It can feel really confusing when trying to find a therapist to work with, Click here to read my blog post about why you might want to see a therapist. It’s confusing to understand the training pathway and understand the different levels of training and experience that a therapist might have. So if you want to find out more about different levels of clinicians practicing EMDR and the structure around qualifying in EMDR, please do read on.
Mental Health Practitioners
Everyone who trains in EMDR therapy needs to have a core qualification in mental health. This can include mental health professionals such as Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Mental Health nurses, Counsellors, Psychotherapists. There is therefore a high level of training, skill and knowledge in people, even before they begin their EMDR training.
When all parts of the standard EMDR training have been completed therapist are an EMDR therapist. This means that as a basic they have completed training and worked with a minimum of 3 clients using EMDR. Often they have worked with a lot more than 3!
EMDR Accredited Practitioner
EMDR Accredited Practitioners have developed core competencies in EMDR. They have engaged in EMDR Consultation with an EMDR Consultant for at least 20 hours. Practitioners have seen at least 25 people. They have completed a minimum of 50 hours of EMDR treatment. They have a sound understanding of EMDR as a treatment model. Knowing how to work when clients are stuck and how to apply the model to different presenting problems.
It is difficult because many Clinicians will have this level of skill and experience but have chosen not to go down the Accreditation route. However if they are Accredited we know for sure that their work has been overseen by an EMDR Consultant and it meets the criteria set on by EMDR Europe or EMDRIA.
EMDR Accredited Practitioners can continue with their EMDR development to become EMDR Consultants. So on top of the criteria reached for Accredited Practitioners, they also have worked with a further minimum of 75 clients providing EMDR, completed a minimum of 400 hours of EMDR practice.
EMDR Consultants have also undertaken a minimum of 24 hours of EMDR Continuing Professional Development and attended further training in EMDR.
They also have to have some experience of supervising other EMDR therapists.
When you have been an EMDR Consultant for 2 years you can train to be an EMDR Facilitator. EMDR Facilitators support Europe Accredited trainings and help other therapists to train in EMDR. They provide supervision and run small group exercises during the trainings. They are trained by the trainers by initially observing the trainer completing this role, then they themselves are observed completing the role by the trainer until they have developed competence in this.
Being an EMDR Trainer is the highest standard that can be awarded. Trainers have to have been facilitators on a minimum of 5 training courses. They have to have been mentored as a trainee trainer by a senior EMDR Europe trainer.
It is a hierarchical system which creates a differing of opinion amongst Clinicians but if a Therapist is at a certain level we can be assured that they have had to demonstrate their skill and competence to be in that position and personally I personally find that quite containing.
Click here to access the EMDR association where you can find a list of therapists with competence in EMDR.