HAP, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, can be described as the mental health equivalent of Doctors Without Borders: a global network of clinicians who travel anywhere there is a need to stop emotional suffering and prevent the psychological after-effects of trauma and violence. HAP’s goal is to help break the cycle of suffering that ruins lives and devastates families.
The HAP model emphasizes training and giving professional support to local clinicians to continue the healing process. This training-focused model has several advantages. By teaching EMDR to local therapists, we are equipping them with an efficient and effective tool with which to treat the emotional effects of trauma. The professionals who are already part of the affected community are not being replaced by outsiders; rather, they are being given an important resource to be used when and how they think is best. Because reactions to traumatic events are sometimes delayed, and because individuals often try to resolve problems on their own before they seek professional intervention, training local clinicians helps ensure that when people do come for help, their needs can be met. In this way, effective psychological treatment of trauma extends far beyond the parameters of a single event.
In addition to training, HAP’s Disaster Mental Health Recovery Network coordinates clinicians to treat victims and emergency service workers after crises such as the Oklahoma City bombing and the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Since the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, a growing network of EMDR-HAP volunteers have responded to the calls for healing that come from all over the world, be it earthquakes in Turkey, hurricanes in Mexico, or severe flooding in North Dakota. We have reached out to communities traumatized by war and terror in Palestine and Israel, Croatia and Bosnia, Northern Ireland, and Kenya. We have filled the void in mental health services for inner-city communities from Bedford Stuyvesent to Oakland and underserved populations in rural and suburban communities, Native American reservations, Hungary, Poland, China, South Africa, Ukraine, Mexico, Nicaragua, El Salvador and beyond. We have treated and trained and sowed the seeds for healing in the aftermaths of the TWA Flight 800 crash, the school shootings at Columbine High and Dunblane, Scotland, and the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.
EMDR HAP volunteers typically donate at least one week per year of therapy or training time to make healing available to those who are suffering, but who can least afford to pay for treatment. However, funding is needed to get the clinicians to where they are most needed. The Oklahoma City outreach alone cost $50,000. While individual trainings in Bangladesh, the Balkans, and Africa have been co-sponsored by organizations like UNICEF, and Catholic Relief Services most are funded exclusively by individual contributions.
To learn more about HAP and what we have accomplished: www.emdrhap.org Tax-deductible donations may be sent to EMDR-HAP, PO Box 52164, Pacific Grove, CA 93950
The EMDR Institute has trained over 50,000 clinicians in the EMDR methodology since it was founded in 1990. It maintains an international directory of Institute-trained clinicians for client referrals and trains only qualified mental health professionals according to the strictest professional standards. Trainings authorized by the Institute display the EMDR Institute logo.
For further information on training or referral, the Institute can be reached by phone at (831) 372-3900, fax (831) 647-9881, email: firstname.lastname@example.org PO Box 750, Watsonville, CA 95077 or visit the website at www.EMDR.com
EMDR INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION (EMDRIA)
The EMDR International Association is a professional organization of EMDR-trained therapists and researchers devoted to promoting the highest possible standard of excellence and integrity in EMDR practice, research and education for the public good.
EMDRIA further develops the existing body of empirical knowledge, theory and clinical application of EMDR procedures and keeps its membership informed of changes. It is also involved in developing ethical standards for practice and training; creating clinical support materials; and educating other professional organizations and the general public about the benefits of EMDR.
THE EMDR EUROPE ASSOCIATION
THE EMDR Europe Association is the governing body for all the national European EMDR Associations including Israel. It performs a similar function to EMDRIA as the overseeing professional organization of European EMDR-trained therapists and researchers. It is also devoted to promoting the highest possible standard of excellence and integrity in EMDR practice, research and education. Further details can be found on their website www.emdr-europe.org or email: email@example.com.
Choosing a Clinician
Make sure that the EMDR course your clinician has taken is approved by EMDRIA or EMDR Europe Association. Clinicians may have unknowingly taken substandard training.
EMDR should be administered only by a licensed clinician specifically trained in EMDR. Take time to interview your prospective clinician. Make sure that he or she has the appropriate training in EMDR (basic training is a two-part course) and has kept up with the latest developments. While training is mandatory, it is not sufficient. Choose a clinician who is experienced with EMDR and has a good success rate. Make sure that the clinician is comfortable in treating your particular problem. In addition, it is important that you feel a sense of trust and rapport with the clinician. Every treatment success is an interaction among clinician, client and method.
What to Ask:
(1) Have they received both levels of training;
(2) Was the training approved by EMDRIA or EMDR Europe;
(3) Have they kept informed of the latest protocols and developments;
(4) How many people with your particular problems or disorder have they treated;
(5) What is their success rate.