The EMDR Basic Training Program
The EMDR practitioner’s training begins with the Basic EMDR Training program, which comprises 50 hours: 20 hours of didactic training, 20 hours of skills training and 10 hours of consultation with an EMDRAA Accredited Consultant, spread over a period of time. Knowledge and skills increase with each level. Trainees are encouraged to gain experience during initial training, but only individuals who have completed all 50 hours can be considered fully trained to conduct EMDR therapy.
Basic EMDR Training programs are approved by EMDRAA in Australia and follow the internationally recognised curriculum published by the EMDR International Association.
Participants may practise EMDR and advertise themselves as “EMDR Trained” after the completion of the first training module of 20 hours. Irrespective of presenter, shorter courses give insufficient background and practice to allow therapists to safely begin to use EMDR. Sometimes trainers may provide shorter courses to generate awareness but these shorter introductory courses do NOT meet international criteria and are not endorsed by EMDRAA as international experience has shown they do not prepare therapists adequately to conduct EMDR therapy safely. Trainees must complete the Basic Training Program described above to become a Full Member of the Association.
EMDRAA Full Membership Requirements
Full Membership status indicates a person has completed their basic training. Only once a person has gained Full Membership may they list on the EMDRAA’s Find a Therapist service.
To be eligible for full membership you must have completed 50 hours of training (20 lecture hours in person or by internet), 20 hours of face to face practice and 10 hours of consultation with an EMDRAA Accredited Consultant. While the EMDR Institute (see further details below) requires the consultation be with one of their consultants to obtain a certificate noting you have been trained by the Institute, it is not necessary for membership to EMDRAA.
EMDRAA membership is not required to practice EMDR Therapy as the practice of any therapy is not regulated or legislated by any body and is a matter of choice. The role of EMDRAA is to provide support to clinicians who have completed their training.
Accreditation as an EMDRAA Accredited Practitioner or Consultant
Upon completing Basic Training, practitioners can work towards Accreditation as an EMDRAA Accredited Practitioner through consultation on their EMDR practice. Whilst there will be a requirement to attend for consultation, accreditation is awarded based on competence in all areas of EMDR practice.
EMDRAA Consultants differ from Practitioners in that they are also accredited to provide consultation to individuals who are working towards becoming Accredited Practitioners. Those seeking accreditation as an EMDRAA consultant must be an EMDRAA Accredited Practitioner and met all the consultants’ criteria.
The EMDR International Association
EMDRAA sets the standard for EMDR Training in Australia to identify properly trained clinicians for membership to the association. Each country has its own association to approve training programs and trainers. A lot of confusion occurs because the EMDR International Association is thought to be representing EMDR internationally when, in fact, it is simply the name of the American association in the United States.
The EMDR Institute
Another area of confusion is the role of the EMDR Institute. The EMDR Institute is a private company owned by Dr Francine Shapiro which was established to conduct research and provide training. The Institute must abide by the standards of the associations in the countries where they have trainers. All present training providers in Australia (including those under the umbrella of the Institute) have met the curriculum guidelines set by EMDRAA and clinicians who have completed one of these trainings are eligible for membership of the association.