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1. Mevissen, L., & Lievegoed, R. (2010, June). Trauma and institutionalization - EMDR: A tool to cure, relieve or prevent. Presentation at the annual meeting of the EMDR Europe Association, Hamburg, Germany.
Because of their vulnerability children as well as adults with developmental disorders are supposed to be at greater risk to suffer from the disruptive effects of trauma or cumulating negative life events. Resulting psychopathology or behavioral problems might bring them into contact with institutional psychiatric or educational care. On the basis of four video-illustrated clinical vignettes various aspects according the use of EMDR are discussed. Institutionalization in itself can be traumatizing as shown by EMDR treatment of an adult with autism and traumatic memories of being outplaced and long-term isolated. Outplacement might be a consequence of untreated trauma. EMDR can relieve suffering as shown by the treatment of a 12-year old boy with behavioral problems who's family ties were broken. Outplacement can be traumatic and as a consequence block personal growth as illustrated by the case of a 48-year old man with mild to moderate intellectual disability and autism, who had been institutionalized at the age of 8. Desperate parents regain educational skills by using a combination of EMDR and intensive psychiatric family support as illustrated by the case of an 8 years old girl with supposed multi-complex developmental disorder (McDD). Adaptations of the standard protocol might be necessary when using EMDR in patients with psychiatric disorders as shown in two of the cases that will be presented. As posttraumatic stress symptoms can be manifested differently in this population there is a risk of diagnostic errors. Learning objectives: Participants take note of possibilities to make EMDR beneficial to the institutionalized population; are able to identify adaptations to the EMDR protocol required by particular needs of clients with developmental disorders; are able to use EMDR to help parents to overcome the trauma of having a child with developmental disorders; become aware of nonspecific symptoms of trauma in this special population.
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