What training does a therapist need to use EMDR?

The EMDR Institute offers two levels of training:  Level I – Introductory Training; and Level II – Advanced Training.  EMDR Level II Therapists can progress to advanced skills and training and become EMDRIA Certified Therapists.

Only licensed, practicing psychiatrists, psychotherapists, social workers and counselors can receive EMDR training. These are the only mental health professionals qualified to use EMDR therapy with clients.  A clinical background is required for the proper application of highly specialized EMDR method, which requires supervised training for client safety and therapeutic efficacy.  According to the Behavior Therapist Journal, “Clients are at risk if untrained clinicians attempt to use EMDR.”

It is advisable to request that a therapist provide you with their EMDR certificate of training.  An EMDR Therapist with advanced training, will have an EMDRIA Certified in EMDR.


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Carol Boulware, MFT, Ph.D.
Licensed Marriage, Family Therapist – #MFT11632
ABS Certified Sex Therapist #1466
Board Certified Expert in Traumatic Stress
EMDR Certified Therapist- Level II- 1994
Somatic Experiencing Practitioner
3130 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 550
Los Angeles, California 90401
(310) 374-4173
Additional offices in Santa Monica & Redondo Beach