If you are a mental health professional looking to level up your current practice, EMDR training can help you help your clients better.
Also known as eye movement desensitization and reprocessing training, this transformative technique may even decrease the time necessary for treatment. In other words, it can help your clients faster and more effectively.
Yet, perhaps you have only just begun your search regarding EMDR training. You are not entirely sure where to start, and you also want to know more. Luckily, you have come to the right place.
In this article, you will learn:
- How EMDR therapy works
- What EMDR can help with
- How to become EMDR trained and certified
- The best EMDR trainings in 2021
What is EMDR Therapy and How Does It Work?
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychotherapy technique where the therapist directs the client’s eye movements as they relive and talk about traumatic experiences.
This type of therapy allows the individual to discuss their experience while their attention is diverted to their eye movements.
This diversion of their attention creates a less emotional and less distressing recollection of events. With further EMDR sessions, the psychological impact of these triggering events lessens due to this diversion.
This means that the person is eventually able to go about their life without these traumatic memories hindering their activities.
For example, traumatic memories recurring from a car crash or an assault are stored in your long-term memory. This means that it can bother you for a long time afterwards.
The disturbing memory continues to emerge unintentionally as you go about your life. This is especially true when you feel certain emotions associated with the traumatic event.
EMDR helps you get rid of these feelings and thoughts by first activating the memory. This brings the memory to your short-term memory, or the “working” memory.
As you focus on this event, an EMDR therapist has you follow their fingers back and forth with your eyes. By doing so, the working memory processes a lot of information all at once.
As your mind is not able to fully focus on the painful memory, eventually the memory loses its emotional charge.
This makes it easier to start thinking differently about the traumatic event. Consequently, you feel less anxious, less depressed, and less powerless because of this.
EMDR therapy uses
Research has shown EMDR to be one of the most effective therapy techniques when it comes to treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Even more so than exposure therapy.
EMDR therapy doesn’t only help those with PTSD. Researchers have also indicated its efficacy in treating depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and other disorders with trauma-associated symptoms.
How long does it take for EMDR to work?
Typically, most individuals need an average of 12 sessions. Yet, this will vary from individual to individual. For some, it may take more sessions, and for others, it may take fewer sessions.
Training in EMDR Therapy
The EMDRIA, the EMDR International Association, sets the global standards for practicing EMDR. On their website, they have a variety of accredited EMDR trainings.
It is likely in your best interest to take a training that is approved by the EMDRIA to ensure you are enrolled in a course that has been recognized and that is up to a high standard.
The EMDRIA then supplies you with an EMDR International Association Therapist Certificate.
However, note that you can become certified in EMDR without the EMDRIA approval. There are various organizations that offer their own certification and regulations.
EMDRIA helps you stay connected with all EMDR-related news. It also provides an avenue for maintaining a proper code of ethics and for continued EMDR training, if needed.
How much does EMDR training cost?
Most EMDR training costs about $1500.
For in-person courses, you have up to two years to complete your full EMDR training. However, for virtual courses, you have nine months to complete your full EMDR training.
To enroll in EMDR training, you must be a licensed mental health professional, such as a doctor, registered nurse, or a qualified mental health clinician (a counselor, psychologist, psychotherapist, or social worker).
The average person can not enroll in EMDR training. However, anyone can learn more about EMDR through various Udemy courses online.
How To Become EMDR Certified
By now, you may be wondering, “How do I get EMDR certified?”
While you do not have to become certified, it can help address management of care concerns and ensure best practices are followed. Certification can also make you more trustworthy in the eyes of potential clients.
To become an EMDR International Association (EMDRIA) Certified Therapist, an individual must meet the EMDR certification requirements:
- Be a fully licensed mental health professional
- Have a minimum of two years of clinical experience
- Complete an EMDRIA approved training course
- Complete 50 EMDR clinical sessions
- Have done 20 hours EMDR consultation with an EMDRIA approved consultant
Based on this information, “How long does it take to be certified in EMDR?”-—you might ask.
It can take you from six months to two years.
To maintain this certificate with EMDRIA, a person must also participate and complete at least 12 hours of additional EMDR training every two years.
However, again, certification is not necessary. Once you have the basic training, you are considered an EMDR-trained clinician.
The Six Best EMDR Trainings in 2021
So, where should you take your EMDR training?
The following EMDR therapy trainings are EMDRIA approved. This ensures you are on the right track toward your certification and following proper ethics.
The only training on this list not approved by the EMDRIA is the EMDR Institute training. However, they do offer their own certification.
Traditionally, many of the online options here have in-person options. Yet, due to COVID, they have switched to online formats.
1. The EMDR Institute Training
In 1990, the EMDR Institute was founded by Francine Shapiro, Ph.D., who developed EMDR therapy. Francine developed this technique in 1987.
She discovered, when walking through a park, that rapid eye movements decreased negative emotions associated with her distressing memories. Upon experimenting with others, she found it worked for a broad spectrum of people, and she also added additional techniques to ensure its effectiveness.
The EMDR Institute offers a two-week intensive course for learning EMDR. Each weekend consists of 20 hours, including 10 hours of didactic and 10 hours of supervised practice.
In order to receive certification after completing this course, you must also complete 10 hours of case consultation with an EMDR Institute approved consultant. A list of these consultants are provided at the training.
2. Sonoma Psychotherapy Training Institute
The Sonoma Psychotherapy Training Institute is run by the director, Dr. Andrew M. Leeds, a Californian licensed psychologist and therapist.
With over 35 years of experience, Dr. Leeds is also an EMDRIA approved consultant and instructor. He has trained over 13,000 clinicians across the United States, France, Japan, England, and Canada.
This institute offers a four-part training schedule for an EMDR training program that spans across a 12-week period. This allows time in between each module for trainees to practice their new skills and review the course readings.
Each of the four training blocks takes place over one weekend. On average, each day includes about seven hours of consultations, lectures, and practice.
Generally, each training begins at the onset of a new season, such as the spring or fall. You also need to purchase the required readings and ensure you complete the readings during your training.
3. EMDR & Training
Location: New York & Online
William M. Zangwill, Ph.D. and team run EMDRIA approved trainings in New York. William M. Zangwill has over 20 years of experience with EMDR and training others on EMDR. Due to COVID, currently, they are only offering online trainings.
These virtual trainings consist of two parts. Each part includes four sessions that are held over four days. Part one introduces EMDR, whereas part two goes more in-depth.
After completing these two parts, an individual must complete 10 hours of group consultation, which costs an additional $325-450. This is necessary for certification through the EMDRIA.
4. Rewrite Your Story Counseling EMDR Training
Location: Online from Texas
Rewrite Your Story Counseling offers an approved EMDRIA training out of Texas. Currently, it is only offered via Zoom (online). All trainings are run by Carolyn Burleson, a licensed and certified psychotherapist.
The training consists of three weekends and two consultations. Participants must complete and participate in all the training dates to be eligible for certification with the EMDRIA.
Each participant also receives a handbook to use throughout the course. However, the required reading texts must be purchased separately.
5. Personal Transformational Institute EMDR Training
Cost: Basics—$1549 (Advanced—$1999)
Offering EMDR training for over five years, the Personal Transformational Institute provides EMDR training online through a six-day basic training course. This is the beginning of your certification process, as well as an advanced certification package.
The basic training course introduces you to EMDR. It shows you how to perform it, and demonstrates how it works. The advanced package involves the 20 hours of consultation required to become certified with the EMDRIA.
Each participant also gets access to all the videos in their training sessions for up to a year after the time of purchase.
6. Connect Training & Consulting EMDR Training
Connect Training & Consulting is run by five mental health professionals in Florida. They have decades of experience in therapy and EMDR.
EMDR training is conducted by Reg Morrow Robinson and Claire Mauer. They are both certified EMDR therapists.
Their training runs across two three-day weekends. It includes 20 hours of lectures, 20 hours of small group practicum, 10 hours of consultation, and 20 CEs (continuing education credits) issued per weekend.
Is EMDR Right for You?
Becoming certified in EMDR is very rewarding. It can also take time, money, and work, especially if you are not already a practicing mental health practitioner. However, there are other options.
Rapid Transformational Therapy® (RTT®) combines hypnotherapy, neuro-linguistic programming, cognitive behavioral therapy, and neuroscience to dive deep into the subconscious mind and effectively remove any mental blocks.
This technique has helped countless individuals overcome past trauma and move forward into a brighter and better future.
Created by Marisa Peer, a therapist with over 30 years of experience, RTT® is one of the most effective therapy methods. RTT® can help individuals overcome phobias, addictions, chronic pain, self-esteem issues, insomnia, and more.
RTT® as a Career
With RTT®, you can add a whole new powerful modality and technique to your toolkit that will allow you to help others effectively. You can also achieve financial and career freedom by starting your own RTT® therapy practice.
The RTT® therapy field continues to expand, and shows time and time again how effective this form of therapy is.
To learn more about RTT®, download the RTT® course prospectus. Dive into the world of RTT® and begin helping others to the best of your ability.