EMDR with Neurodivergence in Play Therapy v1.0

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Course Description:

This play therapy training is offered On Demand as a go-at-your-own-pace course for non-contact hours.

Does EMDR and Play Therapy work for children and young people experiencing ADHD and Autism? The answer is yes. Those who are neurodivergent can experience the full beauty of EMDR and Play Therapy. And no, EMDR and Play Therapy absolutely does not “cure” ADHD and Autism. But then again, are ADHD and Autism the actual reasons people come into play therapy? Not in my experience. Typically, they come into play therapy due to the distress surrounding the diagnoses. EMDR and Play Therapy is
an incredible tool to treat this distress! EMDR and Play Therapy works excellently with individuals experiencing both ADHD and Autism spectrum disorders. As EMDR Play Therapists, we can provide specific resourcing and targeting that allow relief for individuals experiencing neurodivergence and dysregulation. Not only does this make their caregivers and teachers happy, but also, and more importantly, it enriches the lives of our clients.




Learning Objectives:

  1. Demonstrate two Phase 2 resources to use in play therapy with children and teens experiencing neurodivergence
  2. Describe five forms of dual attention stimuli to use in play therapy with children and teens experiencing neurodivergence
  3. Discuss how to identify EMDR targets with individuals experiencing neurodivergence and how to use the EMDR standard protocol with clients experiencing high energy in play therapy
  4. List the 8 phases of EMDR and discuss how they interact with the phases of Child Centered Play Therapy
  5. Discuss how to account for and adapt to sensory issues while using EMDR and Play Therapy with clients
  6. Discuss how to use a strengths-based approach when discussing neurodiversity with caregivers, teachers, and the community to advocate for our play therapy clients

Journal Article

  1. sing_in_Child_and_Adolescent_Psychology_a_Narrative_Review

How to Get the Journal Article:

**Additional $17.95 purchase of APA PsycNet journal article is required for non-APT members. If you are an existing APT member, please see below for instructions on how to access the journal article.**

To access the journal article:

APT members can access current and past journal articles via the American Psychological Association website. 

  1. Visit the APA website:
  2. Request your password by clicking “Forgot your password or email/username?” and entering the email address APT has on file for you. 
  3. Then create a new password.  
  4. Once logged in to the APA website, you can use the link provided in the training to access the article.
  5. Read the article and complete the quiz.

Non-APT members can purchase the journal article on this website:

  1. Click the link provided in the training to access the article.
  2. Click “Get Access on the APA website.”
  3. Purchase PDF.
  4. Read the article and complete the quiz.


Nik Johnson

LPC, RPT, EMDR Consultant

Nik has been a private practice counselor at the Center for Counseling and Family Relationships since 2017. He works with children (aged 4+), adolescents, and adults, specializing in complex trauma, dissociative disorders, and play therapy. Previously Nik worked at an agency in Missouri providing play therapy to children in the foster care system. He offers continuing education to professionals, especially within the topics of working with developmental trauma, dissociative disorders, and play therapy.