Community Spotlight

EMDR Therapy Training Committee

The EMDR Therapy Training Committee is charged with maintaining/updating ISSTD’s EMDR Therapy Training course, as well as developing new, advanced material. It is also responsible for developing, presenting, and/or coordinating periodic webinars and conference workshops on the specialized use of EMDR therapy with persons with complex trauma and dissociative symptoms.

For those not yet familiar with ISSTD’s EMDR Therapy Training, it consists of four modules and a total of 81 hours that combine didactic, practicum, seminar-style, and group consultation learning formats. The training teaches the responsible application of EMDR therapy in its Standard Protocol form by helping learners become attuned to the presence and forms of simple trauma, complex trauma, and dissociation. Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, participants will learn how to discern when (and how), at this stage in their learning, they can safely use the standard EMDR therapy protocol and procedures to resolve a person’s presenting issues.

What that means is that we teach the foundational elements of EMDR in a more nuanced fashion than is typically the norm, and stress repeatedly, throughout the training, that advanced study, training, knowledge, and experience in treating dissociative disorders, using complementary methods with EMDR therapy as an adjunctive approach is essential to treat persons with complex trauma histories. This approach is in line with, and complementary to, ISSTD’s guidelines for treating adults with DID/dissociative disorders.

The training course, as developed, focuses on the needs of new learners who have never participated in EMDR therapy training of any kind, and combines both in-person and live, webinar-based learning. The course is taught by ISSTD Fellows and EMDRIA Approved Consultant/Trainers Jennifer Madere, LPC-S, Jillian (Jill) Hosey, MSW, RSW, and myself. The practicum and interwoven consultation sessions are facilitated by a slightly larger grouping of professionals, all ISSTD members, either online or in-person.

Since our last ISSTD News update, the committee has collaborated with the newly-formed ISSTD EMDR SIG to create a full-day EMDR therapy webinar, entitled, “Beyond the Basics of EMDR: Applications in Working with Dissociation in Different Populations” being offered on June 24th, 2022 (

Many thanks to EMDR SIG leadership Adithy, Liz Chalenburg, Abigail Percifield, and Jill Hosey, the latter of whom serves as the primary conduit for connections between our committee and the SIG, for making this webinar happen.

As of this writing, we are putting the final touches on updates to the presentation slides for Module IV of the 2021-2022 course, which takes place in early-June. The training committee is also in the process of finalizing syllabus updates for the 2022-2023 iteration of the basic training course. We will also continue to develop closer ties with the EMDR SIG to foster continued learning and critical thought about, and perhaps, one day, formal research into the safe and effective use of EMDR therapy in the treatment of complex trauma and dissociation. With the call for proposals now open for the 2022 ISSTD Virtual Conference, training committee co-chair Jennifer Madere has generously offered to serve as a resource to EMDR SIG members who are interested to submit a proposal, but may be less experienced in developing abstracts, etc. The committee and the SIG really seem to be forging a solid, fruitful relationship. These are exciting times!

The Committee is still in need of an EMDR-trained student or emerging professional who can join the committee to contribute to the further evolution of the training materials and, more specifically, keep a finger on the pulse of current EMDR therapy research and even author annotated bibliographies for use by the committee, the public, and potentially other committees that could benefit. (If reading this excites you, you’ve got your certificate of completion for an EMDRIA-approved EMDR therapy training, and you’re a student or emerging professional member of ISSTD, then please contact me at

The next run of the EMDR Therapy Training course, which runs from September 2022 through June 2023, plans to host its in-person modules (November 2022 and March 2023) in Louisville, Kentucky, USA, with concurrent, real-time virtual learning available for those for whom travel is not an option. Registration will open soon, with enrollment limited to 18 participants. For further details, including the draft schedule, syllabus, and (soon-to-be) registration information, please direct your web browser to: