Basic Training Overview

The EMDR Therapy Basic Training (Weekend 1 and 2) is designed for licensed mental health practitioners who treat adults and children in a clinical setting (See Qualifications Section). EMDR is a comprehensive psychotherapy that accelerates the treatment of a wide range of pathologies and self-esteem issues related to disturbing events and present life conditions. This interactional, standardized approach has been empirically tested in over 30 randomized controlled studies with trauma patients, and hundreds of published case reports evaluating a considerable range of presenting complaints, including depression, anxiety, phobias, excessive grief, somatic conditions and addictions. EMDR therapy is guided by the Adaptive Information Processing model which addresses the unprocessed memories that appear to set the basis for a wide range of dysfunction. A number of neurophysiological studies have documented the rapid post treatment EMDR effects.Participants will be required to read the textbook by Francine Shapiro, PhD, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing: Basic Principles, Protocols and Procedures Guilford Press, NY, 3rd Edition, 2018.


For Virtual Online Trainings:  Participants must complete the entire training (including 10 hours of case consultation) within 12 months from the initial start date.

It is recommended that participants allow at least 2-3 months between Weekend 1 and Weekend 2 trainings to be able to integrate EMDR therapy into their ongoing clinical practice and complete 5 hours of case consultation prior to taking a Weekend 2 training.


Learn from the training institute of Francine Shapiro, PhD, developer of EMDR therapy and founder of the EMDR Institute.  Our experienced faculty have been individually selected and trained by Dr Shapiro to provide the comprehensive information necessary for appropriate client selection and effective utilization of EMDR therapy.  EMDR therapy is a specialized approach that requires supervised training for full therapeutic effectiveness and client safety.  The training consists of lecture, live and videotaped demonstrations and supervised practice.  The EMDR Institute trainers are approved by the EMDR International Association, and the training program adheres to the ethical standards of APA, social work, nursing and mental health boards.

The EMDR Institute is the original organization established by Dr Francine Shapiro in 1990.  The curriculum is regularly updated and expanded to reflect current research and to meet the current needs of clinicians.


As an integrative psychotherapy approach, EMDR is compatible with all contemporary paradigms including, psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, experiential and systemic.


This experiential training will familiarize participants with a broad spectrum of EMDR therapy applications sufficient for comfortable and efficient use with a wide range patients and situations. Special attention will be given to the therapeutic needs of clients.


  • Supervised small group practice on each training day
  • Physiological overview of trauma and the information processing system
  • Specialized history-taking to identify relevant experiences
  • Treatment planning to address past events, current triggers and future needs
  • Stabilization, preparation and resource development interventions
  • Addressing trauma, adversity, and other disturbing life events
  • How to work with simple and complex cases
  • Applications to combat trauma and first responders
  • Applications to addictions, grief, anxiety, and emotional reactions to illness and injury
  • Applications to recent events including natural and man-made disasters
  • Applications to family and couples therapy
  • Personal use for therapist to process vicarious traumatization


10 hours of didactic + 10 hours of supervised practice

  • Name 2 websites that list research relevant to EMDR therapy
  • List 3 types of client’s presenting issues that have been successfully treated with EMDR therapy
  • Name 3 proposed mechanisms of action in EMDR therapy
  • Describe an important premise of the Adaptive Information Processing model
  • List the components of memory
  • Name the 8 phases of EMDR therapy
  • Identify the prongs of the Three-Pronged Protocol of EMDR therapy
  • Describe 3 criteria on the Client Readiness Checklist
  • Distinguish between Direct Questioning and the Floatback technique during Phase 1 History Taking and Treatment Planning
  • List the informational plateaus
  • Distinguish between state change and trait change in EMDR therapy
  • Describe one purpose for Safe/Calm State utilization
  • Identify the purpose of the Assessment Phase of EMDR therapy
  • Identify the purpose of utilizing the SUD scale and what it stands for
  • Describe when to return to target in Phase 4 Desensitization.
  • Identify the purpose of the VOC scale and what it stands for
  • Describe how to conduct the Phase 6 Body Scan
  • Describe three strategies for assisting a client to stay within the window of tolerance
  • Describe how to resume reprocessing following an incomplete target memory.
  • Describe when you would apply the Future Template


10 hours of didactic + 10 hours of supervised practice

  • Distinguish between a client’s presenting problems and underlying issues
  • Describe 3 strategies to treat complex trauma-related disorders
  • Identify 2 internal and external resources that clients need to have in place to do reprocessing
  • Describe 3 client factors that indicate the need for additional stabilization and resourcing
  • Describe the 3 different types of resources used in Resource Development and Installation
  • Distinguish between EMD, restricted reprocessing and the EMDR standard protocol
  • Identify 2 clinical situations where EMD would be appropriate as an intervention
  • Distinguish between a recent traumatic experience and developmental trauma
  • Identify when you would initially target a recent past experience versus a touchstone memory
  • Describe a process to select and prioritize targets appropriate for EMDR treatment
  • Describe how to offer a cognitive interweave when the client’s reprocessing is blocked
  • Describe 3 strategies for dealing with highly emotional responses
  • Describe 3 ways that EMDR therapy facilitates cultural responsiveness
  • Name 3 adverse cultural experiences that can contribute to maladaptive memory networks
  • Distinguish when to use memory reprocessing versus psychological first aid with grief related issues
  • Distinguish between a simple phobia and a process phobia
  • Describe 2 clinical symptoms that may indicate the presence of dissociation during a session
  • Describe 3 strategies for working with dissociative responses during reprocessing
  • Identify three clinical choices (past/present/future) for where to start reprocessing with addictions and compulsions
  • Identify one category of experiences appropriate for reprocessing with combat veterans


Certificate of Completion Requirements:

  • Completion of Weekend 1 and Weekend 2 Trainings
  • Reading the textbook, EMDR: Basic Principles, Protocols and Procedures (Shapiro 2018)
  • 10 hours of case consultation with an EMDR Institute Approved Consultant (5 hours are required prior to Weekend 2; 5 hours after Weekend 2)

PLEASE NOTE: A CE certificate for 20 credits will be issued upon completion of Weekend 1 and 20 credits upon completion of Weekend 2.

VIRTUAL TRAINING FORMAT: Participants who attend the virtual format must complete the entire training (including 10 hours of case consultation) within 12 months from the initial start date.


  • 10 hours of case consultation are required to complete the EMDR Basic Training
    (5 hours required prior to attending Weekend 2 and 5 hours post Weekend 2)
  • Consultation is about actual client cases and not experiences that occur in practicum.
  • A list of EMDR Institute Approved Consultants will be given at each training
  • Workshop fees do not include case consultation
  • Group consultation rates range $25-50/hour; individual consultation rates range $50-200/hour.  The hourly rate is set by the consultant.


A clinical background is necessary for the effective application of EMDR therapy. Attendance at the workshop is limited to all levels of social workers and mental health professionals who have a masters degree or higher in the mental health field and are licensed or certified through a state or national board which authorizes independent practice.

Canadian Registration Requirements

Minimum of a master’s degree in clinical or counseling psychology or social work. Membership in a professional association that has a written code of ethics or standards of conduct. Professional liability insurance.

Intern/Graduate Student Requirements

Completion of graduate level coursework at an accredited school and be on a licensing track under state sanctioned supervision by a licensed clinician. Please submit a current supervisor’s letter with his/her degree and license number.

• If you have questions or concerns about the course content, references or content evaluation, contact
• If you have questions or concerns about registration, facilities or course administration, contact
• Registrants’ Contact information will be shared with the EMDR International Association


Workshop Agenda Registration Session
Friday 8:00 AM - 8:30 AM 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday 8:00 AM - 8:30 AM 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday 8:00 AM - 8:30 AM 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM

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