As of January 1, 2023, Marisol Erlacher, LPC, is now the EMDRIA Board of Directors president. We interviewed her to introduce her to the membership.
Why did you become involved in EMDRIA, and what has your involvement looked like over time?
I came to EMDR in 2004 when I started my first clinical position as a full-time bilingual/bicultural therapist at my local rape crisis center. It was also when you didn’t have to complete both weekends of Basic Training concurrently. My initial interest in EMDRIA came in 2009 after I had completed the second weekend of my Basic Training. I reached out to EMDRIA interested in board membership primarily because I strongly believe in civic service. At the time, I hadn’t been a member long enough to apply for the board, and there were no other leadership roles to consider. I reached out again in 2017 and started my term as a board member. This will be my 5th year as a director, and I am grateful to be a part of this organization at this moment in time. I have seen the organization become more stable and sustainable for continued growth.
How would you characterize the board’s role in EMDRIA?
The board serves several roles in EMDRIA. I see it as the protector of the vision of the organization. We are also responsible for keeping the organization’s strategic priorities at the forefront. And we are tasked with ensuring that the organization is sustainable and adaptable for the future–all while ensuring we are serving our current membership to the best of our ability.
If EMDRIA were to be on the cover of your favorite newspaper or magazine in five
years, what would the story be about?
We recently interviewed a former board member who shared that 10 years ago, the organization’s primary goal was to be a household name. Although there is still work to do, we have seen EMDR therapy gain more credibility and visibility in recent years. I hope that in five years, the headline will be that EMDRIA worked to advance the cause of EMDR therapy, becoming more inclusive and accessible to anyone in the world that needs it.
How would you describe the goals of EMDRIA, and how do we achieve these goals?
One of our primary goals is to continue focusing on enhancing the member experience. We will do that by building systems that allow members to access relevant information about EMDR therapy and offer both virtual and in-person continuing education.
We also understand, more than ever, the need for community. We hope to build more opportunities to cultivate a community with like-minded clinicians invested in advancing EMDR therapy. We are excited to meet in person for our 2023 Annual Conference after several years apart.
We will continue our work to define and implement standards as part of a multi-year plan. Over the next several years, we will revise training, consultant, and certification standards.
We are also committed to engaging in an in-depth review of how we can be more inclusive, equitable, and diverse in our organization and access EMDR therapy. The organization has hired a consulting firm that will lead us through a multi-phased process to provide actionable feedback for the organization and the membership.
What are your top goals during your tenure as president?
I believe my tenure will be a success if I continue to usher in what I view as a new phase of the organization. Through the leadership of our Executive Director, and previous hardworking and dedicated boards, EMDRIA has had continued growth, and we are the most financially stable we have ever been. My goals are to ensure that there is more inclusion, no more gatekeeping, and continued growth and that our mission of fostering healing, health, and hope advances globally.
What personal or biographical information would you like to share with the members?
I am the creator and host of the podcast Resilience and Resistance, which features successful Black, Indigenous, and Women of Color who have overcome trauma and become resilient. The Resilience and Resistance Podcast was a finalist for the Colorado Podcast Awards for Best New Podcast. In 2022, I was a finalist for the Denver Metro Chamber Business of the Year Awards in the BIPOC or Women Owned Category and the recipient of the Latinas First Foundation Unsung Heroine Award. Denver, Colorado, is my home, and I (sometimes foolishly) love hiking tall mountains, spending time with the Chicana Book Club, and being at home with my husband and son.