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What are the benefits of being an EMDR Certified Therapist?

As an EMDR Therapist, should you get certified in EMDR Therapy?

I've heard a lot of EMDR Therapists go back and forth about whether it's worth it or not to become certified in EMDR Therapy. So let's break down if becoming certified in EMDR therapy is the right choice for you as an EMDR Therapist.

There are several levels of expertise when it comes to being an EMDR Therapist. EMDR Certified is the second level, after completing basic training.

In order to become certified in EMDR Therapy, licensed mental health therapists need to have:

  • Proof of completion of EMDR Basic Training

  • 2 or more years of experience in their role as a licensed mental health provider

  • Conducted at least 50 sessions of EMDR therapy with 25 or more clients

  • Received 20 hours of consultation from an EMDRIA Approved Consultant (all consultation hours must have been completed within a 5 year period)

  • Letter(s) of recommendation from 1 or more EMDR Consultants that therapist has received consultation from

  • TWO letters of recommendation from colleagues, attesting to your work as an EMDR therapist and professional character

  • Completion of 12 hours or more of EMDR Continuing Education (must be from an EMDRIA CE Approved Provider)

So why would a therapist want to go through all of that in order to become certified?

Recognition as Advanced Level Expertise in EMDR Therapy

Well, one of the biggest reasons is that we are in an ever-increasing world of information overload, and it is possible that some individuals may market themselves as being an EMDR Therapist, without actually having the proper credentials to do so. It's unfortunate, but it does happen. I sadly have heard far too many times about individuals who sought out EMDR Therapy, thought that's what they were receiving, but in fact, it was not EMDR Therapy that was being done. The client was left feeling worse or just wasted a lot of time, money and energy and didn't achieve the results from their counseling sessions that they were hoping for.

I'm all about being flexible with EMDR Therapy, but I'm also such a huge advocate for protecting the integrity of EMDR Therapy. As an EMDR Certified Therapist, you're letting potential clients and colleagues know that you're the REAL DEAL. That way, they feel safer and more confident that you can help them, and you will do so safely and ethically.


There are guidelines to maintaining your EMDR Certified Status, and in order to do so, you have to continue to receive continuing education credits in EMDR Therapy, as well as renew your EMDR Therapy certification every two years.

This renewal requirement helps to ensure that you, as the EMDR Therapist, are up-to-date on the most current research and updates that are going on in the world of EMDR Therapy. EMDR Therapy was first founded by Francine Shapiro in the late 1980s, and as an evidence-based psychotherapy, there have been tons of new findings and advancements in the field of EMDR. The helps you, as the EMDR Therapist, feel with the utmost confidence, that you are providing the best possible treatment for your clients.

Is it a requirement to become certified in EMDR Therapy?

Absolutely not! I know many fantastic EMDR therapists who are competent and skilled, but for one reason or another, chose not to pursue certification, and that's perfectly okay, too!

However, as EMDR becomes more and more mainstream in the world of mental health, I have a gut feeling that certification will become a thing that potential clients will look for when trying to find an EMDR Therapist near them. So, if you're really trying to build up your EMDR Practice and attract more EMDR Therapy clients, certification is a great way to help you do so.


Looking for more information on how to start consultation so you can work toward your EMDR Certification? Join the EMDR Certification Program, now taking applications for September 2023 program!



Dana Carretta-Stein is a licensed mental health counselor, EMDR Certified Therapist and EMDRIA Approved Consultant. She is sought out by EMDR Therapists all across the globe for her expertise on EMDR Therapy. Dana is passionate at helping other EMDR Therapists feel empowered and more confident in using EMDR effectively with their clients.

Dana is the author and creator of The EMDR Therapy Treatment Planning Templates, as well as The EMDR Therapy Progress Journal, both which help clients and therapists alike maximize the benefits of EMDR Therapy.

Dana is also the owner of Peaceful Living Mental Health Counseling, a trauma informed counseling practice in Scarsdale, NY, where she has put together a team of compassionate and skilled EMDR Therapists. Dana is passionate about the importance of trauma informed care and the effect it has on emotional, physical and mental well-being. She loves to learn about and educate others on compassionate, evidence-based, and effective counseling interventions to help individuals of all ages achieve fulfilling relationships and optimal wellness.


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