Master Class: Combining EMDR and Theraplay (July 11-12, 2020)

July 11-12, 2020

Glenda Villamarin and Ana Gomez

Hilton Orrington Hotel
Evanston, IL


Treating children with complex trauma is challenging. Integrating two therapies, Theraplay and EMDR, can have a synergistic effect of facilitating healing in these children. Theraplay can facilitate the child's relationship with the therapist and the parent, enhance self-esteem, attachment, and affect regulation. EMDR can directly treat the trauma itself. This training will address the benefits and intricacies of using EMDR and Theraplay, as these two powerful approaches can complement and benefit each other in the treatment of highly traumatized children. It will highlight case conceptualization and the framework in which two approaches can co-exist while honoring the heart of each. Participants will learn when and how to best integrate these two treatment models in order to give voice to both the right and left brain. This training will emphasize the importance of addressing intergenerational trauma and how Theraplay and EMDR both contribute to the healing of generations. Presenters will highlight work with parents and caregivers increasing mentalizing capacities and attunement, as well as working on moving the parent out of survival and self-preservation into co-regulation and connection. Participants will walk away with inspiration, ideas, and tools that they can implement into their work with children and families, including:

  • Strategies that will help the dissociative child reconnect with their body;
  • How to use inner-child strategies to heal the "hurt little self" during Theraplay-EMDR sessions;
  • Theraplay and EMDR strategies to access parent's unresolved trauma that blocks their capacity to "hold the child's mind in mind"

Learning Objectives

  • Cite the similarities (theories and methods) between EMDR and Theraplay
  • Describe the benefits of combining EMDR and Theraplay in the treatment of children with complex trauma
  • Identify when and how to integrate EMDR with Theraplay to increase affect regulation and affect tolerance
  • Describe how to utilize the four dimensions of Theraplay while adding a Dual Attention Stimulus (DAS) to enhance child's regulated moments
  • Exhibit ways of increasing affect tolerance while engaging in Theraplay activities in the four dimensions
  • List 2 strategies that will help the dissociative child reconnect with their body
  • Explain how to help a client access and process trauma memories using EMDR therapy supported by Theraplay strategies
  • Describe ways of using inner child strategies to heal the "hurt little self" during Theraplay-EMDR sessions
  • Analyze how to work with parents to increase mentalizing capacities using videos and incorporating EMDR strategies
  • Identify Theraplay and EMDR strategies to access parent's unresolved trauma that blocks their capacity to "hold the child's mind in mind"
  • Demonstrate ways of supporting the parent and the child to continue to deepen their bond and broaden the ways they connect after trauma processing

To download full bibliography CLICK HERE

Ana M Gómez, MC, LPC is the founder and director of the AGATE Institute in the U.S. She is an EMDR Institute, and EMDR-IBA trainer of trainers in Colombia. She is a psychotherapist, author, and an international speaker on the use of EMDR therapy with children and adolescents with complex and developmental trauma as well as generational wounds and dissociation. She has also presented on the use of play therapy, Theraplay and attachment informed treatments to heal intergenerational trauma. She has been the keynote and invited speaker at numerous conferences and workshops. She has presented in over 70 cities in 15 countries.
Ana is the author of EMDR therapy and Adjunct Approaches with Children: Complex Trauma, Attachment and Dissociation and several books, book chapters and articles on the use of EMDR therapy with children and adolescents.
She is the author of Dark, Bad Day...Go Away: A book for Children About Trauma & EMDR therapy, Stories and Storytellers: The Mind, The Heart and The Body, Let’s Have a Visit with Our Feelings: A Book for Children to Increase Affect Tolerance and Acceptance among others. Ana also developed and created The Thoughts Kit for Kids and co-authored with Dr. Francine Shapiro, an article on the use of EMDR therapy with children. Ana was the recipient of the 2011 “Distinguished Service Award” from the Arizona Play Therapy Association and the 2012 Sierra Tucson “Hope Award.”
Ana has de developed numerous intensive programs and protocols that include the “EMDR-Sandtray Protocol” and "The Systemic, EMDR- Attachment Informed Program to Heal Intergenerational Trauma & Repair the Parent-Child Attachment Bond."

Glenda Z. Villamarin, MA, LCP from Ecuador (South America). She is a feloow in the Infant-Parent Mental Health Program (IPMHP) at the University of Massachusetts - Boston (2018-2019). She is a Certified Theraplay Therapist and Trainer. She has a Masters degree in Cultural Studies from the Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar UASB-Ecuador. She has researched about Attachment and Culture with her thesis, "Consideraciones culturales sobre la práctica de la psicología: el caso de la Teoría del Apego," 2017. She is a Certified EMDR therapy therapist, approved consultant, Facilitator and Full Trainer of the Iberoamerican Team and the EMDR Institute. Glenda graduated from Iniversidad Católica del Ecuador – PUCE. She is the current director of “Serendipitá Ecuador.” She is a certified therapist Brainspotting, Consultant and trainer by the Brainspotting® Institute, conducts training in Ecuador, Columbia, Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico, Chile, and Salvador. She is a Therapeutic Psychodramatist certified by APSE (Asociación de Psicodrama y Sociometría del Ecuador), member of the Faculty (trainer in psychodrama) and former President of APSE. She works with children, adolescents and their families with various difficulties: autism spectrum, adoption, ADHD, abuse, trauma, personality disorders and violence. Glenda was co-coordinator of the III Ibero-American Congress of EMDR and Psychotrauma. Glenda has conducted EMDR therapy trainings in Ecuador, Columbia, Chile, and was the trainer in charge of Bolivia 2014-2016. Since 2006, she has taught courses in the Postgraduate programs in Health and Environmental Studies, Education and the Andean Program of Human Rights of the Universidad Andina Simón Bolivar - Écuador. Glenda can be reached at

CEs will be available


More Trainings Near You Upcoming Training - ASIA-PACIFIC Master Class: Combining EMDR and Theraplay (July 11-12, 2020)