Training: becoming an EMDR specialist

EMDR is an advanced psychotherapy requiring a high level of skill. A mental health clinical background is an essential prerequisite for the effective application of EMDR treatment. All training providers will also expect you to provide evidence that you are accredited with one of the professional associations deemed acceptable by EMDR Europe.

N.B. We are required to abide by the EMDR Europe eligibility criteria shown below. If you do not currently meet this you would not be able to attend.

If you are employed within NHS England there are stipulations placed upon you  regarding delivering EMDR Therapy – HEE NHSE EMDR Clinical Governance Guidance.

Health Education England (HEE) have set particular entry requirements if you work in NHS England Talking Therapies/IAPT, Adult Community Mental Health and Perinatal Health Services – HEE Eligibility List


Accredited EMDR therapy training is limited to:

Mental Health Professionals

Clinical Psychologists (Registered with HCPC or Psychological Society Ireland)

Counselling Psychologists (Registered with HCPC or Psychological Society Ireland)

Educational Psychologists (Registered with HCPC)

Forensic Psychologists (Registered with HCPC)

Clinical & Counselling Psychologists in final year of doctoral training are acceptable with a letter of recommendation from their supervisor. In UK, they eligible to begin the Standard EMDR Europe course but cannot fully complete it until their registration with HCPC is confirmed.

Forensic Psychology Trainees – To be eligible to begin the Standard EMDR Europe course, candidates must be in Stage 2 (supervised practice) of the BPS Qualification in Forensic Psychology and have completed at least 450 hours of supervised practice. They will also need a letter of recommendation from their clinical supervisor to confirm this. However, candidates cannot complete their EMDR training until their registration with HCPC is confirmed.

Psychiatrists (Ireland: Consultant Psychiatrist, StR / SpR Psychiatry)

Psychiatrists (UK)
MRCPsych or equivalent (including Certificate of Completion of Specialist Training in any psychiatric speciality)
a) Complete both long and short psychotherapy cases (and)
b) Equivalent of three years full-time psychiatric experience (and)
c)  Letter confirming above from line manager and sent to EMDR Training Provider

Registered Mental Health Nurses (NMC or NMBI), Registered Learning Disability Nurses (NMC), Arts Psychotherapists (HCPC), Occupational Therapists (HCPC) and Registered Social Workers who:
Have mental health training, can recognise and assess common mental health problems and have experience of working in a mental health setting.
Have training and a minimum of two years’ experience of providing one-to-one psychotherapy, in addition to their professional training.
Have provided a reference from their clinical supervisor confirming the above.

Counsellors/Psychotherapists MUST hold accreditation OR have submitted proof that they have had their application approved for FULL accreditation for one of the following professional bodies:

• British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC)
• National Counselling & Psychotherapy Society Accredited Professional (NCPS Accredited Professional) grade
• Federation of Drug and Alcohol Practitioners (FDAP) who are NCAC accredited.
• Association of Child Psychotherapists (ACP)

Irish Association for Counselling &  Psychotherapy (IACP)

Irish Council for Psychotherapy (ICP) constituent professional associations

Cognitive behavioural therapy Ireland (CBTI)

Addiction Counsellors in Ireland who hold full accreditation with Addiction Counsellors of Ireland (ACI) according to the 2021 ACI accreditation criteria including:

The Irish Constructivists Psychotherapy Association (ICPA)

  1. The Association for Psychoanalysis & Psychotherapy in Ireland (APPI)
  2. Irish Analytical Psychology Association (IAPA)
  3. Irish Forum for Child & Adolescent Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (IFCAPP)
  4. Irish Forum for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (IFPP)
  5. Irish Group Analytic Society (IGAS)
  6. Irish Psycho-Analytical Association (IPPA)
  7. Northern Ireland Institute of Human Relations (NIIHR)
  8. Family Therapy Association of Ireland (FTAI)
  9. The Irish Association of Humanistic & Integrative Psychotherapy (IAHIP)


Mental Health professionals from countries outside of the UK and Ireland

Are requested to submit a letter from their national EMDR Association agreeing to them undertaking their training in the UK and that they fulfil the eligibility criteria for their country of origin.

Applicants from countries with no national EMDR Association are scrutinised on a case-by-case basis. They need to follow EMDR Association UK eligibility criteria broadly, ie a mental health professional who is accredited/registered with a governing body in their own country.

In either case, external applicants will not be eligible to practice in the UK unless they also meet the eligibility criteria above.

Stipulations set by EMDR UK Association for those applying for training in UK

Applicants must have a significant proportion of their current primary role delivering 1-1 psychotherapy.
Applicants must have the full support of their clinical supervisor to attend the training.
Applicants must have access to training cases for the duration of the course.