How to Do EMDR Sessions Specifically Focused on Childhood Trauma.

If you do these things and you work through some EMDR sessions, you will find that you quickly get relief from childhood trauma symptoms.

20 Jan 2023

Tag: PTSD , Childhood Trauma

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At Virtual EMDR, we get a lot of emails from our clients, and we are always grateful for their input.

One of the questions we get asked a lot is, “How do I use EMDR to work specifically on my Childhood trauma issues?”

In a new video online, the Founder of the Virtual EMDR Program, Jeff Tejcek, talks about how this is done, and offers some tips to get the most out of your Childhood Trauma sessions.


Typically, when you do an EMDR session, either with a therapist or self-directed with Virtual EMDR, you focus on specific incidents in the past and how they are affecting you now.

For example, you may want to try remembering some of the worst things that happened in your family home when you were growing up and focus on those while you do the EMDR.

It is most effective if you can work on one issue or problem or negative memory per EMDR session, but you can work on more than one thing in the same session if those things are linked together in your memories. An example of this would be something like, starting with a particularly bad memory related to an incident with your alcoholic father and then having your thoughts drift to another memory that featured him and his alcoholism.

It is extremely helpful if you take out a piece of paper or your notebook and write out a list of traumatic childhood memories that still haunt you in adulthood.

Once you have this list, you can make it your goal to do one or more EMDR sessions on each one of the entries. Writing it out like this gives you a roadmap of what you want to work through and helps to keep things clear.

Working through the worst parts of your childhood in this way with EMDR will have a cumulative effect. This means that you won’t just feel better about one aspect of your childhood, say growing up with abusive and addicted parents, but you will also find yourself feeling detached from other related bad memories from the same time period in your life, such as when your parents divorced or being bullied by your siblings.

This is exactly how trauma EMDR works. You first figure out the memories from your childhood you want to focus on (these are called Targets) and then you focus on them during your session while doing the EMDR.

If you can’t remember the details of what happened, you can also try some sessions where you just focus on the feelings of fear, anxiety, and sadness that you carry from this part of your life. This may also open your memories and let you remember the traumatic incidents more specifically.

You may also choose to focus on the last time you had a flare up of your childhood trauma and PTSD symptoms, such as intrusive bad memories, anxiety attacks, flashbacks, or any other unwanted negative emotions.

A tip that we give our Virtual EMDR one on one coaching clients as well is that you should do a session where you just mentally walk through your childhood home while you are doing the EMDR. Let yourself remember the color and texture of the carpet and the wood paneled walls, the toy box in your room, or the things that your mother kept in her closet.

Doing the home walkthrough session and childhood focused EMDR in general should give you new insights about your childhood, let you access old memories that you have not thought about in decades, and even give you vivid and meaningful dreams.

This is your brain opening itself back up to you.

If you do these things and you work through some EMDR sessions, you will find that you quickly get relief from childhood trauma symptoms. After EMDR, you will still remember the bad things that happened to you when you were a child, but the memories won’t be so charged or bother you in the same way. This will in turn cause a shift in your behavior around certain things in your life that would previously trigger your anxiety, fear, or give you other trauma symptoms.

It is vitally important to read all the directions, especially if you are new to Virtual EMDR and just getting comfortable with how the sessions work.

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