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Exploring Culturally Based Trauma and Adversity with EMDR: A Participatory Experience

in partnership with:
Connect EMDR

Connect Training & Consulting. The Connect team is deeply invested in creating inclusive and collaborative communities of highly skilled, trauma-informed mental health professionals. From EMDR basics to advanced clinical skills, Connect provides a full range of both face-to-face and virtual training and consultation offerings.

presented by Mark Nickerson and Reg Morrow Robinson

4 credits per part: EMDRIA, Psychologists, LCSW, LMFT, LMHC, LPC and other NBCC approved masters level clinicians


Part 1 (sections A&B)
Thursday, May 19
1:00 – 5:00 PM EDT

Part 2 (sections C&D)
Thursday, May 26
1:00 – 5:00 PM EDT

Part 3 (section E) (optional)
Thursday, June 2
11:00 – 12:00 noon EDT

Format: two four-hour meetings, and an optional free one-hour review and debrief

Attendance options (Part 1 ONLY or Parts 1 & 2):

  • Part 1 only: $125 (by May 5); $150 (after May 5)
  • Parts 1 & 2: $200 (by May 5); $225 (after May 5)
  • Part 3: no fee

Venue – Zoom

Program Details


This experiential workshop/training offers EMDR clinicians an opportunity to explore several dimensions of culturally base trauma and adversity (CBTA) within the EMDR Group Traumatic Episode Protocol (G-TEP). Participants will be guided through confidential procedures designed to build personal awareness and clinical skills while exploring (A) social/cultural identity (B) reprocessing social/cultural identity related trauma and adversity (C) dismantling social prejudice (D) developing social responsiveness and (E) applying learned interventions with clients. The workshop consists of two four-hour workshops and a one-hour follow-up. This workshop will include the confidential reporting of participant’s experiences which will be used for research purposes to inform ongoing intervention effectiveness.

The field of trauma intervention and EMDR therapy in particular is becoming increasingly aware of the prevalence of culturally based trauma and adversity (CBTA) and the need for a culturally competent clinical approach that addresses CBTA and builds upon cultural resources. This workshop has been designed to be consistent with and to contribute to clinical interventions that value social justice, anti-racist approaches, equity, diversity, and inclusion.

As endorsed by EMDRIA, APA and NASW, core components of a culturally competent approach are cultural humility, cultural awareness, and cultural responsiveness. This workshop is designed to support all EMDR clinicians in developing these qualities. While a goal of this workshop is to increase clinical skills to assist our clients in addressing CBTA, a broadly accepted principal of cultural competence is that this work starts knowing oneself through a cultural lens.

The content and exercises covered within the four primary sections of the workshop reflects work developed and tested over a number of years. For each section, participants will receive topic related information in didactic presentations and handouts. Practicum sessions will provide an opportunity to experience EMDR methods to personally explore one’s relationship to the topic of the day. The EMDR Group Traumatic Episode (G-TEP) protocol will be a primary tool for exploring these issues. During the personal processing part of the workshop, participants will keep the actual content of their “work” private while having some opportunities to share broader insights and realizations experienced during the procedures. This workshop will also serve as an opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of these EMDR tools on this topic. Hence, all participants will be expected to keep some notes and other information which will be anonymously gathered by workshop leaders.

It is anticipated that participants will deepen their personal understanding of the meaning of social/cultural identity for themself and others, to develop positive resources, to experience EMDR as a tool for reprocessing social adversity, dismantling prejudice, and discovering meaningful authentic ways to embrace social responsiveness. Participants will learn skills to assist others in this work and will contribute to an effort to refine EMDR methods for assisting in this work. Participants will also develop an awareness of GTEP and other group EMDR intervention methods. All EMDR trained clinicians are welcome to participate although there will be a limit to the number of participants in the workshop.

Part 1 – Thursday, May 19 (1:00 – 5:00 PM EDT)

Session A – Exploring Social/Cultural Identity 

Didactic Content

  • Social/Cultural identity – overview of concepts and relevance
  • Review of GTEP procedures

Practicum Content

  • GTEP Four Elements resource
  • Identify and explore 3 personal cultural identities
  • Identify positive and negative memories and associations
  • Identify internalized NCs and alternative PCs and positive qualities
  • GTEP resourcing with social/cultural identities focus 

Discuss insights and experiences

Session B – Reprocessing cultural based trauma and adversity  

Didactic Content

  • Ten types of CBTA and their impact
  • Discuss internalized cultural oppression/stigmatization
  • Strategies to identify personal and client social/cultural identity related experiences of trauma, stigmatization, and adversity
  • Reprocessing considerations for CBTA

 Practicum Content

  • Reprocess identified target memory using EMDR GTEP protocol

 Discuss insights and experiences

Part 2 – Thursday, May 26 (1:00 – 5:00 PM EDT)

Session C – Dismantling Social Bias and Prejudice

Didactic Content

  • Understanding social information processing, in group/out group bias
  • Understanding the interrelationship of prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination
  • EMDR approaches to dismantling prejudice
  • Identifying targets for reprocessing

 Practicum Content

  • Identify and reprocess a personal prejudice using EMDR GTEP protocol

Discuss insights and experiences



Session D – Developing Authentic Social Responsiveness

Didactic Content

  • Explore the importance of social responsiveness as an anti-racist and multiculturally aware approach to life and clinical practice
  • Discuss examples of social responsiveness
  • Illuminate pathways and barriers to meaningful and authentic social responsiveness
  • Illuminating personal history related to social responsiveness

Practicum Content

  • Resource memories of social responsiveness
  • Reprocess personally identified barriers and challenges related to social responsiveness with EMDR G-TEP protocol
  • Develop personal social responsiveness goal/action plan

Wrap-up – Discuss insights and experiences

Part 3 – Thursday, June 2 (11:00 – 12:00 noon EDT)

Training Review and Preparation for Treatment

Didactic Content

  • Review, reflect upon and discuss practicum experiences from Sessions 1-4 (personal content details will not be discussed)
  • Evaluate GTEP and other methods used for practicum
  • Discuss clinical strategies for applying workshop content as clinicians with clients

Practicum Content

  • Practice exercise to identify and prepare for working with specific clients



Learning Objectives- Participants will be able to:

  1. Identify three examples of positive and negative memories related to social/cultural identify
  2. Strengthen positive social/cultural identity memory associations
  3. Describe examples of culturally based trauma and adversity
  4. Describe examples of internalized oppression
  5. Identify experiences of social stigma/discrimination/oppression for EMDR reprocessing
  6. List three aspects of GTEP which contribute to successful reprocessing
  7. Explain maladaptive social information processing related to ingroup/outgroup perceptions and discrimination
  8. Describe the differences and interrelationship between prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination
  9. Describe how social prejudice is learned and EMDR methods to dismantle it
  10. Identify examples of socially responsive actions related to social identity discrimination
  11. Identify motivations and challenges for personal social responsiveness
  12. Reflect with specific examples upon their experience as clients during Parts 1-4

About the presenters:

Mark Nickerson, LICSW, is a psychotherapist in Amherst, MA, an EMDRIA Approved Consultant and a senior trainer for the EMDR Institute Faculty. He is a past president of the EMDR International Association, where he has served on the Board for 8 years. He is Chair of the Clinical Practice Group of the EMDR Council of Scholars: The Future of EMDR Project. Mark conducts EMDR and other trainings nationally and internationally. He offers educational trainings and experiential workshops designed to explore social identity, address the effects of socially based trauma and adversity, dismantle prejudice, and inspire social action. He also provides advanced EMDR trainings on topics including treatment for problem behaviors and problematic anger; conflict resolution; serving the needs of veterans and their families, and the effective integration of EMDR principals and protocols. He has developed two national award-winning innovative programs designed to reduce and resolve interpersonal conflict. Mark is author of The Wounds Within (2015: Skyhorse,, an exposé on the challenges for war veterans and their families and Cultural Competence and Healing Culturally Based Trauma with EMDR Therapy: Innovative Strategies and Protocols (2017). Mark sponsors a range of additional cutting edge advanced EMDR trainings and conferences which are available at

Regina (Reg) Morrow Robinson Ed.S., LMFT, LMHC, NCC is an EMDRIA approved Virtual Basic Trainer, EMDRIA Consultant, EMDR R-TEP/G-TEP Trainer. Reg currently trains for ConnectEMDR Training and Consulting and previously for the EMDR Institute, and EMDRHAP.  Reg has focused on building her community’s capacity to provide trauma care in diverse settings with individuals, couples and families. In her 34 years of practice Reg has worked in a residential setting, a large group medical practice, and private practice responding to crisis and ongoing issues. In 2010, Reg was introduced to EMDR R-TEP and the power of early interventions and incorporated it into her professional practice for individuals and couples. In 2018, Reg was co-presenter at the EMDR Early Intervention Summit focusing on building Community Response Networks (CRNs) and expanding ways to incorporate EEI into diverse practice settings and populations. She currently volunteers on the CRN leadership team. In response to COVID in 2020, Reg wrote Levels of Care for the Coronavirus. In M Luber’s (ed.), EMDR Resources in the Era of COVID-19. Philadelphia, PA: Self-published, Reg and Bill Brislin translated the in-person R-TEP/G-TEP training to a virtual platform as a result of COVID. Reg co-developed the Core Competencies of EMDR Therapy (2015) copyrighted 6.5.2016 and has presented on the practice of consultation at EMDRIA 2012, 2014, 2015.

EMDR Advanced Training and Distance Learning, LLC (EMDR ATDL) maintains responsibility for this program and its content in accordance with EMDRIA standards and is approved by the National Board for Certified Counselors (ACEP #6709) to offer masters level clinician CEs. Advanced Psychotherapy Trainings (APT) is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. EMDR ATDL and APT maintain responsibility for this program and its content.

Registration and program content questions to


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