Open for Applications

Using EMDR with Children and Teens: Incorporating Playful Solutions for Powerful Healing

Now you can bring the full benefits of EMDR therapy to children and youth who may be avoidant, dissociative or too young to fully engage with the standard protocol. In this specialty advanced training, you’ll learn how to incorporate techniques from play therapy and story-telling to support EMDR therapy with children throughout all eight phases and seamlessly integrate EMDR with the approaches you already use.
EMDR with Children
Early Bird
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Last Minute
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Training Program Schedule
February 8, 2023 10:30 am - 3:00 pm ET
February 9, 2023 10:30 am - 3:00 pm ET
February 10, 2023 10:30 am - 3:00 pm ET
Trainer / Trainers
Ann Beckley-Forest, LCSW-R, RPT-S
Annie Monaco, LCSW-R, RPT
Training Coordinator
Jeanette Faircloth
Continuing Education Credits


This advanced specialty training is designed for EMDR therapists who regularly work with children, teens, and families where there is a history of childhood trauma. It directly addresses the challenge of using EMDR with young clients who can be hard to engage, mistrustful of adults, and who often have narrow windows of tolerance for therapy. And it covers everything you need to start bringing the benefits of EMDR therapy to children and teens who may be avoidant, dissociative or too young to fully engage with the standard protocol. The course trainers are two nationally recognized experts in combining EMDR and play therapy—Ann Beckley-Forest, LCSW-R, RPT-S and Annie Monaco, LCSW-R, RPT.

EMDR that Meets Children and Teens Where They Are

Your trainers—Ann Beckley-Forest, LCSW-R, RPT-S and Annie Monaco, LCSW-R, RPT—are experts in both EMDR and play therapy. They are nationally recognized for bridging the gap between the world of play therapy with trauma reprocessing. The result is an integrated model they call Playful EMDR that brings the full healing benefits of EMDR to children, teens, and their families.

This three-day online training combines lecture with small group practice and includes video case demonstrations, hands-on activities and a chance to practice. In addition, you’ll receive a 30-page training manual that contains a child-focused case formulation worksheet, modified EMDR protocols, grounding and soothing strategies for children and dozens of practical tools and approaches drawn from play therapy and adapted for use with EMDR. 

You’ll learn how to use a variety of play-therapy techniques such as sand, art and dolls to support EMDR therapy with children and teens throughout all eight phases. You’ll also learn some play therapy principles and techniques to help prepare more traumatized children with fragmented or dissociative parts.

Starting with case conceptualization with one of your own cases, you’ll explore all the best practices for successfully using EMDR with your young clients. Among the many things you’ll take away from this unique specialty training are:

  • A developmentally sensitive way to take a child’s trauma history during phase one
  • Play therapy interventions to install and enhance positive beliefs and resources during phase two  
  • Play-based narratives that gradually introduce trauma content during assessment and reprocessing phases
  • Playful activities that promote self-regulation throughout EMDR preparation and reprocessing
  • A storytelling approach that both supports trauma reprocessing and helps  position caregivers as a resource
  • Tools and approaches that allow dissociative parts of self to emerge during preparation for trauma work
  • How to use developmentally appropriate ego-state language and a “dissociation doll” to help differentiate a young client’s self-states
  • Approaches that respect the child's movement towards and away from the trauma content

Successfully Including Families and Caregivers

Involving and educating parents and caregivers is also part of the therapist’s trauma work with children and teens. That’s why you’ll learn to use a parent interview and reporting worksheet that involves parents and caregivers in both the closure and reevaluation phases of this child focused EMDR approach. You’ll get additional guidance and support from case studies, woven throughout the training, that includes how to work with parents around the trauma work with their children.

Meet Your Trainers

Ann Beckley-ForestAnn Beckley-Forest, LCSW-R, RPT-S, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in private practice in Buffalo, New York, and co-founder of Playful EMDR, an online hub for training and consultation in treating trauma-exposed children. Her specialties include attachment and child and adolescent trauma, and she also works with adult survivors. She is certified in EMDR and is an EMDR Approved Consultant and Trainer and a faculty member of the Child Trauma Institute, as well as a Registered Play Therapist and Supervisor and Approved Provider of play therapy continuing education through the Association for Play Therapy. Ann offers case consultation in addition to training with Annie across the US and internationally. Her primary interest is in the intersection of play therapy and EMDR and has published on this topic including as contributor and co-editor of EMDR with Children in the Play Therapy Room: An Integrated Approach (2020).


Annie MonacoAnnie Monaco, LCSW-R, RPT is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Registered Play Therapist and a faculty member of the Child Trauma Institute & Trauma Institute and of University at Buffalo School of Social Work. Annie travels throughout the US and internationally providing trauma-informed trainings as well as case consultation. Annie is an EMDRIA-approved Trainer of EMDR, Progressive Counting and STAR (Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resiliency). Annie also provides specialty trainings on attachment, dissociation, and EMDR with teenagers and with younger children. Annie was the Director of Restorative Justice programs at a non- profit agency where she oversaw juvenile and adult offender programs for over ten years. Currently, her private practice includes children in foster care, out of country adoptions, juvenile justice and dissociation. Annie is the co-editor and contributor of chapters for EMDR with Children in the Play Therapy Room: An Integrated Approach (2020) and co- founder of Playful EMDR, an online hub for training and consultation.

Here’s What One Colleague Says about This Training

Ann and Annie are simply the best! I have had the immense pleasure of attending many of their trainings, ranging from their Basic EMDR course to their advanced Playful EMDR course. Their trainings and consultations are characterized by a depth of knowledge in both EMDR and play therapy and grounded in current research. They are engaging, organized presenters who obviously care deeply about what they are teaching and who draw their participants in through practical applications, practice, and play! I’ve attended a lot of workshops in my 40 years in the field and can definitively say that everything I’ve taken from them is among the best and most applicable I’ve ever experienced!

Cyndi Jordan, Ed.D. , Licensed Professional Counselor, Mental Health Provider Status, Supervisor Senior Psychological Examiner, Health Provider Status Registered Play TherapistEMDRIA Certified and Consultant in Training Child Therapist and Diagnostician

Cyndi Jordan