EMDR Outline

An accredited Basic Training in EMDR consists of three components: 20 hours of didactic instruction, 20 hours of experiential practice, and 10 hours of Case Consultation. Because it is necessary to have some clinical experience with the standard EMDR protocol before earning more advanced variations, all trainings divide the didactic and experiential practice into two components. Therapist Training calls its components Introductory and Advanced; other trainers use the term Weekend One / Two or Part One / Two. Typically, face-to-face trainings combined didactic instruction and experiential practice concentrated over two or three days. All Australian EMDR trainings, with the exception of Therapist Training, do NOT include the 10 hours of Case Consultation as part of the training fee. You have to source this consultation yourself from any of the EMDRAA Accredited Consultants, and that can come at a considerable extra cost, up to $2000.

All Therapist Training EMDR trainings have been online since the start of Covid. In fact this training was accredited before we had ever heard of Covid. It was the first online EMDR training accredited by any EMDR Association anywhere in the world, and we have advised overseas EMDR associations on developing standards for online training.

Now that we are in the post-Covid era we are often asked when we will return to face to face (F2F) training. The answer is, we won’t. Evaluations show the online format produces superior training outcomes compared to F2F training, and so although it may cost us commercially, we think that it would be unethical to revert to a face-to-face training format. That may surprise you, so why? There are many reasons.

Because we don’t have huge overheads for travel, venue, catering, etc. we can keep the numbers small, so the training is much more immersive and interactive.

The didactic component of the training is largely covered through a structured self-paced program of readings, videos, and a workbook. You need to allow 15 hours for this, the equivalent of two days traditional lecture-based training. This means that the live online training component can be largely devoted to experiential practice. You will spend several hours in supervised experiential practice, much more so than in a F2F training, so after training your skill level and confidence will be higher. “Learn by doing” is way more effective than “learn by listening”.

If you live outside a major city you save on travel and accommodation costs.

With online training we can spread out the training over a longer time (currently the 4 day Introductory training is spread over 4 weeks so that you absorb the material in smaller chunks, and have time to practice new skills with clients. Our Introductory level training is FOUR days (28 hours), spread over 4 weeks. Most other Introductory level trainings are TWO days.

We teach many things that are not in included in the official curriculum. The curriculum used worldwide is US-based where practitioners have minimum of a Masters level qualification and an internship, so it assumes a certain level of knowledge and skills in the area of assessment, case conceptualisation, resourcing and stabilisation. This is not the case in Australia and New Zealand, and yet these skills form the foundation for good EMDR therapy. The finger moving (processing) part of EMDR is the part that everyone thinks about when they hear about EMDR. This is actually the easy part of EMDR, and it is also the part of EMDR where things can happen very quickly. But working out what you are actually going to process, and how to prepare the client for processing – that is actually the foundation of effective EMDR therapy. We don’t get to the finger moving part of EMDR until Day Three.

We include a Peer Support Group component where you do additional practice exercises with fellow trainees. This was introduced in 2021, and has been such a useful addition that it has become a routine part for all trainings. You will have more interaction with your fellow trainees than any face-to-face training.

Compared to the face-to-face trainings there are many more live demonstrations and small group exercises (N = 2 – 4). These activities comprise the majority of the time in training – see the detailed outline below.

If you prefer a more traditional “workshop” (where you passively listen and don’t actually do much work) with lots of Powerpoint and lectures, email us. We are happy to steer you to such trainings.

We use Zoom as our training platform, which allows the creation of “virtual rooms” in which two or three trainees meet to do the experiential exercises. As with a face-to-face workshop, trainees can call the Trainer to come to their “room” or the trainer can join your room at any time. This is exactly the same as in face-to-face trainings. And your practicum is in a quiet and private space, not in a noisy crowded venue.

Therapist Training’s EMDR Training – Outline

Pre-training Preparation

All the materials for the complete training are sent to you upon registration, contained in a large EMDR Library you can download (over 1400 files, 1.2 MB). It includes readings and access to an extensive library of videos demonstrating every aspect of the training.  You separately receive a personalised EMDR Training Reference Manual, a 220+ page full text book. A guide leads you through the required material for your pre-training preparation. Your EMDR Library also contains a wealth of additional material on the underlying theory, research, mechanisms of action, extensive resources on assessment and case conceptualisation, and an itemised protocols section containing research and specific protocols for a wide range of clinical applications.  If you want to dive more deeply into any area of EMDR, the resources are there.

The exercises we do in the live training days require that you have done the essential pre-training preparation. Without this you will not have the necessary foundation of theory and knowledge for the practical skills covered, and you would be letting both yourself and your training partners down by not being adequately prepared. You need to allow 15 hours to prepare for Days One / Two.

All training days run 9.00 – 5.00 Aust Eastern Standard/Daylight Time, with lunch at 12.30 for 30 minutes, and short morning and afternoon breaks.

Day One
  • This focuses on skills around assessment, case conceptualisation and treatment planning. Each skill is reviewed, demonstrated, and then practised.
  • Adaptive Information Processing and the practical application of the AIP model.
  • Mapping memory networks linked to the client’s presenting difficulties, and adaptive resources.
  • Eliciting Negative and Positive Beliefs. This is technically one of the more difficult aspects of EMDR, and we spend plenty of time practicing this.
  • Multimodal assessment of presenting problem and therapy goals. (Behaviour, Affect, Sensations, Imagery, Cognitions, Interpersonal, Biological)
  • Assessing schemas, Core Beliefs and behaviours.
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences.
  • Assessing Attachment.
  • Screening for Dissociative Disorders.
  • Case Conceptualisation and Treatment Planning, developing and sharing with the client.
  • Reviewing client and peer support based activities to consolidate skills.
Day Two
This focuses on resourcing and stabilisation. Well-adjusted individuals with PTSD from a single event will need minimal resourcing and stabilisation. More emotionally dysregulated and dissociation prone clients will need much more preparation prior to processing, and may be better suited to a de-powered version of EMDR.

  • Stacking the Deck: strengthening adaptive memory networks.
  • Calm Place
  • Resource Development and Installation (RDI) for more emotionally vulnerable clients.
  • External Resources: for clients who lack positive or adaptive developmental experiences of being protected, nurtured, or supported.
  • Breathing: most clients with Complex PTSD benefit from targeted breath retraining skills. Detailed assessment and breath retraining exercises.
  • Containing emotionally charged memories.
  • Grounding the client; we cover a broad range of skills.
  • Flash Technique: getting distancing and desensitising effects without activating significant affect.
  • Review client and peer support based activities to consolidate skills.
Day Three
Procedural preparation: client handouts, videos, explaining EMDR, testing eye movement, alternatives to eye movement, apps and devices for bilateral stimulation, explain the client’s role – what to do and not do. Addressing fears and reservations.

  • Restricted EMD, Contained EMDr, Standard EMDR: The differences, and when to use a de-powered approach to processing.
  • Mechanisms of action in EMDR: principles and practical implications.
  • EMDR without eye movements: variations for accelerated processing and online EMDR therapy. Includes EMDR 2.0, a recently developed variation for rapid processing of hi-SUDs memories.
  • Abreactions: principles and practical strategies.
  • Blocked processing: principles and practical strategies.
  • Incomplete Sessions: principles and practical strategies.
  • Practice with scripted clients (90 minutes)
Day Four
  • Future Targets: targeting behavioural change.
  • Live demonstration a volunteer.
  • 11.00 – 4.00 A closely supervised practicum where you experience EMDR as a client, using a mildly upsetting personal experience, and where you conduct your first EMDR processing session as a therapist. We have a smaller number of trainees per facilitator than the curriculum requires.
  • Getting started with EMDR.
  • Case Consultation
  • EMDR Association
  • Evaluation
After Days Three / Four
You are expected to be using all phases of EMDR with suitable clients and keep a log of your experience. You are also required to attend a minimum of four Case Consultation sessions and around eight client processing sessions to gain the necessary clinical experience to register separately with the (pre-paid) Advanced component of training, Days Five / Six. Most people this will take around eight weeks, give or take a little. You do need to complete your Advanced Training within a 12 month period.
Pre-training preparation.
As with the Introductory training, there is some required pre-training preparation for the Advanced training. Allow five hours to complete this.
Advanced Training: Day Five
  • illing the missing pieces in EMDR: contributions from Schema Therapy and other therapy models.
  • EMDR and the Avoidant Client: principles and practical strategies.
  • Affect Phobia: principles and practical strategies.
  • Fraser’s Table, for working with dissociated parts.
  • CIPOS: sitting between Flash Technique and Restricted EMD on the processing continuum lies Knipe’s CIPOS.
  • Extended EMDR: Beyond standard EMDR, this variation allows for processing of multiple memories in one session.
  • Practicum: setting up a future target for behaviour change.
Advanced Training: Day Six
  • Cognitive interweaves: a more therapist-active variant of EMDR.
  • Protocols: specialty protocols including Blind to Therapist, Reversed Protocol, Flash Forwards, recent events protocols.
  • Imagery Rehearsal for behaviour change: principles, demonstration and practicum.
  • Beyond Basic EMDR training: recommendations for further development.
  • EMDRAA and Accreditation
After Day Six

You continue to attend Case Consultation sessions until you have logged a minimum of 10 hours. You may attend more than 10 hours, for up to 4 months after your Advanced training.