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What is an EMDR Certified Therapist?

Nov 27, 2023
What is an EMDR Certified Therapist?

An EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) certified therapist is a mental health professional who has undergone specialized training and certification in the use of EMDR therapy. EMDR is a psychotherapy approach that was originally developed by Francine Shapiro in the late 1980s. It is primarily used to treat individuals who have experienced trauma, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); but it has also been applied to other mental health issues such as anxiety, phobias, and some mood disorders.

To become EMDR certified, a therapist typically follows a structured training program for licensed clinicians, which includes several components:

  • Basic Training: The therapist completes a formal EMDR basic training program, which usually consists of 40 hours including coursework, supervised practice, and case consultation. This training covers the foundational principles and techniques of EMDR therapy.
  • Supervision: The therapist must complete 10 hours of supervision by an experienced EMDR consultant or supervisor to receive their EMDR basic training certificate. During these EMDR consultation sessions, the therapist discusses cases and receives guidance on how to apply EMDR effectively.
  • Case Consultation: EMDR therapy is best learned through hands-on experience. A certified therapist typically has to demonstrate competence by successfully treating a specific number of cases using EMDR under supervision.
  • After EMDR basic training, you must complete requirements to become an EMDRIA Certified Therapist. 
  • Once a therapist completes all these requirements and is deemed competent in EMDR therapy, they are eligible for EMDR certification. The certification indicates that the therapist has specialized expertise in EMDR and is qualified to provide this form of therapy to clients.  You have to be an independently-licensed clinician and have conducted at least 50 EMDR sessions with at least 25 clients.  You also need at least 2 years of experience in your field of licensure.  

During the process of providing care to the 25 clients, you will work with an EMDRIA-approved consultant or consultant-in-training to receive 20 hours of consultation.  You will also have to have consultant and peer references, as well as 12 hours of EMDRIA credits and advanced training.  You can see the full requirements here.

EMDR Certification is a specialty that you should be proud of as a clinician. 

EMDR University

Clients seeking EMDR therapy should ensure that the therapist they choose is EMDR certified, as this certification signifies that the therapist has received specialized training and supervision in the use of EMDR – making them well-qualified to provide this form of therapy for individuals dealing with trauma and related issues.


Couch, K. ( 2023, November 27). What is an EMDR Certified Therapist? [Blog Post]. Rewired360. Retrieved from

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