EMDR Mini-conference
March 21, 2015 at Oakland's Preservation Park





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Joan Lovett, MD

March 21, 2015 workshop abstract:

Abstract for EMDR Regional Meeting March 21, 2015

Joan Lovett, MD with Phil Manfield, Ph.D


Children and Adults Processing Childhood Memories with EMDR


This presentation demonstrates similarities and differences between young children addressing traumatic memories and adults processing traumatic childhood memories. Adults can usually explain what happened and have the adult perspective available during processing.   They may need cognitive interweaves asking about safety, responsibility and choices. Children need to have cognitive interweaves in the form of information, reassurance and imaginative interweaves. With children and adults processing early childhood memories, it’s important to process memories one step at a time, beginning before the traumatic experience, similar to adults processing recent events. 


Young children who are normally developmentally egocentric and adults with early childhood traumatic memories tend to believe that they are bad (or not good enough) and that the bad things that happened are their fault. There is confusion about what happened, their part in the trauma, and who they can trust. It is important to target the confusion and to make sure the child, as well as the adult, has a coherent narrative about the traumatic event and its place in their history.


The presentation will feature slides, lecture, videos and discussion. Videos include a 4 year old child discussing and processing an accident and his experiences in the hospital, an 11 year old processing a memory of his parents fighting when he was 4 years old and an adult processing a memory of her parents fighting when she was 3 years old.

Program Objectives. At the conclusion of this program, participants will be able to:

1.     Describe the importance of identifying and resolving confusion in children who have been traumatized and adults who were traumatized as children

2.     Explain the role of developmentally normal egocentricity in children and discuss how it leads to distortions in perceptions of responsibility in both children and adults


3.     Discuss how to address distortions of responsibility in both children and adults

4.        Identify two developmental differences in processing  memories between young children and adults that would impact EMDR processing

Dr. Lovett"s previous workshop for the Northern CA EMDR Regional Group held April 30 and May 1, 2005 at Oakland's Preservation Park:

Layering the Parfait: An Approach to Attachment

Dr. Lovett's workshop will focus on practical treatment approaches for
attachment issues. She will introduce the concept of "layering the parfait"
and developing healthy inner-parents for adults and children. The
presentation will include experiential learning, case studies, and videos
demonstrating EMDR-facilitated critical incident reprocessing, storytelling,
and imagination exercises for children and adults as they resolve attachment
issues. Participants will learn positive cognitions applicable to work with
children and adults with attachment issues.

Joan Lovett, MD is a behavioral pediatrician in private practice in
Berkeley, California. She graduated from Wellesley College and University of
California San Francisco School of Medicine. She completed pediatric
internship and residency at Montreal Children's Hospital, after which she
was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at Stanford University.
Currently, Dr. Lovett is an EMDRIA Approved Consultant and EMDR Institute
facilitator. She has given presentations on EMDR at Menninger's Clinic,
EMDRIA conferences, EMDR trainings in the US, England, France, the ID
Institute in Germany, and in Costa Rica. Dr. Lovett is the author of Small
Wonders: Healing Childhood Trauma with EMDR.

Learning Goals (For CEU Credit Applications)

1. Workshop Objectives

a. Participants will be taught the similarities of using EMDR with an
adult who suffered trauma in early childhood and using EMDR with
children to resolve attachment issues.

b. Participants will be taught to write a story that can be used in
conjunction with EMDR to facilitate healing from maladaptive
post-traumatic attachment patterns.

c. Participants will be taught principles of the "layering" approach to

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