11. Integrating Play Therapy and EMDR With Children

A Post-Trauma Intervention

  1. Athena A. Drewes,
  2. Sue C. Bratton and
  3. Charles E. Schaefer
  1. Victoria A. McGuinness

Published Online: 16 JUN 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781118094792.ch11

Integrative Play Therapy

Integrative Play Therapy

How to Cite

McGuinness, V. A. (2011) Integrating Play Therapy and EMDR With Children, in Integrative Play Therapy (eds A. A. Drewes, S. C. Bratton and C. E. Schaefer), John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, USA. doi: 10.1002/9781118094792.ch11

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 16 JUN 2011
  2. Published Print: 8 JUL 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470617922

Online ISBN: 9781118094792



  • EMDR;
  • single incident trauma;
  • repeated traumas;
  • child-directed play therapy;
  • therapist-guided EMDR


Both Play therapy and EMDR are powerful methods of therapy for children independent of each other and are helpful in assisting children who have experienced traumatic events in their lives. Some important considerations are involved when working with traumatized children. Targets in EMDR and themes generated through the play therapy illustrate the specific emotional experience of each child and can be especially helpful for even the youngest child. There are many similarities and differences if one compares and contrasts the dynamics of play therapy with EMDR. EMDR is a more cognitive approach while play therapy tends to be more experiential in nature although both appear to positively and directly affect a child's negative cognitions, beliefs, and themes.