Case Study: EMDR Treatment for Children – AJ

Case Study: EMDR Treatment for Children – AJ

After a humiliating experience at school, AJ developed PTSD. Following panic attacks and other symptoms he underwent EMDR treatment designed for children which had a really positive impact on him. 

“Before I came to see Sharon, I was really struggling. I never wanted to go to school because it made me really anxious. My parents thought this was because I have dyslexia and find schoolwork difficult.

But, during homeschooling, I was asked to write a newspaper article and I had a meltdown (panic attack) and became hysterical. In my distress, I blurted out what had happened to me at my old school. My teacher had asked me to write an article which I did. When my teacher read my attempt, he was so disgusted that he ripped it up in front of the whole class and told everyone that I could not construct a proper sentence. Words that would haunt me, for two years, until I had EMDR.

I wish I had told my family sooner but I was too ashamed. I now know that shame thrives on secrecy, as soon as you tell someone about it, then it loses the power it holds over you. I had already moved school before I disclosed this incident and was happy at my new school but, in my head, I was forever stuck in my old school. Every time I tried to write something down, I could hear my old teacher’s cruel comments.

AJ’s drawing

So, my parents arranged for me to come to see Sharon. I was very worried about seeing a therapist because I did not know what to expect. I didn’t need to worry as it was ace. Sharon is really gentle and quiet (which made me feel safe) and has lots of tubes of bubbles!!! Sharon taught me a fun game with bubbles which I still enjoy. I also got to create a special place (in my mind) which I can go to when I feel anxious.

I didn’t realise that it had worked until I was recently asked to write another newspaper article and I just did it. I returned to school after lockdown without crying every morning.

I still remember the incident but it no longer hurts me. I now know that I am not stupid, I just have dyslexia. I have been able to teach my teachers about the benefits of EMDR.”

 

Find out more about EMDR for children here, and find out more about PTSD in children here

Sources
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Photo by Alena Darmel from Pexels

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