Archive for the ‘Beginning EMDR Training’ Category

“How much is quality and competence worth? — Comparing EMDR Trainings by PESI and those approved by EMDRIA

A second “word to the wise”:

PESI’s ad regarding their EMDR course says, “EMDR is one of the most effective evidence-based tools, but in the Real World, few can afford the price and time commitment of standard EMDR training.” By “standard EMDR training” they mean an EMDRIA-approved course. The unapproved courses result in the therapists learning only a limited percentage of the necessary requirements to effectively use this therapeutic approach.

The cost of their 16 hour course is $374.99. It is a bargain rate. But they admit therapists are not qualified to treat trauma by taking this course.

It is good that PESI does encourage participants to become members of EMDRIA and attain EMDR Certification. But I give two notes of warning: PESI has chosen an instructor who has not done this for herself. And they fail to inform the therapists taking their course that it will not count toward Certification. Thus, instead of saving money, they will be spending more than anyone else who seeks Certification.

Thus, it really calls into question their populist motive (tho I respect populist motives) of saving therapists money and making EMDR more available to the public. Because of these inconsistencies, I reach a rather negative conclusion. I am afraid that their motive, though it sounds full of good intentions, is actually to make a lot of money for themselves by piggy-backing on the success of EMDR. They produced the biggest and most colorful advertisement for their EMDR course that they have ever sent out.

FYI, the cost of the Basic Training offered in two 3-day weekends by the EMDR Institute is $765 for the 3 day weekend, or $1530 for the total Basic Training. Yes, it is an investment. When I took the beginning weekend in 1997, the cost was about equal to the PESI course. I couldn’t afford it then as I was just starting my private practice. But I knew I wanted this training because I had experienced EMDR as a client of a very well trained EMDR therapist. It was transformational.

[To me that was the ideal introduction to EMDR therapy. If you are unsure if you want EMDR, and want to invest less than the training cost, please consider my recommendation. Choose a specific fear or issue you have, and get 1-3 EMDR sessions on it. The story of my first experience is shared in more detail in this blog under “EMDR success stories”. Feel free to check it out.]

Thus, I wanted that same training. I asked a well-to-do friend of mine if I could borrow the money from her for the course. She was more than happy to say “Yes!”

I have never, ever felt I didn’t get my money’s worth from any EMDR training I’ve attended. I love attending the EMDRIA Conferences, because the therapists are devoted to high quality service, they love learning and keeping abreast of new knowledge. In a word, they are as close to ideal clinicians as I have witnessed. Wouldn’t you like to be the same? You are worthy of that excellence and I encourage you to aim for it.

This may mean it takes you longer to learn EMDR than in a 2 day quickie course. But in my experience, EMDR does take time to learn and integrate. There are many important choice points along the way, and keeping close to more seasoned and experienced EMDR therapists helps you make those choices in the best way for your client’s healing.

If you read my “Best Source of EMDR Training…” post, you will note that I spread out my continuing education in EMDR and thus the expenses didn’t hit me all at once.

I am an Approved Consultant and help other EMDR therapists to become Certified. It has been a gratifying process to see people arrive a bit anxious about their practice, and leave feeling confident and willing to get help whenever they need it. They keep in touch with our free study group and/or our EMDRIA Regional Meeting for San Diego therapists, and get the continuing education courses to stay well informed in their practice of EMDR. Recent improvements have been made in the protocol. Attending the meetings is the way we keep up on the beneficial changes.

Generally, people get what they pay for. When it comes to your education, would you go to an unaccredited university and earn your Masters or PhD? No. Would it have any value? No. Would insurance companies want you on their panels? No. The same with the EMDR training you want to receive. Many insurance panels require that you be a Certified EMDR therapist, to be paid as an EMDR therapist with your clients. So be careful of the ethical issues of substandard training. What ethical and liability issues could you be inviting into your life, in the interests of saving money or time?

Generally you get what you pay for. I encourage you to get what you really want: solid efficacy in a transformational therapy called EMDR.

Best Source of EMDR Training? EMDRIA, EMDR Institute, or PESI??

I want to share a word to wise therapists who are drawn to EMDR and want to provide the best and most complete therapy to their clients.

You may have received mailers from PESI letting you know that the research has strongly validated EMDR for the treatment of trauma. They think that in the “Real World” therapists don’t want to invest 50 hours in learning to do EMDR, thus they offer a 16 hour course, admitting that it doesn’t qualify you to treat trauma with EMDR.

I am glad that they do recommend that people become Certified as an EMDR therapist. But they don’t mention before you purchase their course that it will not help you qualify for EMDRIA Certification. So if you are trying to save money, you will actually be spending more by taking this course and then going on to Certification. The first requirement for certification is taking an approved Basic Training Course in EMDR. Such courses are offered by the EMDR Institute and other providers approved and accessible through EMDRIA.

I can tell you that the thorough Basic Training course taught by the EMDR Institute is excellent. I was so impressed with the thoroughness of the lecture, manual, and practice sessions. Part of the reason for the expense is the close supervision you receive during practice by Institute Facilitators. Groups of 3 therapists practice together. Each Facilitator supervises only 3 groups of 3, soample help is available for practice.

Is the Certification process important? I first learned EMDR therapy in San Diego in 1997 and completed Basic Training in Los Angeles in 1998. In 2002 I became Certified by completing 20 hours of consultation about my own practice of EMDR. This is extremely valuable, and greatly increased my confidence as an EMDR therapist. I am required to receive 12 credits in EMDRIA-approved courses in each 2 year period, which helps me to keep current with many advances occurring in EMDR research and practice. This has helped me enhance my knowledge and skills for specific populations (children, dissociative clients, panic-disordered clients, and so on) as EMDR continues to be practiced and researched for new applications.

Further discussion on this issue is in a related post: “How much is quality and competence worth?” Please check that out.