EMDRIA Conference 2019 was held this past September in Orange County, California, boasting a record attendance of 1,430 in-person attendees, as well as another 240 virtual attendees. This year’s conference was a very special event that won’t soon be forgotten. The conference marked both achievement and loss as we celebrated the 30th anniversary of EMDR and the life of EMDR’s founder, Francine Shapiro, who passed this year.
In honor of Dr. Shapiro and the 30th anniversary of EMDR, an honor wall was built for the conference. The honor wall served as a space where attendees could write and share what EMDR and Dr. Shapiro have meant to them over the course of their lives and career. As conference got underway, the white space of the board began to fill, and by Sunday, there was barely enough space to write a name. It was a beautiful piece and a wonderful testament to the impact of Dr. Shapiro’s work over the past 30 years. Saturday evening of the conference, a special event was held to honor Dr. Shapiro. To view a Facebook Live recording of this event, go to the Facebook page “EMDR International Association.”
EMDRIA’s annual conference offers an extensive variety of educational opportunities enabling participants to greatly expand their skills. Over 40 EMDR clinicians and experts presented their work. The conference provides a wonderful opportunity to collaborate with colleagues, hear about emerging issues, and learn about the latest EMDR research, all geared toward empowerment in “Creating Healing, Health & Hope” in everyday clinical practice.
EMDRIA’s conference, which was once held as a small gathering of clinicians and researchers in the field, has turned into the largest annual congregation of EMDR therapists in the world. Attendees came from all over the world, with the majority of attendees from the U.S., with a large representation from California, as well as a large number of international attendees representing 19 other countries.
The EMDRIA Conference epitomizes the power of collaboration and knowledge sharing. The conference theme, Changing Lives was reflected in the abundance and quality of engaging attendee discourse. Memories were shared, new connections were made, and advanced knowledge was achieved.