Childhood can be an exciting time, full of joyous exploration, new skills, friends, and imaginative play. It can also be very frightening, especially when children have experiences that threaten their feelings of safety and well-being. Even common traumatic childhood events can deeply affect children's normal healthy development, their self-esteem, and their families. Many behavioral problems stemming from common traumatic events could require years of psychotherapy or medication. That is, they did -- until the advent of EMDR. Developed by psychologist Francine Shapiro in the late 1980s, EMDR had already helped thousands of adult clients when Joan Lovett experienced its healing power firsthand.
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a comprehensive therapeutic approach that helps patients release disturbing thoughts and emotions that originate in traumatic experiences. Experiences can be traumatic in the commonly accepted sense -- abuse, disasters, violence -- but children may also perceive and respond to more ordinary events as very threatening. A playground accident, the loss of a loved one, school problems, or choking on a piece of popcorn can be a part of growing up. They can also be critical incidents that cause a child to view him- or herself as helpless or powerless, to become fearful, and to develop debilitating behavioral problems.
In Small Wonders: Healing Childhood Trauma with EMDR, Joan Lovett, M.D., shares engaging clinical stories -- mysteries involving children who present her with puzzling and disturbing behaviors. She imaginatively focuses her knowledge of pediatrics, play therapy, and EMDR to alleviate the real-life ordeals of real-life children.
Featuring a foreword by Francine Shapiro, Small Wonders is the most comprehensive and insightful book to explore the potential of EMDR for child therapy. This enlightening book is intended for parents who are concerned with having their children feel confident, for adults who want insights into the way the events of their childhood shaped their self-image, and for professionals who want to know more about EMDR and how it can be adapted to meet the special needs of traumatized children.