Principles of EMDR Therapy, Neurobiology and Implications for Trauma Informed Care - Alicia Avila





27 May 2022 Live & On Demand


UK: 15:00 – 22:00
North America: 10:00 – 17:00 ET / 7:00 – 14:00 PT

CPD & CE credits available: 6
Live NBCC credits: 6 (TBC for on demand participants)

TRAINING information

This online training is streaming live on the 27th May 2022.

The digital recording will be released to all participants on the 29th May. The recording and associated resources will then be accessible through your Essential Therapy Training account for 365 days.


This course is an introduction to the principles of EMDR therapy and trauma informed care. This course does not train a practitioner in EMDR Therapy.  The course will review the training standards for official evidence based EMDR therapy trainings and the two main organizations that oversee that standard for those who wish to pursue EMDR therapy training. This course will review the history and evolution of EMDR therapy from a desensitization technique to the evidence based full therapy approach taught today. The main paradigm shift will be illustrated by reviewing the principles, the model that informs EMDR, the neurobiological underpinnings and clinical findings.

This course will review what constitutes trauma; from the DSM criteria of PTSD to what the research shows of the impact of adverse life events. Pointing out outcome differences between early life events compared to adult-onset events.  What to consider when working on single incident events versus ongoing events and recent events.  The research behind the neurobiology of trauma and stress is reviewed.  The effects of racism and other marginalization is described as well as the implications for treatment.

Participants will learn about the impact of “adverse community events” that can cause symptoms of PTSD. Adverse community experiences of discrimination and marginalization set up the groundwork for health consequences, self-esteem, and identity. Posts on social media can trigger past experiences of marginalization, lack of belonging and threat to our need for community and safety. Using a more wholistic or bottom-up approach to access points of disturbance can aid in working with diverse populations that present with more somatic symptoms.  For multilingual individuals inviting the client’s use of various language can help to access emotions or memories that may be encoded in language. Clinicians ability to check in with their client around perceived differences in ethnicity, age, disability, gender can help open the door to reveal additional life experiences that may be relevant for trauma work and for the therapeutic rapport.

An overview of the protocol consisting of the 8 phases of EMDR therapy treatment and its 3 prongs will be explored. A brief video clip will illustrate some of the principles of EMDR reprocessing such as dual attention and intermittent use of dual attention bilateral stimulation. Aspects of phases one and two will be explained with a brief demonstration of a phase 2 exercise. A consideration for the use of techniques that are part of EMDR phases one and two for non EMDR clinicians to use as part of trauma informed care will be illustrated.

Learning Objectives

By the end of the training session participants will be able:

  • List the main organizations that review officially sanctioned EMDR trainings
  • Describe key treatment differences between adult-onset trauma and developmental trauma
  • Name and describe the 3 prongs of EMDR therapy
  • Identify the 8 phases of EMDR therapy
  • Name and describe the model that informs EMDR therapy procedures
  • Identify key research finding of the effects of Eye Movements


Initial Timings are in US Pacific Time.

7:00 – 7:15 Introduction     (15:00 – 15:15 BST)

7:15-8:30 How to find an official EMDR Training. Evolution of EMDR Therapy; from technique to a full therapy approach, An introduction to EMDR’s  8 phases and 3 prongs. The AIP Model.     (15:15-16:30)

8:30-8:45 Break     (16:30 – 16:45)

8:45-10:15 Components of memory and memory networks, Neurobiological mechanisms of action in EMDR therapy     (16:45 – 18:15)

10:15-11:15 Refueling break     (18:15 – 19:15)

11:15-12:45 Trauma vs. adverse life events. Impact of adverse community experiences; racism and marginalization. Single incident vs. chronic events.  Neurobiology of trauma and healing.     (19:15 – 20:45)

12:45-1:00 Break     (20:45 – 21:00)

1:00-2:00 EMDR sample video, techniques from Phase 1 and 2. Demonstration of a phase 2 technique. Clinical applications, collaboration and referring to an EMDR clinician.     (21:00 – 22:00)

About the Speaker

Alicia Avila, MSW, LCSW is an EMDR Institute trainer, EMDRIA approved consultant, and psychotherapist specializing in trauma and cultural issues. Ms. Avila has over 25 years of experience in the field and has been a teacher and trainer for local and national institutions and conferences. She is currently an EMDR Institute senior trainer working on the ongoing the latest update of the EMDR training curriculum. Ms. Avila was a clinical instructor for the UCSD department of psychiatry, school of medicine. She was the program manager for the UCSD Co-Occurring Disorders Program leading a multidisciplinary treatment team of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, marriage and family therapists, and recovery counselors providing integrated treatment within a community behavioral health clinic. She is a contributing author of A Dual Diagnosis Demonstration Project: Treatment Outcomes and Cost Analysis published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs in 2003. Ms. Avila is bilingual and bicultural as an immigrant, living in the US, originally from Mexico City.


CPD & CE credits available: 6

How do I receive these credits? The participant must pass the multiple-choice test with a minimum score of 80%. There is a maximum of three attempts to achieve this. The post-test is included in the price of the training.

Does my regulatory body accept the credits? The CPD & CE credits awarded can be used towards your declaration to any governing regulatory body in your state or country, provided the content is relevant to your discipline.

Our trainings are accredited by:

  • The CPD Group, London
  • Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association
  • Australian Counselling Association

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Principles of EMDR Therapy, Neurobiology and Implications for Trauma Informed Care - Alicia Avila

27 May 2022 Live & On Demand

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