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On Thursday, January 11th, Connect’s Reg Morrow Robinson, EdS, LMFT, LMHC, and Cherilyn Rowland Petrie, MS, LMHC, will deliver the featured presentation at the monthly meeting of the Central Florida Association for Marriage and Family Therapy in Winter Park, Florida. The presentation: “Beyond Individual Work: The Role of EMDR in Family Counseling, will focus on how to move beyond the parameters of individual service delivery within the EMDR Therapy model.

(above photo: Reg Morrow Robinson and Cherilyn Rowland Petrie celebrate the publication of the new book: EMDR Group Therapy: Emerging Principles and Protocols to Treat Trauma and Beyond)

The Need for Group and Family EMDR

Historically, EMDR Therapy has been used primarily as an individual model; this has limited the options for families who want or need to work through their issues together. Recently, our EMDR therapy community has also seen a sharp increase in demand for services. Clinicians have increasingly heavy caseloads and less availability. In some areas, it can be a real struggle to find qualified EMDR therapists who are accepting new clients. In response to these issues, pioneering clinicians are now expanding their practices to include group EMDR work with children and families.

Group EMDR work was initially developed in response to disasters, where the need for services strongly outpaced the availability of appropriate treatment.  Group EMDR allows clinicians to offer an evidence-based approach that exponentially expands availability of therapeutic services. It has the potential to be a game changer in terms of allowing us to meet the needs of the children and families in our communities, and to connect kids, families, and couples through the healing process.

Program Content

In this program, participants will learn about these new developments, the evidence base that supports this work, and both how and when group EMDR work can be implemented in various settings.  This presentation is oriented toward all clinicians regardless of their training or experience with EMDR.

The presentation will begin with an exploration of clinician perceptions of EMDR work and how group work is already integrated into their practice. Presenters will then introduce the various models of EMDR group protocols, with a brief description of how they might be integrated into a clinician’s current practice setting.  Research that supports the use of these protocols will be reviewed and specific case examples will be given.

The intent of the program is to educate clinicians that, although EMDR Therapy began and is still primarily used for individual work, there are multiple models of group EMDR work that can increase healing within the family setting, reduce the logistical challenge of treating multiple family members, and be an evidence-based approach to family healing.

Learning Objectives Include :

  • Review research supporting Group EMDR work with children and families.
  • Identify at least 5 Groups EMDR Protocols and how they might be applied.
  • Specify 3 ways to support Group EMDR practice in various practice settings.
  • Identify 3 perceived barriers to and potential solutions for integrating EMDR Therapy into couples and family work.

About the Presenters:

Reg Morrow Robinson is a family therapist and expert in Group EMDR and co-editor, along with Safa Kemal Kaptan, of the recently published book:  Group EMDR: Emerging Principles and Protocols to Treat Trauma and Beyond.

You can learn more about Group EMDR by joining Reg for her upcoming, EMDRIA-approved  three-hour training: All about Group EMDR: Principles, Protocols, and Applications, with Reg Morrow Robinson. This training will be held live via zoom on Saturday, April 13, 2024. If you’re interested in learning how to deliver EMDR for families and other groups, you can find information and registration on Recent and Group Traumatic Episodes (R-TEP/G-TEP) trainings with Reg and Bill Brislin here.

Cherilyn Rowland Petrie has an extensive background in working with traumatized kids and families as an EMDR therapist. In addition to presented on this topic in diverse forums, including at the EMDR International Association Conference, she has developed two outstanding, EMDRIA-Approved trainings: EMDR Therapy and Complex Trauma in Children and Legacy of Love: EMDR Therapy for Parents of Wounded Kids.

Together with Kelly Asovski, Cherilyn is co-author of the chapter” All Ages and Stages: Group EMDR Therapy for Children, Adolescents, and Families in the book: Group EMDR: Emerging Principles and Protocols to Treat Trauma and Beyond.


You can learn more about the meeting and register by clicking the link above. The Central Florida Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (CFAMFT) is a professional organization representing marriage and family therapists and their colleagues in the Central Florida area. CFAMFT provides education, supervision, and advocacy for the profession of marriage and family therapy. CFAMFT operates as an autonomous not-for-profit entity. The Association leads the way to increasing understanding, research, and education in the field of marriage and family therapy and ensures that public needs are met by well-trained practitioners. Clinical members of CFAMFT have completed specific post-graduate training in Marriage and Family Therapy as well as extensive supervised clinical practice with couples and families.