How Do I Become EMDR Certified?

A medical professional attending EMDR sessionEye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a unique, integrative psychotherapy approach adopted by mental health professionals to address causes of trauma. The EMDR International Association (EMDRIA) is a nonprofit public benefit corporation, which is the professional association for EMDR practitioners. EMDRIA is dedicated to offering high principles of quality and reliability in EMDR therapy certification.

While it is true that being certified by EMDRIA as a trained EMDR therapy clinician is not required to practice this form of therapy, certification lets the patient know that you have acquired a certain professional standard of excellence. Further, therapists opt for certification as it offers certain financial and hospital privileges, particularly in regard to reimbursements.

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EMDR Therapy Certification – Requisite Criteria

To become a certified EMDR Therapist, you must meet the following requisite criteria:

License: EMDR therapy cannot be practiced as a form of therapy by a person who doesn’t hold a valid license, certification, or registration to practice as a mental health care professional.

Experience: Individuals should have a minimum of two years’ experience in their field of licensure and should have conducted at least 50 EMDR therapy sessions with at least 25 clients. A written undertaking duly signed and notarized by a notary public is needed to verify that the individuals have completed this requirement and thereafter.

Training: Completion of the EMDRIA Training Program is a must. The minimum training requirements defined in the curriculum of the Training Program is 20 hours of instructional material, which includes the history, overview, methodology, and mechanism of EMDR Therapy. This instruction is followed by 20 hours of supervised practicum whereby the trainee receives direct behavioral observation and feedback of his or her EMDR therapy practice.

The last component of the EMDRIA Training Program is 20 hours of consultation wherein the trainees receive feedback based on real cases and not experiences that occur in the practicum.

Consultation: A total of hours of consultation by an EMDRIA approved consultant in EMDR is required. At least 10 of these hours must be obtained through individual, EMDR-focused consultation, or phone consultation in rural areas. The remaining 10 hours may be obtained through small group consultation, wherein the group size should not exceed more than 8 people at a time.

Your consultant will verify the number of consultation hours you have received from him or her, how many of those were individual consultations, and how many were group consultations. If consultation has been completed with more than one consultant, you will need a letter of recommendation from each.

Letters of Recommendation: Letters of recommendation from your consultant can be one or more than one verifying your EMDR therapy utilization with clients. The letters should also include an evaluation statement from your EMDRIA approved consultants to endorse the approval of your certification application.

You also need two other letters of recommendation from your colleagues or peers, which should include the details of your proficient use of EMDR therapy, explain your ethics in practice, and describe your professional character.

Must Adhere to EMDRIA Policies: Once you have fulfilled the above-mentioned requisites, you must agree upon maintaining a certain Professional Code of Conduct by observing professional and ethical standards of your respective clinical profession. In addition, you must agree to adhere to EMDRIA’s policy on Sexual Orientation Change Efforts.

EMDR sessionsLastly, don’t forget that EMDR certification needs a renewal every two years. During this period, EMDR certified therapists must commit to continuing their education in the field of EMDR therapy by completing 12 hours of EMDRIA Credits every two years to obtain access to the latest clinical information and research data related to EMDR.

If you are seeking to become an approved consultant in EMDR Therapy, please contact EMDR Professional Training at 949-445-6548 or You can also sign up for our mailing list to receive information about our upcoming trainings.