Eye Movement Desensitization Programming is a technique that incorporates elements of cognitive-behavioural therapy with bi-lateral eye movements or other forms of rhythmic, left-right stimulation. One of the key elements of EMDR is “dual stimulation”. During treatment, you are asked to think or talk about memories, triggers and painful emotions while simultaneously focusing on your therapists finger.
In a typical EMDR therapy session, the client will focus on traumatic memories and associated negative emotions and beliefs while tracking your therapists moving finger with your eyes as it moves back and forth across your field of vision.
Eligibility for EMDR training is quite strict, according to the EMDR International Association is restricted to Licensed Mental Health Professionals to practice in their state or province:
- Qualifying Medical Doctors with a medical specialty in Psychiatry
- Qualifying Nurses must have a Master of Science in Nursing (or higher) with a specialization in psychiatric nursing
- Qualifying Mental Health Clinicians must have a Master’s or Doctoral degree in the mental health field (Counseling, Marriage Family Therapy, Psychology, Psychotherapy, Psychiatry, Social Work) or related mental health discipline considered appropriate by EMDRIA
- Mental Health Clinicians who have a Master’s degree in one of the following fields may be asked to submit their graduate transcript to EMDRIA to determine their eligibility: Art Therapy, Christian/Pastoral Counseling, Drug/Alcohol Counseling, and Music Therapy.
Andrew Reay is an EMDR Association of Australia member and trained under Graham Taylor. You can click here and access the EMDR Association of Australia.