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EMDR Trained vs. EMDR Certified: Understanding the Difference

Updated: Feb 8

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If you're exploring EMDR therapy, you might have come across terms like "EMDR Trained" and "EMDR Certified." While they might sound similar, there's a significant difference between the two. Let's break it down and clarify what each means in your journey towards finding the right EMDR therapist.

EMDR Trained: Building the Foundation

When someone is EMDR Trained, it means they've completed the basic training in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy. This training equips clinicians with the fundamental knowledge and skills required to practice EMDR effectively.

Here's what the basic EMDR training covers:

  • Comprehensive Understanding: It starts with a deep dive into the history and overview of EMDR therapy. Trainees learn about the Adaptive Information Processing (AIP) model, methodology, and underlying mechanisms.

  • Practical Experience: Trainees get hands-on experience through practicum sessions, where they practice EMDR skills in dyads or triads.

  • Consultation: This part provides a platform for trainees to receive feedback and refine their skills in integrating EMDR into clinical practice.

This basic training is a crucial foundation for therapists looking to use EMDR therapy in their work.

EMDR Certified: Going the Extra Mile

EMDR Certified therapists have gone beyond basic training. Certification in EMDR signifies a commitment to excellence and a deeper level of expertise. To become EMDR Certified, therapists must meet specific requirements:

  • Completion of EMDRIA Approved Training: They start with the basic EMDR training but don't stop there.

  • Continued Education: Certified therapists must earn at least 12 EMDRIA continued education credits every two years to stay certified.

  • Full Licensure: They must be fully licensed to practice independently as a mental health professional in their respective state or province.

  • Experience: Certified therapists should have at least 2 years of experience in their field of licensure and have conducted a minimum of 50 EMDR sessions with at least 25 clients.

  • Consultation: They need 20 hours of consultation from an EMDR consultant, which can be a combination of individual and small group consultation.

  • Recommendations: Certified therapists must provide at least two letters of recommendation from peers or colleagues (who aren't EMDR consultants) regarding their professional practice, ethics, and character.

When you choose an EMDR Certified therapist, you're opting for a higher level of expertise and commitment in the field of EMDR therapy.

Finding Your EMDR Therapist: Where to Start

If you're ready to explore EMDR therapy, finding the right therapist is crucial. You can use resources like Psychology Today to filter for EMDR therapists. For those specifically seeking certified therapists, EMDRIA offers a directory where you can search for "EMDR Certified Therapists."

Remember, whether you choose a trained or certified EMDR therapist, what truly matters is finding the right fit for your healing journey. Each therapist brings their unique qualities and dedication to helping you navigate the path towards healing and resilience.

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