Loss of a parent, separations, abuse, neglect, or a history of a difficult foster or orphanage experience can lead to profound emotional dysregulation and mistrust in children. Working with these children-many of whom have experienced multiple traumas and losses-can feel overwhelming. Clinicians must navigate complex case management decisions and referrals, address the needs of parents and schools, not to mention ameliorate the traumatic memories and severe behaviors that present in the kids.
But by working as a collaborative team, EMDR and family therapists can, together, strengthen the parent-child attachment bond and help to mend the early experiences that drive the child's behavior. This book, and its accompanying Parent Manual, are intended to serve as clear and practical treatment guides, presenting the philosophy and step-by-step protocols behind the Integrative Team Treatment approach, so both the family system issues and the child's traumatic past are effectively addressed. You need not be a center specializing in attachment trauma to implement this team model, nor must members of the team practice at the same location. With at least one fully-trained EMDR practitioners as part of the two-person team, any clinician can pair with another to implement this treatment approach, and heal children suffering from attachment trauma.
Debra Wesselmann, MS, LIMHP, has specialized in treating trauma and attachment problems in adults, children, and families for the past twenty-three years. She is an EMDr Institute facilitator and EMDrIA- approved consultant, as well as co-founder of the Attachment and Trauma Center of Nebraska in Omaha, Nebraska. Cathy Schweitzer, MS, LMHP, specializes in treating trauma resolution and attachment problems in children and adolescents. She has fourteen years experience in both public and private school education, ten as a counselor for the Omaha public school system. She is level II trained and certified in EMDR, and is a co-founder of The Attachment and Trauma Center of Nebraska. Stefanie Armstrong, MS, LIMHP, is a co-founder of and member of the treatment team at The Attachment and Trauma Center of Nebraska. She has more than ten years experience as a teacher and counselor in the Omaha public school system, is level II trained and certified in EMDR, and has presented her expertise in treating and parenting traumatized children across Nebraska and nationally.