This course is for all Mental Health professionals. The content level is intermediate to advanced


EMDR Training Agenda/Outline



Day 1

8:30 -6:00       

There will be a 15-minute break at 10:00 and 3:30. Lunch will be from 12:30-1:30



What is EMDR?  (EMDRIA Definition) (1 hour instruction)


History and Chance Discovery EMD (1 hour instruction)

  • First pilot study, Shapiro, 1989

  • Treatment Guidelines, protocols developed through clinical observation and research.

  • Switch from Desensitization to Adaptive Information Processing.

  • Current Research, Abstracts, finding an approved consultant is located on EMDRIA Web page at                                                                     


Adaptive Information Processing, Explanatory Model of EMDR (2.5 hours)                                                   

  • Basic concepts.

  • Clinical Implications guides case conceptualizations, treatment planning, targeted interventions, and prediction of treatment outcomes.

  • Dovetailing with other models and differences.

  • Orienting response of dual attention stimulation as a hypothesis

  • Neurobiological speculation on EMDR and research

                   Methodology:   Overview of the Eight-Phases (2 hours instruction)

  • Significance of each phase and the importance of maintaining fidelity in each phase for treatment outcome.

  •  Ethical, legal considerations, safe guards, changes in protocol for specific situations.

  • Conduct a sample EMDR session with discussion following. (1.5 hours).                                                            



Day 2

8:30 -6:00       

There will be a 15-minute break at 10:00 and 3:30. Lunch will be from 12:30-1:30


 Phase I.  History taking, Case Conceptualizations and Treatment planning (2.5 hours)

  • Single incident verses many traumatic events effects approach.

  • Discuss impact of trauma and effects on development.

  • Introduce three prong approaches to identifying targets.

  • Evaluation of client readiness, current safety, and functioning.

  • Conduct YSQ: Schemas and character structure (Young’s Schema Questionnaire assist identifying negative cognitions and schemas)

  • Ten most traumatic events, time line, touchstone events.

  • Evaluate for Dissociation- Introduce DES scale.

  • Clinician awareness of clinical signs of dissociation.

  • Support systems, explore issues that might impede processing.

    1. Secondary gain issues

    2. Present stressors

    3. Timing issues

    4. Medical concerns, history of seizures 

    5. Legal issues potential effects to testimony

Supervised practice exercise- with a partner taking turns practice history taking, treatment planning and case conceptualization with discussion at the end of practice. (3 hours) 

Phase II.  Client Preparation (2 hours)

  • Establish rapport

  • Explanation of EMDR and how it works

  • Informed consent of potential strong affect

  • Seating arrangements and BLS, testing speed and distance, alternatives to eye moments

  • Asking client to accurately report what happens

  • Demonstrating the stop signal

  • Prepare client by teaching relaxation, safe place exercise, install with eye movements/ use Resource Development to increase emotional stability if needed and containment skills when processing is incomplete.

  • Review precautions and client concerns

Phase III. Assessment – Explanation of all the components of assessment (worksheet handout used to target memory and maintain fidelity of protocol.)                                      

  • Targeted memory/image/picture

  • Negative Cognition (appropriate and inappropriate)

  • Positive Cognition (examples of appropriate and inappropriate and possible changes after desensitization phase

  • Validity of Cognition (VOC) 1-7

  • Emotions

  • Subjective Units of Distress Scale (SUDS) 0-10

  • Body Sensations

              Supervised Practice- With a partner, take turns complete the preparation and assessment phase. Questions and classroom discussion will be provided at the end of practice. (2 hours)




8:30 -6:00

There will be a 15-minute break at 10:00 and 3:30. Lunch will be from 12:30-1:30


 Phase IV: Desensitization- Accelerated Reprocessing of Memory (2 hours)

  • Remind the client to let whatever happens happen.  Emphasize there is no right or wrong responses with what material that surfaces.

  • As the therapist, maintain an empathic connectedness while allowing the client to process without unnecessary intrusion.

  • Follow the client’s processing to determine the length of BLS/eye moments. Use alternative BLS when necessary.  When using rapid eye movements start on the average of 24 per set. Adjust to clients need thereafter.

  • Reduction in the client’s disturbance and SUDs score as close to zero as possible

  • Associative Channels of Processing changing images, new memories/ feelings/body sensations become the target for processing

  • As each channel clears disturbance reduces/ new insights/emotions/body sensations

  • Blocking Beliefs/ plateaus that interfere with processing

  • Reassess and target for another EMDR session if belief interferes

  • Strategies to jump start the processing, changing directions and/or 

            speed of eye moments, focus on body sensations, return to target

  • Reprocess past event and present stimuli

  • Unexpected material may present, therapist must decide whether to process now or save for another session.

  • Use three-prong approach- past, present, and future.


Phase V: Installation- Integration of positive self-assessment. (Phases: V, VI, VII, VIII (2 hours)

  • Check to see if the initial positive cognition is valid

  • Think of the incident, and hold it with the positive cognitions

  • How true does the positive cognition fell now

  • Install bringing the VOC score to a seven.

  • Usually you use a reduction in eye moments to install

  • Install positive future template

  • Check for Blocking beliefs if 7 is not achieved


Phase VI: Body Scan

  • Have client hold original memory and positive cognition together any physical sensations or tightness in the body.

  • If tension exist addition eye moments focusing on body sensations

  • New material may arise, process if time permits or note for future sessions

  • Completion is achieved when there is no residual tension found in the body.


Phase VII: Closure

  • Assess client’s emotional state at the end of the session

  • Use containment if necessary

  • Visualization, relaxation, safe place exercise

  • Debrief client and have them keep a log of any insights, thoughts, or material that may arise.

  • Normalize continued processing as information to be reviewed for next session


Phase VIII: Reevaluation

  • Review previous EMDR session

  • Any disturbance left 0 SUDs or has VOC remained a 7

  • Any new targets presented from log

  • Is there an adaptive resolution that has taken place where the participant feels they have mastered the trauma?

  • If past event is resolved, are there present stimuli?

  • Address anticipatory fears and “positive template” for future. 

Supervised practice: Clinicians will work in pairs, taking turns completing phases 4-7. Level of disturbance should not exceed 5. Open discussion is provided at the end of session.  (3 hours)        



Day 4

8:30 -6:00       

There will be a 15-minute break at 10:00 and 3:30. Lunch will be from 12:30-1:30


Advanced Methodology (1 hour)

Working with Abreactions and Blocks  (1hour instruction)

  • Guidelines for facilitating Abreactions

  • Blocked processing-looping

  • Strategies for dealing with blocked processing

  • Addressing feeder memories (float back technique)

  • Blocking Beliefs- Schemas and life Traps

  • Fear of Fear

  • Fear of change

  • Wellspring of Disturbance


Supervised practice: Clinicians will work in pairs completing all eight phases of EMDR protocol using alternative strategies for blocked processing.


Discussion will be provided at the end of practice. Direct consultation and observation will take place throughout the practice sessions. (3 hours)             


Cognitive Interview Proactive Strategy (2hours)

  • Unlocking stuck beliefs related to Responsibility, Safety and Choices

  • Four occasions when using the interweave is appropriate

  • Interweave Techniques: “fitting the intervention to the client”


Supervised Practice: Clinicians will work in groups of two completing EMDR session starting with Reevaluation VIII to identification of new target using all eight phases incorporating the Cognitive Interweave when appropriate. (3 hours)


Day 5

8:30 -6:00       

There will be a 15-minute break at 10:00 and 3:30. Lunch will be from 12:30-1:30  


Special Protocols

  1. Recent events

  2. Anxiety Phobia

  3. Illness and somatic disorders

  4. Grief

Special Populations: Introduction

  • Children

    • Couples

    • Sexual Abuse Victims

    • Complex PTSD or DESNOS

    • Dissociative clients

    • Military


Supervised Practice:  A demonstration will be given of the process and review what you have learned. Clinicians will break into dyads or triads and practice seven of the eight phases of the EMDR protocol.  Each clinician will address three-prong past, present, and future targets as well use alternative strategies to address blocked processing, including the Cognitive Interweave.  (7 hours)


Learning Objectives

EMDR Training


  1. Describe the definition of EMDR. 

  2. Summarize the history and origins of EMDR. 

  3. Summarize the AIP model 

  4. Utilize the AIP in case conceptualization and treatment planning

  5. Identify research findings which support the efficacy of EMDR 

  6. Differentiate which clients and issues benefit from EMDR 

  7. Identify 5 types of Resource Development 

  8. Employ skills in using all phases of the EMDR protocol. 

  9. Create a safe environment for disclosing traumatic events 

  10. Identify and assess client readiness 

  11. Identify 5 trauma-based components to a clinical history for EMDR

  12. Recognize and identify target events to be processed with EMDR 

  13. Recognize professional, legal and ethical issues in employing EMDR

  14. Identify protocols for working with special issues 

  15. Identify strategies for working with specific populations 

  16. Recognize dissociative disorders and the appropriateness in using EMDR with this population. 

  17. Describe strategies for dealing with abreaction 

  18. Exhibit different strategies for closing incomplete sessions 

  19. Apply techniques, including cognitive interweave, for address blocking and problems with looping and other problems that arise in processing painful material 

  20. List and describe the 8 phases of the protocol