Play Therapy-Supported EMDR for Children

General Information

Presenters: Annie Monaco, LCSW, RPT & Ann Beckley-Forest, LCSW, RPT-S

Dates: Monday-Tuesday March 20-21, 2023

Fee Full 2-Day Training $625. Earlybird discount (until February 1). Regular $750. Includes full technical support (for online attendees), lunch and snacks (for live attendees), handouts, and CE credits/APT credits. The training will be recorded. All participants will have access to recordings for 90 Days.Special rate for groups and agencies--please reach out for details (

Non-EMDR therapists are welcome to attend Day 1 only: Please contacts us for details.

Venue: Brooklyn, New York (Best Western Gregory Hotel) OR Online Webinar

Play Therapy-Supported EMDR for Children


When child and adolescent therapists complete training in EMDR therapy, they sometimes find it challenging to integrate EMDR into their current work and are often looking for ways to deliver the 8 phase EMDR protocol in more developmentally sensitive ways. This workshop will help clinicians integrate play therapy principles with EMDR for children to increase the confidence of the clinician and make EMDR therapy possible in a child friendly setting. Children learn best through the tactile/kinesthetic or full body learning of play, thus making the integration of play therapy and EMDR therapy an important component of effective treatment for traumatized children. We will master a variety of preparation phase interventions and explore how to invite children into re-processing phase in the context of their play. We will expose participants to titration of trauma content in using EMDR with play-based trauma narratives using some video examples and discussion. We will demonstrate how to  respect the child’s movement towards and away from the trauma content using storytelling, especially children with more complex trauma and attachment wounds. Case examples will illustrate how to integrate parents into this work.


Ann Beckley-Forest, LCSW, 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.   She provides consultation in person and remotely, and gives trainings 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 Monaco, LCSW, 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 and agency and therapist 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 a Director of Restorative Justice programs at a non- profit agency where she oversaw juvenile and adult offender programs for over 10 years.  Presently her private practice includes primarily 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.

Play Therapy-Supported EMDR for Children


  1. 1. List 8 essential considerations in integrating the therapeutic powers of play therapy with EMDR for children.
  2. 2. Apply a play therapy supported scripted technique for obtaining a trauma history from the child in a developmentally sensitive way during phase one
  3. 3. Demonstrate a play therapy intervention to install and enhance positive beliefs and resources during phase two to make the client stronger.
  4. 4. Select materials and activities to prepare children for the EMDR protocol and notice their own body sensations during play therapy sessions.
  5. 5. Explain 2 ways of inviting and guiding play narratives that titrate the approach to traumatic material during assessment, desensitization and reprocessing phases.
  6. 6. Identify 5 prescriptive play therapy activities to promote self-regulation throughout EMDR preparation and processing.
  7. 7. Integrate dyadic attachment repair play involving caregivers with the EMDR protocol
  8. 8. Utilize a scripted parent interview and reporting form to closely involve parents and caregivers in both the closure and re-evaluation phases of playful EMDR.
  9. 9. Describe the EMDR storytelling approach, and how stories in the play therapy setting can support trauma processing.
  10. 10. Utilize a case formulation process apply best practices in the EMDR and play therpay integrated approach to a current case.

Application Deadline: March 19, 2023, or until all training spaces are filled, whichever comes first.
Notification of Acceptance: Applicants will be notified, via email, of acceptance when registration is complete, and payment is received.
Refund/Cancellation Policy: Tuition/registration payments are refundable (minus $35) until February 15, 2023. Cancellations after this date are non-refundable. In this situation, we will attempt to find someone to take your slot (based on our waiting list).
Course level: Intermediate
Level of clinician: Intermediate
Accessibility: Conference is handicap accessible. If you require ADA accommodations, please contact our office 30 days or more before the event. We cannot ensure accommodations without adequate prior notification

The Grievance Policy for trainings provided by NEFESH INTERNATIONAL is available here. Please Note: Licensing Boards change regulations often, and while we attempt to stay abreast of their most recent changes, if you have questions or concerns about this course meeting your specific board’s approval, we recommend you contact your board directly to obtain a ruling.

CE Information

Continuing Education Credit is granted through Nefesh International for the following professions: Psychologists, Social workers, Mental Health Counselors, and LMFTs. It is the participant’s responsibility to check with their individual state boards to verify CE requirements for their state.

NEFESH International, Inc. is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Psychology as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed psychologists #PSY-0116.

NEFESH International is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed marriage and family therapists #MFT-0046

NEFESH International is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for Mental Health Counselor #MHC-0082

NEFESH International is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0048.

This program is co-sponsored by NEFESH International and Neuhoff Psychological Consulting . NEFESH International is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. NEFESH International, maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Ann Beckley-Forest is Association for Play Therapy Approved Provider #15-406 
The content of this workshop covers play therapy skills and methods and special topics.
For in person participants: 12 contact CEs
For virtual/on-demand  participants: 12 non-contact CEs awarded after completion of a post-test.
Play therapy credit will not be awarded to non-mental health professionals.

Satisfactory Completion:

Participants must have paid the tuition fee, signed in/logged in and out each day, attended the entire workshop/webinar, and completed an evaluation to receive a certificate. Failure to log in or out will result in forfeiture of credit for the entire course. No exceptions will be made. Partial credit is not available. Certificates are available electronically after satisfactory course completion. A link will be provided for those who have completed the training.


*Banbury, N. M. (2016). Case study: Play therapy and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing for pediatric single incident posttraumatic stress disorder and developmental regression. International Journal of Play Therapy, 25(3), 166.

Beckley-Forest, A., & Monaco, A., Eds. (2020). EMDR with Children in the Play Therapy Room: An Integrated Approach. New York: Springer.

*Fleming, J. (2012). The effectiveness of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing in the Treatment of Traumatized Children and Youth.  Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, Volume 6, Number 1.

Gomez, A. (2013) EMDR therapy and adjunct approaches with children. New York: Springer Publishing.

Lovett, J. (2014). Trauma Attachment Tangle New York: Routledge.

Marks, R. P. (2017). When play therapy is not enough: Using eye movement desensitization and reprocessing/bilateral stimulation in combination with play therapy for the child with complex trauma. In A. Hendry & J. Hasler (Eds.), Creative therapies for complex trauma: Helping children and families in foster care, kinship care or adoption (pp. 164-180). London, UK: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

*Moreno-Alcazar, A., Treen, D., Valiente-Gomez, A., Sio-Erlos, A., Perez, V., Amann, B.L. & Radua, J. (2017). Efficacy of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing in children and adolescents with post-traumatic stress disorder: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Frontiers in Psychology, 8(1750), 1-10. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01750

*Parker, M. M., Hergenrather, K., Smelser, Q., & Kelly, C. T. (2021). Exploring child-centered play therapy and trauma: A systematic review of literature. International Journal of Play Therapy, 30(1), 2–13.

*Swimm, L. (2018) EMDR Intervention for a 17-month-old child to treat attachment trauma: Clinical case presentation. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 12(4),269 –279.

*Swinden, C. (2018) The Child-centered EMDR approach: A case study investigating a young girl’s treatment for sexual abuse. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 12(4), 282-295.

*Turner, R. (2020). Playing through the unimaginable: Play therapy for traumatic loss. International Journal of Play Therapy, 29(2), 96–103.

Play Therapy-Supported EMDR for Children


Day 1: Monday, March 20,2023 
9:00 – 10:30 a.m.

Play Therapy and AIP theoretical and practical integration for EMDR

Lecture, case examples, small groups

10:30 – 10:45 a.m.Break
10:45 – 12:15 p.m.

Trauma History and Containment

Attachment  Wounds– What didn’t happen?

PowerPoint, Video clips Demonstrations, Practice interventions

12:15 – 1:15 p.m.Lunch
1:15 – 2:45 p.m.

Preparation Phase in the Play Therapy room: RDI and window of tolerance activities

Demonstration, videos, practice interventions

2:45 – 3:00 p.m.Break
3:00 – 4:30 p.m.

Preparing the tools for playful EMDR Assessment phase

Case examples, video, hands-on activities, case formulation worksheet

Day 2: Tuesday, March 21, 2023 
9:00 – 10:30 a.m.

Bridges from post-traumatic play to processing & using play to support EMDR processing

Lecture, case examples, video clips

10:30 – 10:45 a.m.Break
10:45 – 12:15 p.m.

Titrated Processing

& including caregivers in processing

Closure & Reevaluation phases

Case video demonstration, practice and video clips

12:15 – 1:15 p.m.Lunch
1:15 – 2:45 p.m.

Complex cases : attachment wounds as targets for processing

Lecture, discussion questions

Dissociative Strategies – “stick a toe into EMDR”

2:45 – 3:00 p.m.Break
3:00 – 4:30 p.m.

Storytelling in EMDR processing

Processing case examples


Lecture, case examples, small group practice

Play Therapy-Supported EMDR for Children