Community Spotlight

EMDR Therapy Training Committee

Last year around this time, I shared with you that ISSTD had launched its new EMDR Therapy Training, managed by the EMDR Therapy Training Committee, and offered through the Center for Advanced Studies in Trauma and Dissociation.

The EMDR Therapy Training Committee evolved from the original training development task group. The committee was charged by the Board of Directors with maintaining/updating the 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. Rounding out the committee, along with Jennifer and me (co-chairs), Jill, and Mel, are original task group member, ISSTD Fellow, and EMDRIA Consultant-in-Training Marilyn Korzekwa, MD, and ISSTD member and EMDRIA Approved Consultant/Trainer Christine Sells, PhD.

Soon, we will be looking to round out the core group with an EMDR-trained student or emerging professional who will aid the continued 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

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 foundational EMDR therapy methods to resolve a person’s presenting issues.

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 in-person portions of the 2020-2021 training were eventually moved online, as it was safer to do so, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.) The course is taught by ISSTD Fellow and EMDRIA Approved Consultant/Trainer Jennifer Madere, LPC-S and myself, with the practicum sessions facilitated by Jennifer and me, as well as ISSTD members and EMDRIA Approved Consultants Jill Hosey, MSW, and Melody (Mel) Stiles, LCSW.

During the 2020-2021 course, we have been fortunate to train a wonderful group of first-time learners, re-learners who had previously completed an EMDR therapy training, and auditors who participated only in the didactic portions of the course. Any ‘first run’ of a training is going to provide ample opportunity to recognize what works well and what could be improved for the next time. The EMDR therapy training is no exception, and the EMDR Therapy Training Committee has been hard at work integrating our learnings into the materials for the 2021-2022 course.

The committee is concurrently in the process of identifying potential EMDR-and-dissociation relevant presentation topics for late 2021 and 2022, so if you have ideas, then please let us know.

The next EMDR Therapy Training course, which runs from September 2021 through June 2021, plans to host its in-person modules (November 2021 and March 2022) in downtown Seattle, Washington, USA. Registration is now open, and enrollment is limited to 18 participants. For further details, including the schedule, syllabus, and registration information click here.