Abrupt personality changes, sudden onset of disruptive behaviors, or OCD symptoms. EMDR can play an important role in a comprehensive treatment plan when your child is diagnosed with PANS/PANDAS.

EMDR Canada Conference 2023

Resetting the Immune System

The Brain, the Body, and Trauma: Integration with EMDR Therapy
EMDR Canada 2023

The immune system and the nervous system work in similar ways and they can share information with each other. Both the nervous system and the immune system have memory networks.

I’ve seen amazing results with my protocol developed into a combination of these concepts:

  • Adaptive Information Processing (Francine Shapiro)
  • The 7 Primary Emotional Systems Theory, (Jaak Panksepp)
  • Katie O’Shea and Sandra Paulson Where There Are No Words
  • The Textbook of Immunopsychiatry by Khandaker, G., Harrison N., Bullmore, E. and Dantzer.

Traditionally, PANS/PANDAS is treated with a combination of medication, CBT, and Exposure therapy.  However, I have found there is often a history of trauma associated with the initial onset of symptoms.

A child can be incorrectly diagnosed and in turn end up with a series of negative experiences with physicians and medications. Resulting in thoughts and feelings of being broken, defective, or out of control of his/her brain and body.

EMDR therapy addresses trauma, OCD, and other symptoms of PANS/PANDAS. I have many success stories working with experts to coordinate a treatment plan for children and families to overcome PANS/PANDA.

If your child has been diagnosed with PANS/PANDAS and you would like to discuss how EMDR therapy can help, contact me to schedule a brief consultation.


Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome

PANS is when an infectious activation, environmental factors, and other possible triggers create a misdirected immune response results in inflammation on a child’s brain. In turn, the child quickly begins to exhibit life changing symptoms such as OCD, severe restrictive eating,  anxiety, tics, personality changes, decline in math and handwriting abilities, sensory sensitivities, and more.


Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections

PANDAS happens when the strep bacteria activates a misguided immune response and causes in inflammation in a child’s brain. The child quickly begins to exhibit life changing symptoms such as aggressive behaviors, severe, often debilitating anxiety, mood changes, OCD symptoms, personality changes, a rapid change and decline in math and handwriting abilities, sensory sensitivities, restrictive eating, and more.

Often with PANS/PANDAS, there is a sudden change in your child’s demeanor including becoming more aggressive, irritable, or moody despite little change in their daily routine, often after a bout with the flu, ear infections, or strep throat.

OCD consists of many types of obsessions & compulsions

Listed below are a few OCD symptoms provided by the PANDAS Physician Network. Many people believe that Obsessive Compulsive Disorder symptoms are limited to repetitive hand washing, checking if they turned off the computer, locked the doors, etc.,  or repeatedly turning the lights off and on. There are many more behaviors considered OCD.

  • Contamination obsessions
  • Religious or sexual obsessions
  • Aggressive thoughts to harm themself or others
  • Placing objects in a particular order or alignment
  • Ordering, counting, or arranging compulsions
  • Need to touch, tap, or rub
  • Intrusive images, words, music, or noise
  • Urgent need to tell, ask, or confess something
  • Colors, numbers, or words with special significance
  • Ritualized eating habits