This post is Part 2 of a 4 part series featuring EMDRIA Trailblazers. View Part 1 on Changes in the Field of EMDR therapy here.
We are celebrating the EMDRIA Trailblazers, EMDR therapists who have been with EMDRIA and practicing EMDR therapy for more than 20 years! These EMDR therapists have been navigating discovery and critique in the EMDR field while gathering wisdom and continually honing for excellence. We polled these members and asked for responses to:
“How did EMDR therapy help you or change your professional career?”
“My EMDR training changed the way I practiced. The efficacy was astounding, and my Division Chair told me I better collect data because no one would believe the successes I witnessed – so I did.” *** Sandra Barker, Ph.D., NCC, LPC
“EMDR has made me a better therapist, more effective. This, in turn, helps with the prevention of burnout. I love seeing the dramatic improvements clients often make; it is a morale booster. Furthermore, the superior quality of ongoing EMDR CEU training and trainers has made me more knowledgeable as a therapist in general.” *** Max Bowen, LCPC
“Helped to anchor and support my position as a trauma specialist in my professional community. I developed a reputation as an EMDR adjunctive therapist who works collaboratively with primary therapists. Have taught post-graduate interns how to work effectively with trauma specialists. EMDR therapy has helped me help numerous patients over the decades find relief and freedom from the burden of unprocessed trauma. ” *** WSB
“It has been a stimulating, fulfilling ride on the EMDR Trail for me! I was fortunate to take my Basic Training when I was in supervision working toward my LMHC. My supervisor embraced this “new” therapy. The results were so remarkable that she encouraged me to use EMDR to help clients with whatever issues they presented and not be limited to the grief therapy that was the center’s focus. Within just a few weeks, I was doing one or two sessions every day. I am grateful for the acceptance, encouragement, and support that I got — along with the fact that EMDR just works! Thank you, Francine!” *** Carol J Crow, LMHC BCETS
“EMDR therapy completely directed my career. I learned EMDR fresh out of college in the early 90’s. I loved the results I saw in my clients and the changes in my life. I was so grateful I became involved in EMDRIA committees, became EMDR Certified, an Approved Consultant, and a trainer. I ended up serving on the EMDRIA Board of Directors! *** DaLene Forester, Ph.D.
“My therapy career radically changed when I learned EMDR therapy, supported by study groups, regional meetings, and multiple advanced trainings and conferences. I have read a fair amount about burnout but never experienced it due to how effective and gratifying the therapy is. I feel tremendously fortunate to have stumbled upon this therapy years ago.” *** Susan Goodell, MA, MS, MFT (Retired Member)
“I’ve been an EMDRIA-certified therapist since 1996. Learning and integrating EMDR into my private practice was the primary reason I had a successful career. I gradually shifted from a full-time school social worker seeing clients part-time to a full-time trauma specialist, never having a lack of clients. I never again felt the burnout I experienced in prior employment. Through years of practice, I expand it creatively in my work and always recommend EMDR training as essential for all therapists working with traumatized individuals.” *** Judith A. Hancox, MSW, LCSW, BCETS
“Before the initial workshop I attended in 1992 in Chicago, I remember getting a xeroxed (mimeographed? I can’t remember what it was then!) blue sheet of paper via snail-mail advertising the training. I had never heard of it before but was drawn to it as something that sounded like it could fill a gap in what I was able to address with clients. I never dreamed then how helpful it would be for clients or how many referrals I would now be getting specifically for this therapy. It has been a game-changer for my professional career and many of my clients.” *** Linda Hinkle, Ph.D. HSPP
“As a social worker, I deeply respect all indigenous healing practices. In 1995, while immersed in shamanic workshops with Carlos Castaneda, I learned the practice of Recapitulation, a bilateral head movement, and accompanying breath, which activates an inner reliving of one’s life, the intent being to retrieve one’s personal energy bound in unresolved experiences. Synchronistically, EMDR crossed my path, and I began to explore its possibilities. Since then, EMDR has been central to my clinical practice, as its healing properties extend to the deepest traumatic wounds. It also provides extraordinary access to transpersonal resources within the psyche, critical to navigating these dissociated times.” *** Chuck Ketchel, LCSW-R, Clinical Social Work, Transpersonal Psychotherapist
“I was a graduate student when I was trained, and we suffered the 1989 Earthquake in the San Francisco Bay Area. It was gratifying to see how well EMDR ameliorated the trauma of earthquake victims. I worked on one of the first large EMDR Therapy clinical research trials at Kaiser, which helped EMDR Therapy to gain acceptance. I have had EMDR Therapy as a client, which has transformed my life, allowing me to become a comfortable public speaker and perform music.” *** Priscilla Marquis, Ph.D.
“I remember working with youth offenders. I would have these great sessions with the teen and their families, and the next day, they would commit another crime! I remember not wanting to be a counselor anymore and would quit as I was not helping anyone. A colleague told me to take an EMDR course at the university. I did, and it changed my life forever. In 2 to 3 sessions, I was changing teens’ lives! Teachers, probation officers, and parents thought I was a miracle worker!” *** Annie Monaco, LCSW, RPT
“One significant change is that it brings me great professional satisfaction to see clients rid themselves of toxic emotions, physical illness, and irrational beliefs in a short period. That has extended the life of my career by many years.” *** Linda Nordquist, LCSW (Retired Member)
“I have to have a reason to Not do EMDR. Totally changed my practice. *** Elaine Ortman, Nurse Practitioner
“In 2000, EMDR basic training was about learning a tool for the therapist’s toolbox. EMDR basic training was done on two separate weekends. I was fortunate to do one of my basic training weekends with Francine Shapiro. At my basic training, I chose to work on something I had worked on in talk therapy that was still bugging me. When my memory was reprocessed, I felt a huge weight lift- it was amazing. After basic training, I began consultation with Deany Laliotis as I needed help using EMDR to its full potential. I also began my own EMDR psychotherapy. I have remained in case consultation as well as EMDR psychotherapy ever since. Case consultation is critical to learning the craft of EMDR psychotherapy and staying abreast of EMDR as it grows and changes. We need to continue to do our work to make room to work with our clients.” *** Mary C. Ray, LCSW, ACSW, CSCT, SEP
“EMDR changed my career by teaching me how to make trauma go away! Then I taught basic training, then advanced training, then edited/wrote three books about it. I now run 20 EMDR consult groups a month!” *** Robin Shapiro, LICSW
“I can’t even imagine how things would be if I hadn’t learned EMDR. Research that came out around the same time as Francine’s initial article indicated that the Veterans who completed a 90-day flagship program within the VA felt that it was effective at about a 20% rate. CBT and other approaches seemed to help the Vets, but not to the same extent as EMDR. Perhaps the most significant impact is that EMDR gave my clients, their friends and family, and myself hope. It was a major shift to change the perspective of the objective of therapy to only manage symptoms to actually change and eliminate symptoms of PTSD. This was supported by several studies that found that after EMDR psychotherapy, individuals no longer met the criteria for a PTSD diagnosis.” *** Jamie Zabukovec, Psy.D.
General Resources for Mental Health Therapists
If you are a therapist interested in the EMDR training, visit our EMDR Training & Education tab:
If you are EMDR trained:
- Learn more about EMDRIA membership
- Search for Continuing Education opportunities
- Check out the EMDRIA blog, Focal Point
If you are an EMDRIA Member: