How to Find an EMDR Therapist

So you are thinking about starting EMDR therapy? This is a powerful form of therapy, and finding the right therapist can make all the difference in getting the help you want.

What is EMDR therapy?

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy. This is a evidence-based therapy that helps people work through negative experiences which may cause symptoms including anxiety, depression, self-esteem problems, posttraumatic stress (PTS) or Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Developed by Francine Shapiro in 1989 EMDR has successfully helped millions of people worldwide.

Training matters

A first thing to consider is what kind of EMDR training do you want your future therapist to have? EMDR has a technical set of protocols and best practices recommends that those who provide this therapy be trained to use it. Those trained learn what to do and when, steps and procedures, how to work with blocks, and what to do when or if intense feelings come up (as sometimes they do!).

Certification listing

The EMDR International Association (EMDRIA) certifies EMDR therapists, trainers and trainings. They also set the standards of practice for those trained and offers the credential of EMDR certification. While this certification is not a guarantee, is does demonstrates that a minimal standard of training, experience and consultation requirements have been met. A list of providers who meet these standards can be found here.

Consider experience of therapist

Once you have found one or perhaps several providers who are trained and qualified to do EMDR therapy, the next step involves researching whether those providers also have experience with your type of problem. For example, not all EMDR providers are also trained to work with children. Other EMDR specializations may include depression, women’s issues, men’s issues, PTSD, complex PTSD (C-PTSD), dissociation, addiction, and perinatal and postpartum issues. It is useful to have this information from the outset.

Chat on the phone or in person

A final step to finding an EMDR therapist is to make sure you have a good fit with the person you consider to be your therapist. Some providers offer a free phone or in person consultation to answer questions about how they work, and this can also be done as well during the initial visits. Regardless of therapy type, research shows that being able to have a relationship of trust with your therapist predicts good outcomes. Being able to ask your questions is very important. Such questions for many include how issues of religion will or will not be handled, as well as cost, insurance and scheduling questions.

Take the first step

Finally, take the first step. Be courageous. Consider the changes you want to have in your life and in your functioning. Think about the value to you of obtaining that change in your lifestyle. With that importance in mind, reach out and start the process of moving forward in creating the change you want in your life!

Let me know how your experiences go or have gone in finding an EMDR therapist in Utah!