Open book against a black background with a light bulb emerging from the middle connecting to white dots

What is Involved in Becoming EMDRIA-Certified as an EMDR Therapist?

Deany Laliotis, LICSW, Founder of The Center

Embarking on the journey to become an EMDR therapist certified by EMDRIA (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing International Association) is a transformative and rewarding endeavor. Therapists and clinicians seeking to specialize in EMDR therapy often wonder about the intricacies of the certification process. In this blog, the EMDR experts at The Center for Excellence in EMDR Therapy, will explore the essential components and steps involved in achieving EMDRIA certification.



The EMDRIA Certification Process in 8 Steps

1. EMDR International Association Approved EMDR Training

Provide a copy of your final certificate of completion from an EMDRIA Approved EMDR Training program.


2. License/Certification

Provide a copy of your current license to practice independently as a mental health professional in the state or province where you practice. The license must include the current expiration date.


3. Notarized Statement of Practice and EMDR Experience

  • Do you have at least two years of experience in your field of licensure?
  • Have you conducted at least 50 EMDR sessions with at least 25 clients? 

Both statements may be included in one single notarized document. Applicants can simply state, "I have at least 2 years’ experience in my field of licensure, and I have conducted at least 50 EMDR therapy sessions with at least 25 clients," or similar wording and then have it notarized.


4. 20 Hours of Consultation by an EMDR Consultant in EMDR therapy

Provide documentation from the EMDR Consultant(s) who provided EMDR consultation to you. It must specify the exact number of consultation hours you received and designate how many of those hours were individual consultations and how many were group consultations. 

  • The 20 consultation hours must have been completed within the last 5 years. If you continue to receive consultation hours for over 5 years, then as long as the EMDR Consultant can explain in the letter of documentation when the consultation started and ended (e.g., 2013-2022) and if/when long breaks in consultation occurred that will be acceptable. 
  • If you have received consultation from more than one EMDR Consultant, you will need documentation from each.
  • At least 10 hours must be obtained through individual, EMDR-focused consultation. The remaining 10 hours may be obtained through small group consultation. Consultation groups cannot exceed more than eight participants at a time.
  • EMDR Consultants-in-Training can provide up to 15 hours of consultation. An EMDR Consultant must provide the remaining five hours.
  • Only consultation hours received after completion of an EMDRIA Approved EMDR Professional Training program can be applied towards this requirement.


5. EMDR Consultant Letter(s) of Recommendation for EMDR Certification

Provide letter(s) from one or more EMDR Consultant(s) addressing your utilization of EMDR with clients and recommending you to be certified in EMDR.

  • Letters may include documentation of consultation hours as required in #4 above. If so, upload the same document for both requirements on the application.
  • Letters from EMDR Consultants-in-Training do not meet this requirement. Letters must be from an EMDR Consultant.


6. Letters of Recommendation Regarding Professional Practice

Provide two letters of recommendation regarding your professional utilization of EMDR, ethics in practice, and professional character.

  • These letters may be from colleagues or peers.
  • Letters from your EMDR Consultant or EMDR Consultant-in-Training do not count as peer letters.
  • Two letters of recommendation from colleagues or peers are required.


7. 12 Hours of EMDRIA Credits

Provide certificates of completion for at least 12 hours of EMDRIA Credits (continuing education in EMDR). 

  • Only EMDRIA Credit Programs in EMDR obtained after the completion of an EMDR Professional Training program may be used towards this requirement. Initial EMDR Trainings are not awarded EMDRIA Credits.
  • Certificates of completion of EMDRIA Credits hours should include the EMDRIA program approval number and the number of credits earned.


8. EMDR International Association Policies Agreement

By submitting the EMDR Certification application, applicants attest that they agree to adhere to EMDRIA Policies.


How Long Until a Clinician Gets Certified?

The process outlined above typically takes at least a year, post Basic Training. From there, clinicians are eligible to be certified as an EMDRIA-approved consultant. An EMDRIA-approved consultant can provide case consultations. 


How Long Does EMDR Certification Last?

If your certification application is approved, your EMDR Certification credential will be granted for two years. To keep this credential, you will need to renew it every two years.


If we can help answer any certification questions, please contact us.