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5 Questions to Ask an EMDR Therapist

Want to find the right EMDR therapist for you? The fidelity of EMDR is something that has always been SO important to me! It's sad to say, but there have been quite a number of stories I've heard over the years from individuals who thought they were getting EMDR Therapy, but after speaking to them, it was definitely not EMDR that was done.

Here are some questions to ask to help you be an informed consumer when you're looking for an EMDR Therapist near you:

1. How long have you been practicing EMDR Therapy?

There are 4 levels of expertise in EMDR Therapy. EMDR Therapist, EMDR Certified Therapist, EMDR Consultant-in-Training, and EMDR Approved Consultant. Each level has certain requirements, including length of time practicing as an EMDR Therapist, as well as continuing education and consultation requirements.

2. How often do you use EMDR therapy in your practice?

There is a difference between someone who was trained in it but never really used it VS. someone who was trained and has been actively engaged in the EMDR community ever since. EMDR isn't the only approach to counseling, so many therapists will use several different orientations, but you want to know what is EMDR vs. what's not.

3. Do you have experience treating _____ with EMDR?

This is important because certain a specialist will have advanced trainings that will be helpful in your treatment planning. You wouldn't go to a podiatrist for a cardiac issue, would you? Well guess what, therapy is the same thing.

At our practice, Peaceful Living Mental Health Counseling in Eastchester, NY, we have mental health counselors who specialize in eating disorders, child therapy, complex trauma, sports psychology, etc. While everyone is trained in trauma informed care, there are certain things that are important that a specialist would know vs. a general practitioner.

For example, our sports psychology specialist, Sean O'Connor, has taught me so many things that I never knew as an EMDR therapist, because I don't specialize in that area. But since he was an athlete himself for so many years, he has a much deeper understanding of the psychology of an athlete, and integrates this in his case conceptualization as an EMDR Therapist for Athletic Performance Enhancement.

4. What advanced trainings have you done in EMDR Therapy?

Again you want to know that the therapist will be able to help you with the issue you are coming in for. Examples of advanced EMDR Trainings include: Treating Complex Trauma with EMDR Therapy, EMDR Therapy with Eating Disorders, Integration EMDR Therapy for Dissociation, etc.

5. Do you participate in EMDR Consultation?

Consultation for EMDR therapists is a way that the therapist can get feedback on their work, learn new EMDR tips and techniques, and become more and more confident in practicing the therapy. Consultation is just awesome. I've been doing EMDR for about 8 years now, and I still love meeting with my consultants. And as a consultant, I LOVE working with other EMDR therapists and help guide them to think more like an EMDR therapist and feel more confident doing so.


About Dana Carretta-Stein

Dana Carretta-Stein is a licensed mental health counselor and owner of Peaceful Living Mental Health Counseling, a trauma informed counseling practice in Scarsdale, NY. 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.

Dana is a specialist and avid enthusiast of EMDR Therapy, one of the most effective evidenced based treatments for trauma, and uses it regularly in her practice. As an EMDRIA Approved Consultant, she provides consultation to other EMDR therapists to help them enhance their learning and skills as an EMDR Therapist.


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