom presentation and case conceptualization.
This book focuses on the practice of child psychotherapy, the theories and treatment practice. The book is divided into three parts. The first part dwells on the need for developmentally grounded child psychotherapy. It explores theories of human development, also referred to as developmental psychology and educational theory in order to understand how children are challenged to learn, and reviews theories that speculate how love and our earliest relationships impact health and well-being. Part II assimilates the developmental theory into the pragmatics of child psychotherapy. It discusses the pragmatics of providing child psychotherapy with considerations for therapists, focuses on the legal and ethical challenges that arise when providing child psychotherapy, and reviews the types of assessment tools that cover all phases of development, including emotional, social, developmental, educational, and psychological. The third part presents the best practices in child psychotherapy. Here, models of evidence-based practice in child psychotherapy are reviewed with examples of what each model offers to the treatment process. These theories also describe what the therapist brings to psychotherapy based on the therapist’s belief of what therapy looks like and the therapist’s role in the relationship with the client. One of the chapters guides the therapist through case conceptualization that integrates the most efficacious treatment interventions into the eight-phase template of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). Basic issues such as sleeping, feeding, emotional dysregulation, and learning issues are also discussed with common responses and references to provide to parents through a developmentally grounded practice.
The work directed toward increasing the child’s ability to tolerate and regulate affect, so that the processing of traumatic material can be achieved, is initiated during the preparation phase. The process of providing the neural stimulation to improve the child’s capacity to bond, regulate, explore, and play should begin during the early phases of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. The Polyvagal theory presents a hierarchical model of the autonomic system. In complexly traumatized children, the development of this system has been compromised due to the early dysregulated and traumatizing interactions with their environments and caregivers. When describing the various forms of bilateral stimulation (BLS), go over the different options and practice with the child. If the child went through the calm-safe place protocol successfully, motivating the child to actually use it when facing environmental triggers is an important goal.
During the installation phase, the child can experience a felt positive belief about himself or herself in association with the memory being reprocessed. Children with history of early and chronic trauma have difficulty tolerating positive affect. Enhancing and amplifying their ability to tolerate and experience positive emotions and to hold positive views of the self are pivotal aspects of eye movement desensitization reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. This chapter shows a script that may be used with children during the body scan phase. Assisting children in achieving emotional and psychological equilibrium after each reprocessing session as well as ensuring their overall stability are fundamental goals of the closure phase of EMDR therapy. The reevaluation phase of EMDR therapy ensures that adequate integration and assimilation of maladaptive material has been made. The future template of the EMDR three-pronged protocol is a pivotal aspect of EMDR therapy.
The incorporation of a skill-building phase and eye movement desensitization reprocessing (EMDR) games can greatly enhance and facilitate the utilization of EMDR therapy with children who have a history of complex trauma. Some EMDR games work with cognitive skills, others work with emotional skills, while others work with the body and the language of sensation. The use of positive cognition cards offers a great opportunity to play and use a wide range of card games. This chapter exemplifies how to use negative cognition games. Feeling cubes contain different basic emotions appropriate for children. Clinicians can purchase plain wooden cubes and write different feelings on the cube. A wide range of card games can be used with the feeling cards. The memory wand offers another playful approach to the process of identifying traumatic events with children. The chapter shows a playful way of exploring and identifying parent-child interactions.
The basic goals of phase one are to develop a working relationship and a therapeutic alliance and to determine if the level of expertise of the eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) clinician is adequate for the complexity of the case. Other goals are to develop a comprehensive treatment plan and case formulation. EMDR therapy was developed as a form of treatment to ameliorate and heal trauma. Clinicians working with complex trauma must have substantial understanding of the adaptive information processing (AIP) model and the EMDR methodology. During phase one, the clinician works on creating an atmosphere of trust and safety so a therapeutic alliance can be formed with the child and the caregivers. This chapter shows an example of how medical issues can affect the quality of the parent-child communications. The adult attachment interview (AAI) gives us the view of the presence of the experiences in the parent’s life.
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy was independently designated as a psychotherapy approach, and was validated by twenty randomized controlled clinical trials. Results of meta-analyses show EMDR as an effective and efficacious treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in adults and children. Childhood complex trauma refers to the exposure of early chronic and multiple traumatic events. The adaptive information processing (AIP) model constitutes the central piece and foundation of EMDR therapy. Affective neuroscience brings up the importance of PLAY as a healing agent. The polyvagal theory emerged out of the work of Stephen Porges on the evolution of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). Interpersonal neurobiology (IPNB) brings a viewpoint that integrates objective realms of scientific findings and subjective realms of human knowing. The structural dissociation theory of the personality is based on Pierre Janet’s view of dissociation as a division among systems that constitute the personality of an individual.
This chapter integrates elements and strategies of internal family systems (IFS) psychotherapy into eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy with complexly traumatized children. It shows a description of healing a part using in-sight with a child. In-sight involves having the client look inside to find and work with parts that he or she sees or senses and describes to the therapist. The IFS therapist starts by ensuring the client’s external environment is safe and supportive of the therapy. In a self-led system, polarizations are absent or greatly diminished, leaving more harmony and balance. However, when and how the self is formed may be seen and conceptualized through different lenses in adaptive information processing (AIP)-EMDR and IFS. According to the AIP model, the human brain and biological systems are shaped by the environmental experiences they encounter.