About AF-EMDR Training

Attachment-Focused EMDR Training

Worldwide training and certification.

Training and Certification in Attachment-Focused EMDR, taught nationally and internationally. 

Our trainings are led by Dr. Laurel Parnell, the founder of the Parnell Institute, and our excellent faculty, whom Dr. Parnell has personally trained.

  • Our EMDR trainings have eligibility requirements:
    All participants must be licensed to independently practice psychotherapy. You are fully licensed through your state or government credentialing board in one of the following fields and will provide the required documentation prior to acceptance into the training: 1) Licensed Psychologist, 2) Licensed Clinical Social Worker, 3) Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, 4) Licensed Professional Counselor, 5) Licensed Psychiatrist, 6) Licensed Psychiatric Nursing, 7) Licensed Mental Health Practitioners, Licensed Psychoanalyst. Interns or Associates are not eligible to participate. After completing your registration on this page, you will be asked to submit licensure documentation.
  • As of January 1, 2022, the Parnell Institute has elected to no longer affiliate with EMDRIA.

How is AF-EMDR different from standard EMDR?

Attachment-Focused EMDR has 5 basic principles which guide the work.

  1. Client Safety
    We stress the importance of creating safety for the client.

  2. The Importance of the Therapeutic Relationship
    We recognize the therapeutic relationship as the foundation of the work and as essential for developmental repair.

  3. Client–Centered
    We understand and respect the complexity and the diversity of clients who present in therapy and the need to be flexible and adapt what we do according to their needs.

  4. Resource Tapping to Repair Developmental Deficits
    We also teach modifications of the standard EMDR protocol and resourcing for stabilization, ego strengthening, and the repair of developmental deficits.

  5. The Use of Modified EMDR (EMDR-M)
     We use advanced techniques to find EMDR targets, unblock blocked processing, and repair early childhood neglect and trauma. We teach how to work with complex trauma as an integral part of our training.

We believe that AF-EMDR is an art, not a technique used with everyone the same way. Attunement to the needs of each person and collaboratively co-creating with the client how to meet their needs is a hallmark of our approach to EMDR.  

We also bring the use of imagination and a multi-dimensional approach that recognizes the whole person: body, mind, and spirit.

Attachment-Focused EMDR Basic Training Overview

Drawing from twenty-seven years’ experience training therapists in EMDR, Dr. Parnell and her faculty have developed an innovative and transformative training model. We are committed to quality education in Attachment-Focused EMDR. Our goal is to enable therapists who complete our program to work effectively and competently with a wide range of clients. We specialize in teaching therapists how to work with clients presenting with complex trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and how to integrate EMDR into clinical practice, bringing an attachment-focused approach to the work that is flexible, client-centered, culturally responsive, and compassionate. Our training includes lectures, demonstration videos of live sessions, and small group supervised practice. Since the Covid pandemic, all our trainings continue to be virtual.

A Three-Part Basic Training Model

The Parnell Institute Attachment-Focused EMDR Basic Training is divided into three parts. Participants will take Parts 1 & 2 over two three-day weekends scheduled close together in time.

Upon completing Part 2, all participants are required to use AF-EMDR in their practices while receiving ten hours of consultation from our Parnell Institute faculty. The ten hours of consultation after Part 2 is typically done virtually in groups over Zoom. The fee for the required 10-hour consultation is included in the Basic Training cost.

Parts 1 and 2 of our Attachment-Focused EMDR Basic Training cover all the material necessary to employ Attachment-Focused EMDR in practice. In Part 3, taken approximately six months following part 2 and after completing the requisite 10 hours of consultation with a Parnell Institute faculty consultant, trainees are able to review, expand, and deepen the material, increasing confidence and competence.

In Part 3 of Attachment-Focused EMDR training, we review the material from Parts 1 and 2, emphasizing the treatment of complex PTSD, resource development and installation, target development, case conceptualization, working with blocked processing, dissociation, and abreactions. As in Parts 1 and 2, this three-day training consists of lectures, demonstration videos, and small supervised practice sessions. Participants must take all three parts to complete the Parnell Institute’s Attachment-Focused EMDR Basic Training and receive a certificate of completion. The entire Three-Part training sequence must be completed within two years.

Because we will teach your training in a virtual format, you will need a computer with speakers, a microphone, video camera, and high-speed internet access to attend virtually. We ask that participants treat this training as if they were in-person and plan for uninterrupted time in a quiet environment.

Following our Attachment-Focused EMDR Basic Training, participants can continue with Consultation toward certification in Attachment-Focused EMDR.

Attachment-Focused EMDR Basic Training — Parts 1 and 2

In our comprehensive training, you will learn how to use AF-EMDR in clinical practice. Our training includes lectures, small group practice, and demonstrations in a supportive environment. Because this course provides extensive time for practice, you will learn AF-EMDR from the inside out, experiencing firsthand the power of this transformative therapy.

Learning Objectives

Through lecture, hands-on practice, and demonstrations, participants will learn how to:

  • Discuss with clients the neurobiology of trauma and how EMDR works
  • Construct and practice protocols and procedures for using AF-EMDR with a variety of clients and presenting problems
  • Demonstrate the clinical application of EMDR and AF-EMDR concepts and procedural steps
  • Evaluate client selection criteria and cautions necessary for safe use of AF-EMDR
  • Organize a full history-taking from an A-F EMDR perspective
  • Conceptualize cases and develop targets for AF-EMDR
  • Apply the client-centered and culturally adaptive use of the Parnell Modified Protocol
  • Utilize Resource development and installation in cases of challenging current life situations, blocked beliefs, or for performance enhancement
  • Identify methods for developing inner resources used for interweaves and client closure
  • Construct AF-EMDR targets using the bridging technique, including working with phobias

Attachment-Focused EMDR Basic Training – Part 3: Advanced Clinical Workshop and Refresher Course

This training is designed for those who have completed Parnell Institute Attachment-Focused EMDR Basic Training Parts 1 and 2 or an equivalent EMDRIA-approved course. To enroll in Part 3, participants must have also completed ten hours of consultation with a Parnell Institute consultant. Part 3 is the final required part of the Parnell Institute three-part Attachment-Focused EMDR Basic Training series. All three parts must be completed within two years.

This advanced training allows trainees to more deeply integrate information taught in AF-EMDR parts 1 and 2, which will increase their understanding and practical application of concepts, protocols, and procedures. Instruction focuses on case conceptualization, target development, methods for releasing blocked processing using interweaves, and ways to increase client safety and stabilization throughout all phases of treatment. Participants will learn to work with clients with complex developmental trauma, grief and loss, and recent traumas. Trainees will have the opportunity to watch demonstrations and practice AF-EMDR in small, supervised groups.

Learning Objectives

Through lecture, hands-on practice, and demonstrations, participants will learn to:

  • Name and define the five basic principles of Attachment-Focused EMDR
  • Demonstrate EMDR procedural steps using the modified AF-EMDR protocol
  • Construct protocols and procedures for using AF-EMDR with a variety of clients, including those with complex PTSD and recent traumas
  • Identify techniques for working with blocked processing and strong emotional releases
  • Identify how to unblock blocked processing using interweaves
  • List methods for working with dissociation
  • Identify advanced methods for developing inner resources used for developmental repair, interweaves, and client closure
  • Describe how to apply EMDR for grief and loss

Participants seeking an advanced clinical workshop and clinical refresher may also take the course after completing an EMDRIA-approved Basic Training in EMDR. For these participants trained elsewhere, participants must read A Therapist’s Guide to EMDR (Parnell, 2007) and Attachment-Focused EMDR (Parnell, 2013) as well as purchase and watch a video from the Parnell Institute library demonstrating Attachment-Focused EMDR by Dr. Parnell. You will be required to submit documentation of completing these requirements before attending.

Those who have already completed the full Parnell A-F EMDR Training Sequence or those who have completed their training at another EMDRIA-Approved training institute are welcome to enroll to renew, refresh, and update your skills.

Resource Tapping Demo (video)

Free Resource Tapping Video 

Complete the form below to receive this FREE video to expand your knowledge & understanding of EMDR. This video will equip you with powerful tools & strategies for helping your clients heal on a deeper level.