How to Become a Certified EMDR Therapist


How to Become a Certified EMDR Therapist

The innate desire to help people is a wonderful trait. Becoming a therapist takes compassion, patience, and determination—with extremely gratifying results, knowing you have truly helped someone in their mental health journey.

You may want to stay current or expand upon your professional expertise through continuing education (CE). You may want to learn how to help people deal with trauma or wish to explore which area of mental health you’d like to specialize in. That’s where we come in. Here at PESI, we provide a multitude of online courses for therapists. Our courses provide education about treating people with a number of mental health conditions ranging from anxiety and addiction to panic disorders and PTSD.

One of the most effective treatments for PTSD and trauma-related disorders is called eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). It’s helpful to understand exactly what a therapist’s role in EMDR therapy is.

What Does A Therapist Do In EMDR?

As a certified EMDR therapist, your main role in providing treatment for trauma-related conditions is the practice of bilateral stimulation. This technique is used while the client talks through their trauma. It engages both the left and right side of the brain simultaneously, allowing the client to make new connections and process traumatic memories. Bilateral stimulation involves distraction techniques that may include:

  • The client conducting body scans
  • The client following a dot on a screen with their eyes
  • The client following your finger with their eyes while talking through their trauma

EMDR therapy typically follows an eight-part process over 12 weeks or so. The eight stages the therapist would cover during this time frame are:

  1. History taking
  2. Client preparation
  3. Assessment
  4. Desensitization
  5. Installation
  6. Body scan
  7. Closure
  8. Reevaluation of treatment

Learn about the eight phases of EMDR therapy in more detail, as well as how EMDR therapy works, from our detailed guide on what EMDR therapy is.

Criteria for Becoming an EMDR Certified Therapist

To become an Evergreen Certified EMDR Clinician (EMDR-C), you must meet the following criteria:

  • License: You must have a valid license, certification, or registration to practice as a mental health professional.
  • Training: You must complete 42 continuing education hours, including 18 hours specific to trauma topics, 18 hours specific to EMDR topics, and 6 clinical practice hours.
  • Consultation: At least 10 hours of EMDR-focused case review consultation sessions with an Evergreen Certifications Approved Consultant.
  • Experience: You will need to have an Evergreen Certifications Approved Consultant review at least 1 client session by video submission, having the consultant present for live observation of an EMDR session, or reviewing a transcript of an EMDR session with the consultant.
  • Reading: You will need to read at least two different practitioner books on the practice of EMDR Therapy.
  • Application: When all of the above criteria have been completed, please apply for certification at

It’s important to note that your EMDR-C certification must be renewed every two years. A 2 year renewal requires 12 hours of continuing education in the latest clinical information and research data related to EMDR.

List of EMDR Therapy Courses Available

Here at PESI, we provide a multitude of courses for various specialties of EMDR. For example, a certified EMDR therapist could specialize in the fear of public speaking or use EMDR as an integrative trauma technique. Some of the EMDR therapy courses we have available to aspiring EMDR certified therapists include:

For more information and support on EMDR training, browse our full list of EMDR therapy courses online today.

EMDR Resources and Support

The list below showcases a variety of blogs and informative videos which can help support you as an EMDR certified therapist:

For more information and advice on how to get trained in EMDR or for our range of EMDR certified therapy courses online, speak to a member of our expert team today.

Topic: Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR)

Tags: How To | Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) | Therapy Tools | Trauma | Trauma Treatment

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