"I do not want to do EMDR" : The Sleeping Dogs method

Thursday 23rd September: 9am – 12pm

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“I do not want to do EMDR!” Engaging chronically traumatised children in EMDR with the Sleeping Dogs method.


Chronically traumatised children and their caregivers can struggle in daily life with the consequences of traumatisation. They could benefit from EMDR therapy. However some children do not want to engage, refuse to discuss their traumatic memories, say they don’t remember, or EMDR therapists are worried that their work might destabilise them. Often, these children have experienced abuse, neglect or medical trauma, and their complex history or current situation complicates the EMDR therapy. How can these children be prepared to engage in EMDR therapy and not drop out? How can we assess whether they are stable enough?

The Sleeping Dogs method provides a tool to make a structured analysis of the child’s potential barriers to EMDR and develop a treatment plan with interventions to remove those barriers and to support these children to complete EMDR therapy and process their traumatic memories.

Arianne Struik will provide an introduction in the Sleeping Dogs method illustrated with case-examples and video material. Case conceptualisation for children with chronic trauma is discussed, providing guidelines for processing multiple traumatic memories, such as how to cluster them and how to plan the order in which they are processed.

Aims and Learning Objectives: Please click here

Arianne Struik is a clinical psychologist, family therapist and EMDR Europe consultant, originally from the Netherlands. She worked in Child and Adolescent Mental Health for twenty-two years as a clinical psychologist and program director with children living at home, in foster care and residential care. She moved to Australia and became director of The Institute for Chronically Traumatized Children (ICTC) from which she provides specialized trauma treatment in remote areas, as well as workshops, training, supervision and research. She developed the award-winning Sleeping Dogs method, described in the book Treating Chronically Traumatized Children and teaches internationally on the treatment of trauma and dissociation in children. She is member of the ESTD Child and Adolescent Committee and the Australian Psychological Society EMDR Interest Group national committee.