Do I Need A Degree to Perform EMDR?

Updated November 18, 2022 · 2 Min Read

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EMDR, or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, is a newer form of psychotherapy being used in many mental health facilities and offices all over the United States. As time goes on, it is becoming more and more popular thanks to great success with many different types of patients. Effective for many different issues, EMDR can be performed on people who are suffering from things like post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, addictions, eating disorders and much more.

How Does EMDR Work?

While it may seem unusual in how it is effective, EMDR utilizes a person’s rapid eye movements as a way to treat a variety of conditions. Unlike talk therapy or the use of medications, EMDR will allow eye movements to lessen the negative effects of past traumatic events. Over the course of about ninety minutes, a patient will be asked to follow a therapist’s hand motions with their eyes. During these motions, the therapist will have the patient think about the disturbing events that are plaguing them. The thoughts will be directed in a more pleasant direction and this will actually train the brain to think more positively and to let go of past trauma.

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Who Can Perform EMDR?

Since EMDR was created back in 1989 by the psychologist Francine Shapiro, over 20,000 mental health professionals have become certified in this practice. In order to become certified in EMDR, you must have a degree. This can be a social work degree, a degree in psychiatry, a degree in psychology, etc. Your average person cannot enroll in an EMDR certification class and expect to treat patients using this technique. For more information on EMDR certification, you can visit.

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Safety Of EMDR

Currently, EMDR is considered to be very safe with no negative side effects of risks. There are professionals who will debate its effectiveness, though everyone is in agreement that nothing bad will come from the process. The practice itself is very new and is only being practiced by a small percentage of mental health professionals. It is likely that in the coming years, EMDR will have more information to back its effectiveness. With many of the mental health medications that are used frequently, there are a lot of side effects to worry about. Fortunately, with a more natural form of treatment like Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, there aren’t unwanted side effects to contest with. It may take a couple of sessions to see a large change in how a patient feels and how they cope with the world, but there have been great success stories all across the country.

Research is ongoing for the effects of EMDR but many professionals are using it frequently in their practice. A session of this therapy may not bring about immediate and complete results, but there definitely are patients who have seen improvement with using rapid eye movement to desensitize their trauma they have been through. There are a variety of resources across the United States that provide certification opportunities. If you have already been working in the mental health field of work, this might be a certification that you would like to work towards in order to provide patients in your area with a new and different style of therapy.

Source:  EMDR Institute, Inc.

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