Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) is one of the most commonly utilized interventions for children (Cary & McMillen, 2011). TF-CBT is a highly structured intervention consisting of 90-minute weekly sessions. The clinician works with the client through eight competencies, including psychoeducation, relaxation, affective expression and regulation, cognitive coping, trauma narrative development and processing, gradual exposure, joint parent/child sessions, and enhancing future development (Cary & McMillen, 2011). TF-CBT has an extensive history and many variations. Clinicians utilize a number of other cognitive behavior treatments that have been adapted to meet the needs of ...view middle of the document...
The importance of play for children is widely recognized. Many studies show that play is influential to socialization, creativity, language, problem-solving skills, and sensorimotor skills (Cooper, 2000). Playing allows children to explore and experiment in a safe environment. Play therapy provides a non-directive, nurturing environment and allows children to “play out” emotional trauma. In play therapy, the child’s words are interpreted through the toys. The actions during play are the child’s language (Wilson & Ryan, 2006). Children express emotionally significant experiences more comfortably through the representation of play. Through this therapy, children can act out a traumatic experience and potentially change the outcome in the play and move to an inner resolution (Singhal, & Vahali, 2014). Many studies show that children receiving play therapy interventions show better results compared to children who did not receive play therapy (Bratton, Ray, & Rhine, 2005).
While many clinicians have found success with play therapy, there are still some limitations to this type of intervention. Play Therapy is relatively new and not totally understood (Cooper, 2000). This intervention provides an unstructured environment for children. While this technique may work for some children, others may need a more structured environment for therapy. In addition, there have been numerous studies conducted on play therapy when working with children who have experienced sexual abuse; however, there is very little research on the effectiveness of play therapy on emotional child abuse.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
EMDR is a psychotherapy intervention, concentration on reducing the stress related with traumatic experiences developed by Dr. Francine Shapiro (Maxfield, 2003; Luber & Shapiro, 2009). This treatment facilitates the processing of painful memories, and brings the trauma to an adaptive resolution. The client achieves a resolution through desensitizing emotional distress, reformulating new associations, and relieving associated physiological stimulation (Maxfield, 2003; Shapiro & Maxfield, 2002). EMDR incorporates different aspects of traditional treatments, such as, psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral, experiential, physiological, and interpersonal therapies (Maxfield, 2003). While EMDR has emerged from these principles, it is not a theory-driven intervention (Edmond, Rubin, & Wambach, 1999). Along with these different approaches, some core elements of EMDR are free association, mindfulness, brief exposures, and dual attention stimulation. A standardized EMDR protocol combines these aspects.
The protocol for EMDR includes eight phases. The first phase starts with history taking, assessment, and developing goals and targets. Phase two prepares the client for treatment and focuses on enhancing personal resources such as self-control and safety. During phase three, processing of trauma begins with identifying five...