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Robert H. Tinker and Sandra A. Wilson

This is the first book to explore the use of EMDR with children and adolescents.  Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) has helped thousands of adults haunted by traumatic events.  But what about children?  Millions of children witness violence in the home and in the streets.  Many others are traumatized by accidents, natural disasters, abuse, and neglect.  This book shows that EMDR can be successfully applied to children, which can ensure their mental health, growth, and development.

Through the Eyes of a Child demystifies the application of EMDR for children, from the first session with the parents to later sessions with children at all developmental stages.  The adult protocol is modified so that it can be applied to children as young as two years old (and possibly younger).  A system of classification of childhood trauma that allows therapists to predict a child’s response to EMDR is presented.  Myriad cases illustrate the use of EMDR with various traumas.  Many examples of simple traumas are presented, including automobile accidents, lightning strikes, bereavement, and specific phobias such as a fear of animals.  In addition, cases illustrate success with complex traumas, where aspects of the trauma are ongoing and EMDR becomes part of several possible therapeutic interventions.  

EMDR is also discussed as an intervention for children who have problems that are not caused by trauma.  Case illustrations show how EMDR can be used with children with ADHD, anxiety, depressive, or reactive attachment disorders, as well as learning difficulties and somatoform disorders.

With its compelling, frank style, Through the Eyes of a Child will appeal to all who are interested in applying this revolutionary new therapy with children.


1.      Children and EMDR: The View from the Mountaintop

2.      Trauma, Diagnosis, and EMDR: Initial Considerations

3.      The First Session with the Child

4.      Developmental Modifications of the EMDR Protocol for Children

5.      Simple Traumas: Automobile Accidents, Lightning Strikes

6.      Simple Traumas: Bereavement, Specific Phobias

7.      Complex Traumas

8.      Troubleshooting

9.      Diagnostic Categories

10.  Symptoms as Targets for EMDR


“Drs. Tinker and Wilson are well-known for their impressive research in the area of EMDR and trauma.  Now they have teamed up to produce an enormously important book on the application of EMDR with children.  With exquisite attention to detail they lead the therapist from the first interaction with parent and child through the entire clinical process.  Every clinician working with this population, in any modality, will benefit from this comprehensive volume.” --Francine Shapiro, Ph.D., Executive Director, EMDR Institute 

“EMDR is a novel treatment that helps people integrate and move beyond adverse life experiences.  Now Tinker and Wilson have contributed a lucid and practical extension of the work done with adults and make it applicable to children.  This treatment may well make an enormous difference in the lives of traumatized children, in helping them grow up with openness and curiosity, instead of their remaining stuck in repeating their past trauma or being terrified of it occurring all over again.” --Bessel A. van der Kolk, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine, Chief, HRI Trauma Center, Boston


On April 29, 2011, Dr. Robert H. Tinker and Dr. Sandra A. Wilson presented at a Grand Rounds at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital, located in St. Petersburg, Florida.  It was entitled Using Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) with Psychologically Traumatized Children.  Drs Tinker and Wilson provided the All Children's Hospital pediatricians and staff with video examples and overheads from their research and sessions to show how the EMDR Psychotherapy procedure is applied to children.  To view the presentation, please go to:


(Must use Microsoft Silverlight to play video presentation)