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Diversity & Cultural Competence


EMDRIA Statement Regarding Diversity and Cultural Competence

EMDRIA acknowledges and promotes membership diversity for the purpose of fostering growth, learning, creativity and productivity in our professional organization. We value diversity and encourage inclusion, sharing and mutual respect for the multiple perspectives that foster a climate of understanding of the interdependence of multicultural humanity within our profession and in members’ service to the community. We foster diversity through education and the development of policies and practices that encompass multiple aspects of human differences, life experiences, and viewpoint, and further recognize their similarities and interrelationships. EMDRIA’s diversity perspective includes, but is not limited to, the influence of culture, race/ethnicity, nationality/citizenship, gender/gender identity, sexual/affectional orientation, socio-economic status, religion/spirituality, ability/disability, and/or age.


EMDRIA values cultural competence both as an organizational goal and as a core component of effective EMDR therapy. We seek to ally with and contribute to the general movement toward cultural competence within the fields of health service provision, education and elsewhere. We view culture as the common patterns of human behavior and overall meaning associated with particular social groups that can include thoughts and behaviors, language and communication patterns, customs, beliefs, values and other dimensions related to group identification and participation. Cultural groups include a wide range of socially salient groups, large and small, within a society. The impact of culture is both externally lived in a person's life through social interactions as well as being internally experienced within a person's sense of self. EMDRIA regards cultural competence as the capacity to understand and respect the importance of culture and to integrate that awareness into both organizational health and service delivery. 


EMDRIA strives to educate and support EMDR clinicians as they implement culturally attuned EMDR therapy in a multicultural world. EMDRIA believes that cultural competence includes a deep and evolving appreciation of the role that cultural forces play in the well-being of all people, both constructive and destructive. We encourage culturally competent clinicians to pursue knowledge and understanding regarding the general importance of culture as well as cultural awareness specific to service to each client; and to further adapt and maintain EMDR therapy skills that are culturally sensitive and effective. 


EMDRIA considers the following ongoing goals and practices to be consistent with our intention to be an organization that supports diversity and cultural competence: 


Cultural Competence Goals and Practices for EMDRIA as an organization 

  1. Endorse, as an organization, the importance of cultural competence, diversity and inclusivity. 
  2. Build and maintain cultural diversity of membership and leadership at all levels. 
  3. Provide and support opportunities for members of groups to get to know one another as individuals and learn from each other’s cultures and traditions. 
  4. Make EMDR treatment options available to and effective with people of all cultures. 
  5. Define and develop standards of cultural competence within EMDR therapy and integrate them into overall core competency standards of EMDR therapy. 
  6. Define and maintain cultural competence standards for EMDRIA approved educational programs, trainers and EMDRIA approved consultants. 
  7. Compile knowledge, and support education and training regarding culturally competent EMDR therapy. 
  8. Support innovation and research related to culturally competent EMDR therapy. 
  9. Promote to the public, mental health organizations and policy makers the ways in which EMDR interventions have demonstrated cultural competence and effectiveness. 
  10. Collaborate regarding cultural competence with other EMDR and non-EMDR organizations. 


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