EMDR Europe is the official professional association which establishes, maintains and promotes the highest standards of excellence and integrity in EMDR practice, research and education throughout Europe.
Francine Shapiro first brought EMDR to Europe with a training course in Amsterdam in 1993. This was followed by a regular training programme by the EMDR Institute in Europe and a HAP (Humanitarian Assistance Programme) training programme in Northern Ireland.
A strong bond and sense of purpose soon developed amongst this group of clinicians as they saw the potential for the rapid growth of EMDR across many countries. As they worked together and helped to train more practitioners in EMDR, it seemed like a natural progression to build on their sense of international comradeship and mutual sense of purpose by forming a European-wide organisation. The inaugural meeting of the EMDR Europe Association took place in London in June 1998 with the election of our first president. The primary aim of this new organisation was to promote and support the development of the highest standards in the teaching and practice of EMDR throughout Europe.
Although it is possible for practitioners to treat individuals without a good knowledge of their language and culture, this is not true about training. In an area as diverse as Europe,it is clearly advantageous if the trainers come from the country in which they teach, with a sound knowledge of their own culture and language. It became our aim to promote the development of national trainers in every European country as quickly as practicable, even though this would clearly be a long and time-consuming process. A Standards Committee was established with the specific task of mentoring and accrediting new national trainers and training courses of the highest standard.
Another essential task of this European organisation was to foster the development of national support structures. Newly-trained practitioners need local support and good supervision if they are to flourish. EMDR Europe therefore assists and encourages the development of single democratic national organisations within each European country. Each national association must be open to all trained EMDR practitioners within their country. This is now a fundamental requirement for any new member country.
Because of our history, there is something unique about the way that EMDR Europe has evolved. We have built an international organisation before the establishment of national organisations. Usually, this type of development happens the other way round. If a Europe-wide organisation ever develops in the caring and medical professions, it is usually through a long and often painful struggle between established national organisations.
The early development of a strong cohesive European EMDR organisation, which promotes the development of robust national organisations, is a unique combination which has been significantly to our advantage.It has made possible the establishment of the highest standards of national trainers, training courses and quality practitioners who are supported in their own countries.This has enabled EMDR Europe Association to grow rapidly into the prominent, unified and effective professional organisation that it is today.
Today, over 26 countries from all over Europe,Eastern Europe, including Israel and Turkeyand guests from other parts of the world created a sense of community that supports solid researchas well as creative clinical work and best practices in trauma treatment with EMDR therapy.