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Crittenton Children's Center Receives Grant for Study of Psychotherapy Trauma Treatment

5/28/2013 10:30:39 AM

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KANSAS CITY, Mo., May 28, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Crittenton Children's Center has received a two-year, $10,000 grant from the Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Research Foundation to conduct a first of its kind study addressing trauma in children.

EMDR is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma. The Crittenton research team, led by psychologists Michael L. Blair, Ph.D., and Kathy Harms, Ph.D., will study the therapeutic impact of EMDR with children and adolescents in an inpatient setting.

"While there have been a few studies on EMDR, none have been done in an inpatient setting," Dr. Blair said. "Our team is eager to learn more and share our findings."

Crittenton dedicated significant time and resources to train their clinicians in EMDR after seeing consistent positive results when working with children who have trauma histories. "Since 2008, we've seen great success with both pre-adolescents and teens," said Dr. Blair. "When using EMDR, we rarely see patients return to the hospital for issues related to trauma."

EMDR is a set of standardized protocols that incorporates elements from multiple treatment approaches. This evidenced-based psychotherapy technique simultaneously addresses all aspects of a traumatic memory including visual images, beliefs, emotions, and body sensations.

"During a session, the therapist uses bilateral stimulation, allowing the brain to 'digest' the memory of the traumatic event with progressively fewer negative effects," Dr. Harms said. To date, across the United States, EMDR has helped an estimated two million people of all ages relieve many types of psychological stress including post traumatic stress disorder.

The Crittenton research team is comprised of five clinicians who over the course of two years will work with 100 patients, ranging from 4 to 18 years of age. Using a randomized control group, 50 patients will receive the skills-based cognitive behavioral therapy regularly provided at Crittenton to treat trauma cases. The other 50 patients will receive EMDR therapy.

"We are grateful to the EMDR Foundation for this grant that will help us learn more about the impact of EMDR therapy with children and adolescents being treated in a psychiatric hospital setting," Dr. Blair added.

About Crittenton Children's Center
For more than 100 years, Crittenton has been caring for the emotional health of children and families in the Kansas City area. It has evolved into a comprehensive system of behavioral health care that includes acute inpatient hospitalization, residential treatment, and community-based services. Crittenton Children's Center is part of Saint Luke's Health System.

About EMDR Research Foundation
Founded in 2006 and located in Austin, Texas, The EMDR Research Foundation promotes health and growth of human beings through the support of quality research, evidence-based practice and compassionate, well-informed clinicians.

SOURCE Crittenton Childrens Center

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