EMDR Institute Basic Training

Eligibility to Attend EMDR Therapy Training through Otago University. 

The EMDR Therapy Special Topic 1 is designed for licensed mental health practitioners who treat adults and children in a clinical setting. EMDR is a complex therapy requiring academic training to Postgraduate diploma level in relevant mental health fields and supervised experience in psychological therapies. To check whether you meet eligibility criteria, click here.

Basic Training Overview

The substantially updated textbook by Francine Shapiro, PhD, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy: Basic Principles, Protocols and Procedures. Guildford Press, NY, 3rd Edition, 2018 is an excellent resource.

EMDR is a comprehensive psychotherapy that accelerates the treatment of a wide range of pathologies and self-esteem issues related to disturbing events and present life conditions. The interactional, standardized approach has been empirically tested in over 44 randomized controlled studies with trauma patients, and hundreds of published case reports evaluating a considerable range of presenting complaints, including depression, anxiety, phobias, excessive grief, somatic conditions and addictions. EMDR therapy is guided by the Adaptive Information Processing model which addresses the unprocessed memories that appear to set the basis for a wide range of dysfunctions. A number of neurophysiological studies have documented the rapid post treatment EMDR effects.

Integrating EMDR with Other Approaches

As an integrative psychotherapy approach, EMDR is compatible with all contemporary paradigms including, psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioural, experiential and systemic therapeutic modalities.

Case Consultation

  • 10 hours of case consultation are required to complete Special Topic 1. The supervision is built into the course in 2 block of 5 hours of group supervision.
  • Training fees include case consultation
  • Group case consultation training dates are organised during the course.

See Case Consultation for more information.

Learning Outcomes: Special Topic 1

Students completing the Year 1 paper will be able to:

 1.     Demonstrate detailed knowledge and understanding of the key principles of the Adaptive Information Processing Model and the elements of Shapiro’s (2018) model of maladaptive memory networks.

 2.     Analyse and interpret findings from history taking to apply the Adaptive Information Processing Model to develop a shared, written case conceptualisation with their clients.

 3.     Incorporate a critical understanding of how cultural influences relevant to New Zealand/Aotearoa inform the case conceptualisation.

4.     Demonstrate advanced skills in the application of structured clinical interviews and standardized assessment tools to assess clients to determine whether they meet criteria for readiness for EMDR reprocessing or need further preparation.

 5.     Communicate to clients the model of EMDR therapy in a meaningful way that indicates that the therapist has considerable knowledge of the technique; obtain consent and collaboratively organize a sequence of target memories for EMDR reprocessing.

 6.     Independently and with adequate fidelity apply each of the steps in the Target Assessment Phase (Three) and the Reprocessing Phases (Four, Five and Six) of the standard EMDR procedural steps.

 7.     Recognize and analyse the aetiology of blocked processing.  Demonstrate flexible skills, including mechanical and TICES strategies and the use of interweaves to initiate processing again.

 8.     Critically evaluate current research in application of EMDR therapy.

Learning Outcomes: Special Topic 2

Students completing the paper will be able to:

Understand and describe key principles to consider when working with clients with complexity secondary to pervasive and multiple traumatic experiences in childhood. They will demonstrate knowledge and skills in advanced titrated processing, advanced cognitive interweaves and the use of the therapeutic relationship to enhance the processing of traumatic material.

 Demonstrate specific techniques for working with avoidance defenses.

 Demonstrate an understanding of Attachment Theory and how it applies to the use of EMDR Therapy across a variety of presentations.

 Provide effective stabilization and manualised EMDR therapy to individuals suffering from the following   conditions when there is a traumatic origin:

 ·      Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

·       Panic Disorder

·       Somatic sequelae of trauma and trauma responses to illness, injury and pain

·       Addictions -Behavioural and substance

 Describe both individual and group techniques for managing recent traumatic events.

 Utilise a variety of EMDR therapy skills for clients with comorbid dissociation.

 Demonstrate techniques for working with young people across the age range from 2 -20 years.