Introduction to EMDR Therapy

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Overview / Abstract:

This presentation will introduce the basics of EMDR therapy and provide an overview of treatment. Both the theoretical foundation and recent research findings will be explored.

EMDR is an evidence-based psychotherapy supported by more than 20 randomized controlled studies. Meta-analyses have indicated that the effects of EMDR on PTSD symptoms are comparable to those of trauma-focused CBT. However, EMDR therapy does not require homework, sustained arousal, detailed descriptions of the index trauma, or extended exposure to the event. While the eye movement component has been the subject of controversy, in the past decade an additional 20 randomized trials have evaluated the eye movements and demonstrated significantly superior effects compared to “exposure-only” conditions.

The eye movements have been shown to (a) decrease the emotionality and vividness of memories, (b) create physiological relaxation responses, (c) facilitate access to associative memories and (d) lead to an increase in recognition of correct information. Two dominant theories regarding the role of the eye movements have emerged: (1) disruption of working memory and (2) elicitation of an orienting response. The research and clinical implications will be examined. The goals of this presentation parallel those of the conference itself by allowing participants to evaluate ways in which EMDR therapy offers innovations in both conceptualization and clinical treatment. These innovations include ways to support therapy retention and increase stability for those clients ordinarily considered too fragile to tolerate memory processing. Outreach can also be increased through the use of consecutive-day trauma treatment. Relevant research will be reported on the use of EMDR therapy with diverse p Participants will learn how the adaptive information processing theory that guides EMDR therapy practice offers a reconceptualization of (a) psychopathology, (b) therapeutic change, (c) the therapy relationship, (d) preparation for processing and (e) the multiple methods included in the therapy.

The presentation will provide participants with the theoretical basis for EMDR therapy, an overview of the eight treatment phases, the three-pronged selection of processing targets, pertinent research, as well as applications to the full range of trauma victims. Videotaped sessions will demonstrate diverse treatment effects and provide participants with comparisons to other research-supported trauma treatments populations.

Learning Objectives

1. Describe the relevant research findings.
2. Identify the components of the standard EMDR therapy three-pronged approach to processing.
3. Contrast EMDR therapy with other empirically supported trauma treatments.


Dec 31, 2018


Counselor CE, Psychology CE, Social Work CE


Online, Seminar


ISTSS Member - with CE $30, without CE $20 / Nonmember - with CE $60, without CE $40

Credits / Hours



CE Learning Systems, service provider of the Kellen Company, is approved to offer CE courses by many national organizations.

APA - ISTSS's Continuing Education Co-sponsor, CE Learning Systems, is approved by American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. CE Learning Systems maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

ASWB*- CE Learning Systems, (Provider #1020), is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of State Social Work Boards (ASWB), through the Approved Continuing Education ACE program. CE Learning Systems maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: 02/23/2013 – 02/23/2016. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval. Social workers participating in this course will receive 1.5 continuing education clock hours.

NAADAC - ISTSS's Continuing Education Co-sponsor, CE Learning Systems, is approved by the National Association of Addiction and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC Provider # 410) to provide continuing education courses. CE Learning Systems maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

AAHCPAD - ISTSS's Continuing Education Co-sponsor, CE Learning Systems dba, has been approved to offer Continuing Education credit for Certified Addiction Specialists (CAS) in accordance with the American Academy of Health Care Providers in the Addictive Disorders. Approval No. 13-1460.

NASP - CE Learning Systems is NOT an approved provider for the National Association of School Psychologists. However, NASP does accept up to 30 credit hours from "sequenced programs," that don't need NASP approval.

Sequenced Programs are self studies developed and published to provide training in specific knowledge or skill areas. A test is typically given at the end of the course and usually a certificate of completion is issued. This can include courses taken on the Internet.
One topic = 15 CPD credits (unless otherwise specified and documented in self-study publication)

30 CPD credits may be earned with, since our courses are considered sequenced programs. You should be able to answer "yes" to the following four questions about your selected course:

Did the activity enhance or upgrade my professional skills or add to my knowledge base?
Was the activity relevant to the professional practice of school psychology?
Did the activity fit into my personal plan for continuing professional development?
Did the activity go beyond the ordinary aspects of my employment?

Association of Social Work Boards * (ASWB), Provider # 1020, American Psychological Association (APA), National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC), Provider # 5951, National Association for Alcohol and Drug Addiction Counselors (NAADAC) Provider #410.

  • New Jersey Social Workers are responsible for submitting their own credits.

Presenters / Authors / Faculty

Francine Shapiro, PhD

Activity Specialities / Related Topics

Psychiatry / Mental Health, Counseling

Keywords / Search Terms

International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, Introduction to EMDR Therapy, Francine Shapiro, PhD

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