I’m on the board of the Humanitarian Assistance Program of EMDR. We are a non-profit organization whose goal is to "expand access to effective mental health treatment for traumatized and underserved communities through direct service and training of local caregivers, anywhere in the world."

HAP’s current projects include training therapists in Lebanon, the West Bank,India, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Domestically, it has a big project on the Gulf Coast (post-Katrina), and many projects training staff of community mental health centers, rape crisis centers, child treatment agencies, VA’s, military counseling staff, and where ever a non-profit group, serving underserved populations asks them to go (given specific criteria, of course). It is often described as "Doctors Without Borders" for mental health. All trainers and facilitators are volunteers. Trainees are encouraged to become facilitators, and then trainers, so as to create a training infrastructure in each area. (This has happened in Israel, and is well on its way in both the West Bank, and India.)

HAP sends volunteer therapists to some disaster scenes. Many HAP volunteers assisted New Yorkers, post-911, and people in the Gulf Coast, post-hurricanes. In my town, Seattle, we’ve worked with people in the aftermath of a shooting incident, and with some Katrina transplants. HAP in the midst of formalizing our Trauma Recovery Network (TRN) to be able to connect volunteers to people who need them. Volunteers give 5 free stabilization and EMDR sessions to clients, and are not allowed to see the people, for fee, at anytime. If you are a certified EMDR-therapist, you can volunteer for the TRN here. If you’d like to know more about HAP or make a donation, click here. It’s a great organization, well-managed, with most of the money going to direct service. For having a tiny staff, it does alot. HAP’s goal for next year is to train 1200 people, who would not otherwise have its traumatology or EMDR trainings. I’m proud to be part of it.