The EMDR Research Foundation's President's column appears in each quarterly issue of the EMDR International Association Newsletter.
It was great to see everyone at our fundraising event in Minneapolis in August. We are grateful to everyone who stopped at our booth, bought raffle tickets, sent your "I love EMDR research" selfie to our Facebook page, picked up a poster for your waiting rooms and wore your badge ribbons and celebratory pin throughout the weekend. Our EMDR Research Foundation: A Decade of Making A Difference campaign goals were met and exceeded. We are thrilled and very grateful for your donations and continued support.
I want to acknowledge our vendors and individuals who donated prizes to our raffle. These included Cynthia Kong & Gerald Puk, ZynneMe, EMDR Consulting, Onsite Workshops, Neurotek Corp, Inner Courage, Convention Media Solutions, EMDR Institute, Mentor Books, HeartMath, The Ranch, Trauma Institute & Child Trauma Institute, OchsLabs, BioMat Sales, Barbara Hensley, Ross Institute, and TRR’s Warrior Camp. We are grateful to each of these individuals and organizations, both the loyal repeat donors as well as those who provided a prize for the first time. This year’s raffle was a success and we could not have done it without their help.
Every year the EMDR Research Foundation acknowledges one of our donors. We consider high-level donors, donors who uniquely understand the importance and impact of EMDR therapy research on their clinical work, and/or those who inspire others to donate. This year our donor recognition went to the EMDRIA Western Mass Regional Network, which met all of our criteria. Each year the Western Mass Regional Network holds a State of the Art EMDR Regional Conference that highlights the importance of research on EMDR therapy. Their efforts are exemplary and provide a wonderful example for other EMDRIA Regional Networks to follow.
Co-Regional Coordinator, Jim Helling, spoke on behalf of the Network and shared some inspirational words about the importance of research. Although his full remarks are on our website, here is a sampling (with minor editing for inclusion here.)
It is research that...
- …lets us speak with confidence and authority about EMDR therapy.
- …supports 3rd party authorizations for care and payment.
- …helps develop safe, effective approaches to intensive treatment and demonstrate the efficiency of EMDR therapy.
- …is helping to articulate standards of training, practice & professional development.
- …show us how to adapt EMDR therapy across cultures and social contexts.
- …will move EMDR therapy training into academic programs for new & young practitioners.
But most fundamentally, it is research that guides, grounds and empowers our work in our offices day by day.
We thank Jim for sharing his powerful thoughts and the Network for their passion to support high quality EMDR research.
The EMDR Research Foundation is honored to announce a new funding opportunity, “The Carol York Memorial Fund: Hope for Children.” All monies raised will be exclusively earmarked for EMDR therapy research with children. Last October, the EMDR therapy community suffered a tremendous loss when Carol York died in a freak auto accident. Carol was a pioneer in working with children and made EMDR therapy a significant part of her life’s work. Carol touched many people’s lives in numerous ways. She was EMDRIA’s first Executive Director and served in this capacity for 7 years. She was committed to enhancing the professionalism of EMDR therapy and remained dedicated to EMDR therapy as a trainer, specialty instructor, consultant and exemplary clinician. The EMDR Research Foundation is grateful to have had Carol as a donor and to all who have and will contribute in her memory. By donating to this fund you will support EMDR therapy research and provide “Hope for Children” as well as honor our esteemed colleague.
Before closing I want to take this opportunity to reflect on the first decade of the EMDR Research Foundation and its future. The Board has worked tirelessly and diligently over the last 10 years to raise money in support of high quality EMDR therapy research. We are grateful to our very generous but small number of EMDR therapy clinicians who donate. You have sustained our efforts thus far and made it possible to award $330,000 for research support since 2010. While our results are admirable, they have reached a plateau. This will soon affect our funding ability and will put the status of EMDR therapy as an evidence-based practice in jeopardy. For example, the re-evaluations scheduled for the SAMHSA endorsement will require more recent Random Controlled Trials (RCTs). At our current level of fund development, we cannot afford to support the necessary RCTs.
We continue to look for outside funding, corporate sponsors, or corporate partners. However outside funding agencies look first at what funding is accomplished by the clinicians who directly and substantially benefit from the research, both through their research-informed practices and from the evidence-based status that EMDR therapy has achieved via research. Given the percentage of practicing EMDR therapy clinicians who donate is extremely small, we find ourselves in a bind. Above I proposed a challenge to each of you. If you are a current donor, please reach out to your colleagues and spread the word about the importance of supporting EMDR therapy research and help them get involved. For those of you who have not donated yet, think hard and long about your choice. Go to our website and read Jim Helling’s powerful message about what is accomplished through EMDR therapy research. Please consider this YOUR challenge as much as it is ours. By joining the Visionary Alliance or increasing your pledge, or making a single donation, you have the ability to make a big difference to our mutual success. Will you please help us?
In closing, we find ourselves in the fall of the year and soon heading into another holiday season. I extend my warmest wishes to everyone for a Blessed Holiday Season.
“Don’t limit your challenges; challenge your limits." ~Jerry Dunn