Training: becoming an EMDR therapist

EMDR is an advanced psychotherapy requiring a high level of skill. A mental health clinical background is an essential prerequisite for the effective application of EMDR treatment. All training providers must adhere to the same entry criteria listed below, as set out by EMDR Europe. You will need to provide evidence that you are accredited with one of the professional associations deemed acceptable by EMDR Europe.

If you train with a provider but do not meet the entry criteria below, you will not be eligible for Accreditation.

Accredited EMDR therapy training is strictly limited to

Eligibility criteria for EMDR training in the UK

Mental health professionals

Clinical Psychologists (Registered with HCPC or Psychological Society Ireland)

Counselling Psychologists (Registered with HCPC)

Educational Psychologists (Registered with HCPC)

Forensic Psychologists (Registered with HCPC)

Psychiatrists

  •  MRCPsych or equivalent (including Certificate of Completion of Specialist Training in any psychiatric speciality)
  • Alternatively:
    a) Complete both long and short psychotherapy cases (and)
    b) Equivalent of three years full time psychiatric experience (and)
    c)  Letter confirming above from line manager and sent to EMDR Training Provide

Registered Mental Health Nurses (NMC) and Registered Social Workers who:

  • Have mental health training, can recognise and assess common mental health problems and have experience of working in a mental health setting, and
  • Have training and a minimum of two years experience of providing one-to-one psychotherapy, either as part of their professional training or in addition to it, and
  • Have provided a reference from their clinical supervisor confirming the above.

Counsellors/Psychotherapists

MUST hold FULL accreditation by one of the following professional bodies:

  • Association of Christian Counsellors (Accredited Counsellor – AC)
  • BABCP, BACP, UKCP
  • British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC)
  • Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP)
  • Irish Association of Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy (IAHIP)
  • National Counselling Society Accredited Professional (MNCS Accred Prof) grade
  • Federation of Drug and Alcohol Practitioners (FDAP) who are NCAC accredited
  • Association of Child Psychotherapists (ACP)
  • COSCA
  • COSRT

General Practitioners

 Registered with the General Medical Council (GMC) who are experienced in psychotherapy and psychological trauma and are accredited counsellors or psychotherapists or working towards a psychotherapy accreditation.

Clinical & Counselling Psychologists

In their final year of training are acceptable with a letter of recommendation from their clinical supervisor.

All Arts Psychotherapists & Occupational Therapists who are

  • Registered with HCPC.
  • Have mental health training, can recognise and assess common mental health problems and have experience of working in a mental health setting.
  • Have training and a minimum of two years’ experience of providing one-to-one psychotherapy, either as part of their professional training or in addition to it.
  • Have provided a reference from their clinical supervisor confirming the above.

Mental Health professionals who are resident in a country outside of the UK and practice within that country:

Are requested to submit a letter from their national EMDR Association agreeing to them undertaking their training in the UK and stating that they fulfil the eligibility to train in EMDR criteria for their country of origin.

Applicants from countries with no national EMDR Association are scrutinised on a case-by-case basis. They need to follow EMDR Association UK eligibility criteria broadly, ie they should be a mental health professional who is accredited/registered with a governing body in their own country.

In either case, external applicants who are resident in the UK are not eligible to train in EMDR or practice EMDR in the UK unless they also meet the UK eligibility criteria above.

Guidelines for minimum accreditation requirements for mental health professional organisations for their members’ eligibility to undertake EMDR Europe accredited training

 If you are an accredited member of a mental health professional body which is not on our eligible to train list, you may still be eligible. Please read here for more information.

The training process

There are several different levels of EMDR training, starting with the standard accredited training course.

  • Standard Accredited Training. Usually a seven day course. Basic training can be described as Parts 1-3 or Parts 1-4. It used to also be known as Levels 1 and 2. To complete the course, you must use EMDR therapy with at least three clients in your clinical practice during the training.
  • Practise EMDR under supervision. After enough supervision from an accredited EMDR Europe Consultant and further experience (at least 25 clients), you can apply to become an Accredited Practitioner.
  • Consultant training. Usually a three day course.  Dates will be added to Accreditation tab when published.
  • After at least three years of EMDR practise, sufficient clinical and supervision experience, further training and additional specialist supervision you can apply to become an Accredited Consultant.
  • Specialised training, e.g. EMDR with children and adolescents. Alongside mainstream EMDR training, you may wish to specialise. Levels 1 and 2 of the specialist child training usually consists of two training courses, each two days in length, with separate eligibility criteria. After this you may work towards becoming an accredited specialist, such as a Child & Adolescent Accredited Practitioner or Child & Adolescent Accredited Consultant.