EMDR is a highly specialized technique that requires significant training. The EMDR International Association (EMDRIA) certifies various organizations who have met rigorous standards set by EMDRIA and they help provide “quality control” for patients who wish to participate in EMDR. These standards require in-person training with didactics and ongoing consultation in between trainings. Based on a consultant’s feedback and evaluation, the clinician may or may not be allowed to complete the basic training program, or that person may be required to gain additional experience at a satisfactory level before completing the program.
It can be helpful to understand where a clinician received training in EMDR. If the training is not EMDRIA-approved, then that means that there is no minimal standard of competence that is followed and may mean that EMDR treatment by that provider may not be faithful to the principles of EMDR. Online trainings without an in-person didactic and ongoing consultation do not usually receive approval from EMDRIA, which is the gold standard of training for EMDR providers.
Dr. McConnell received his training from the EMDR Institute, the organization that was developed by Francine Shapiro, PhD who founded EMDR as a psychotherapeutic approach. EMDRIA has approved the EMDR Institute as meeting the qualifications necessary for practicing EMDR.
Whether or not you choose Dr. McConnell as the person to work with in processing your trauma, it is important to ask the following questions to your provider:
- Where were you trained in EMDR?
- Was your training approved by EMDRIA as meeting the minimum standards to be an effective EMDR provider?
- Did you receive any consultation from an EMDRIA Approved Consultant on your cases?
- Were there in-person didactics as a part of your training?
- How long have you been doing this?
- What types of issues are best for EMDR?
Sessions typically last anywhere from 60-90 minutes. With EMDR, you can process your trauma and it may lead to increased insight regarding the circumstances of the traumatic event and how you see yourself. Some individuals that Dr. McConnell has worked with have been able to process many different types of trauma including religious abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse, and the death of a child. One of Dr. McConnell’s patients has likened EMDR to “looking at a necklace and seeing all of it at once instead of seeing it piece by piece.” EMDR can be a powerful tool that can potentially heal you from your trauma much more quickly than regular talk therapy.