EMDR International Association Members, Certified Therapists, Approved Consultants, EMDR International Association Credit Providers, and EMDR Training Providers must adhere to the following policies as a condition of membership and approval.

Professional Code of Conduct


The EMDR International Association (EMDRIA) has adopted a Professional Code of Conduct in order to assure the highest standards of excellence and integrity in EMDR. By adopting this Code, EMDR International Association creates guidelines to establish and uphold standards of practice, training, certification, and research. All members of EMDR International Association, as a condition of membership, subscribe to the Code of Conduct.

Code of Conduct

  1. Members of EMDR International Association shall observe the professional and ethical standards of their respective clinical professions. If members are not licensed or accountable to a particular discipline’s code of ethics, or if their Code of Ethics does not address the concern at hand, then the American Psychological Association (APA) Code of Ethics (APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct, January 1, 2017) shall apply.
  2. Members shall continue to be in good standing with the professional organization with which they are affiliated and regulatory board (e.g., state or provincial licensure board or Ministry of Health) in their jurisdiction and have no confirmed findings of illegal, unprofessional or unethical conduct. Members shall report within 30 days to EMDR International Association any problems and authorize EMDR International Association to contact the appropriate licensing boards.
  3. Members shall adhere to the code of ethics of their respective clinical profession with regard to the advertising of services or EMDR training programs. If members are not licensed or accountable to a particular discipline’s code of ethics, then the APA Code of Ethics (APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct, January 1, 2017) regarding ethics in advertising and public statements shall apply.
  4. Members or Non-Members serving in an EMDR International Association-sanctioned position will follow all policies and guidelines related to that position.

Sexual Orientation Change Efforts

In the United States, health and mental health associations have objected to sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) that define non-heterosexual orientation as deviant and abnormal.1 A significant body of scholarly research and evidence indicates that a normal continuum of human sexuality, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression all exist beyond heterosexuality. Further, there is research that indicates that SOCE can be harmful, particularly to children and adolescents.

Considering this context, EMDR International Association recognizes the need and responsibility to address the use of EMDR therapy approaches in any SOCE that pathologizes sexual and gender minority (LGBTQIA2) persons and communities. EMDR International Association does not believe that representations of sexual orientation and gender identity result from unresolved trauma. An individual’s sexual orientation and gender identity are not matters of pathology. EMDR International Association does not believe LGBTQIA individuals are in need of mental health treatment by virtue of their sexual orientation and gender identity. Therefore, the use of EMDR therapy in any SOCE program or other similar intervention is inappropriate and outside the norms and values of EMDR International Association. EMDR International Association prohibits the use of EMDR therapy for this purpose by its Members, Certified Therapists, Approved Consultants, Credit Providers, and Approved Training Providers.

1 For additional information about positions regarding SOCE made by U.S. health and mental health organizations, and by governmental agencies and representatives, click here.

2 LGBTQIA: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual

Diversity and Cultural Competence

EMDR International Association 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. EMDR International Association’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.

EMDR International Association 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. EMDR International Association 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.

EMDR International Association strives to educate and support EMDR clinicians as they implement culturally attuned EMDR therapy in a multicultural world. EMDR International Association 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.