EMDR Solutions

Robin Shapiro, M.S.W., L.I.C.S.W.

EMDR Consultation


I've been doing therapy since 1981. Since 1993 I've had the pleasure and excitement of doing EMDR. Both EMDR and I have grown immensely in our ability to respond to different clients in an effective manner. I've been to many regional and international conferences, presenting at several. I've been consulting about EMDR since 1998. At this moment, I have 4 monthly consultation groups going, and several individual consultees.


Each group contains 4 people. Each consultee receives 30 minutes of consultation. About half of my consultees are working towards EMDRIA certification, and may count "their" half hour as individual consultation, and others' time as group consultation time. If they come to 20 groups, they end up with 10 hours of individual consultation time and 20 to 25 hours of group. Each person pays ½ of my hourly fee. Participants make a six-month commitment to the group. When a participants misses a group, they pay for it and the other group members use their time.


Most groups consist of case consultation with an EMDR focus. Sometimes, people may ask general questions about EMDR for different diagnoses, or issues. For example, "How do you use EMDR with OCD?" or "Tell us about that Level of Urge to Avoid protocol for procrastinators." At that point, I'll lecture about requested protocols or diagnoses. If appropriate, I'll do a demonstration of a protocol. Sometimes, the whole group will practice an unfamiliar protocol. When countertransference issues arise, I often use the standard protocol, with a float-back, on the consultees. EMDR has worked every time to alleviate the distress of the consultant, and to bring clarity to her work.

Case Consultation

In my groups, there is a strong emphasis on the preparation phase of EMDR. Consultees are requested to report the history, current circumstances, suspected diagnosis, level of connection to the therapist, and affect tolerance level of each client. If any of the above information is unclear, we figure it out before going on to the discussion of EMDR protocols" At times, the only standard-protocol related discussion is, "Your client is so not ready for trauma-processing." We then discuss appropriate preparations for the standard protocol. Topics include resource development, affect tolerance skills, ego-state work, attunement, and general teaching about a specific diagnosis. Consultees are often referred to a book or conference tape about their client's issue.

Levels of Expertise

Most of my consultees have completed an entire Basic EMDR training. Some have been doing EMDR nearly as long as I have and some are new to EMDR. In my experience, therapists who understand attunement, containment, personality structures, and more than one model of therapy appear to have an easy time with EMDR. To help people become good EMDR therapists I sometimes help them become good therapists. I teach attunement skills, diagnostics, self-regulating skills (for the therapists as well as for their clients), and general clinical discernment.

I try to have people with similar levels of expertise in the same group. Some of the groups are mixed, and still work.


Consultees say that groups feel safe, containing, and deeply informative. Some people participate until they have their EMDRIA-certification. Two thirds of participants stay in groups from three to twelve years.

Consultation of Consultation

I've graduated several EMDRIA-certified consultants. We worked on case conceptualization, ways to explain EMDR concepts and protocols, trouble-shooting group issues, and giving answers to thorny therapy problems. Consultees may or may not use my group structure, but are assisted to think through how and why they want to structure and run their consultations.

Disclosure and Rules Statement

On the right is what I hand out to my consultees.