Austin/ Health & Lifestyle
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Published on April 16, 2024
Austin Police Department Offers Free EMDR Training to Support Local Trauma CounselorsSource: Umberto Salvagnin, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In an ambitious move to bolster trauma support in Austin, the Austin Police Department (APD) is earmarking $50,000 to provide free training for local mental health counselors in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. The move, part of a concerted effort to bring experienced counselors on board to assist trauma survivors, introduces a cost-free opportunity for professionals — ordinarily a $2,000 to $4,000 investment — in exchange for a commitment to offer 50 pro bono sessions to clients referred by APD's Victim Services division.

EMDR is a form of psychotherapy designed to help people recover from traumatic experiences; it facilitates the brain's intrinsic healing mechanism, allowing individuals to process and overcome disturbing memories and related symptoms. Recognizing EMDR's well-documented efficacy in treating trauma, APD is reaching out to counselors practiced in handling diverse client backgrounds who are willing to work alongside APD Victim Services for the betterment of the Austin community, according to information released by the Austin Police Department.

Beneficiaries of the program will be entitled to a lifetime of support from EMDR trainers and consultation staff post-training, a noteworthy advantage for the selected practitioners. However, participants must note that while the training is fully funded, they will be responsible for shouldering the cost of necessary textbooks. As per the Austin Police Department, the comprehensive training will encompass two weekends, with two additional days courtesy of Dr. Levinson's expertise, followed by a series of requisite consultation sessions.

For mental health professionals in Austin looking to deepen their skills and give back to the community, this initiative offers a valuable platform, but the clock is ticking; the deadline for applications is May 3, at 5 pm. Those keen to learn more about the training specifics and partnership prerequisites can find detailed resources and application instructions on the project information page.