Call For Workshop Proposals

Dear EMDR Therapy Colleagues,

For the 15th consecutive year, the Western Massachusetts EMDRIA Regional Network is offering our Annual Spring Conference, scheduled for Saturday, March 30, 2019 in Amherst, MA. Please mark your calendar now and plan to join us for a warm, collegial, innovative and inclusive day of learning and connecting with EMDR Therapy friends and colleagues.

As is our tradition, the conference will feature a selection of morning and afternoon workshops on a range of EMDR Therapy topics. We are now actively seeking strong, well-conceived, well-organized, interactive workshops to include in our 2019 conference program.

And that is where you come in…

The Western Mass EMDRIA Regional Network Steering Committee, which sponsors and organizes the conference, is inviting proposals for 90- and 180-minute presentations and workshops. We are eager to receive proposals for engaging, up-to-date treatment and practice-related presentations that feature topics of recognized relevance and importance to our community of EMDR clinicians. We are most interested in fresh, accessible, well-articulated and user-friendly workshops featuring experiential learning opportunities and a practice-related focus.

In line with what we consider to be especially important areas for growth and development of the EMDR community, we are particularly interested in proposals that highlight issues of equity, inclusion and social information processing including identity, culture, diversity, cultural competence, cultural transference and countertransference, implicit bias, internalized stigma and work with socially marginalized or underserved populations.

We also invite proposals addressing use of EMDR Therapy in specific clinical situations, such as working with depression, addictions and compulsions, attachment trauma, developmental issues, embodied experience, dissociation, behavioral dysregulation, children, adolescents, eating, grief, somatization, medical problems, and other topics of clinical interest. Experiential presentations focused on clinician self-care as well as proposals including spiritual or neurobiological perspectives on adaptive information processing as related to clinical practice are also welcome. We will give full consideration to proposals relating to other important topics in EMDR Therapy including clinically-relevant research, mechanisms and processes of change, protocol-based work and other topics. Proposals dealing specifically with work with veterans and military personnel are encouraged. So now is the time to pick your passion and develop a proposal based on your research activities, clinical experience and knowledge of EMDR Therapy.

All proposals will be evaluated for the coherence and clarity of conception, articulation of learning objectives, quality of focus and organization of the proposed program, experiential learning opportunities, attention to issues of diversity and culture, and presentation skills of the workshop leader. All proposals will be submitted for review and approval by the EMDRIA Standards & training Committee and must meet approval criteria for EMDRIA Credits, which include evidence requirements for experimental or innovative protocols.

New this year, all proposals must be submitted by email using our new downloadable Workshop Proposal Submission Template.  Detailed instructions for this new submission procedure can be found below and on the Proposal Submission Template. Download the template by clicking on the either of the buttons located at the top and bottom of this page.

Online submissions will open August 1, 2018.

The deadline for proposal submissions is October 1, 2018.

Proposal Considerations: Whatever the topic of your proposed presentation, please consider carefully how you conceptualize your proposal as feedback from conference participants suggests that presenters should generally try to cover less material and focus on clarity, the take-home message, time for questions and dialogue, and opportunities for experiential learning, including use of video examples of relevant work.

We welcome proposals for 90-minute or 180-minute workshops. A proposal must include the workshop title, a brief 50-word description of the program content, a 250-word abstract, 3-5 learning objectives, a statement of consideration of issues of culture and diversity, and a required identification of the learning level of the presentation (General, Intermediate or Advanced).

This learning level identification helps to indicate whether your proposed workshop is best suited for a General EMDR-trained audience, for Intermediate-Level therapists actively practicing EMDR or for Advanced-Level EMDR practitioners. This is important information for our conference participants to use in selecting the workshops that best meet their learning needs and interests.

Feedback from previous conferences has clearly indicated that participants are most satisfied with presentations that match their learning level, so we want to strongly encourage prospective presenters to think carefully about their proposals and the learning level they want to address. Having said this, workshops can be designed to meet the needs of participants at one or more of these levels, so please indicate all the levels for which your proposed presentation will be a good fit. During the proposal review process, you may be asked for additional information to clarify this or other aspects of your proposal.

Please also indicate if the proposed material has been previously reviewed by EMDRIA for continuing education credits or if the material is alternative or experimental in nature. Non-standard EMDR protocols are considered experimental if evidence of the rationale, specificity and effectiveness of the strategy and interventions, particularly those related to Phases 4-8 of the Standard Protocol, have not been reviewed by the Standards and Training Committee of EMDRIA.

Additionally, as has become our practice, all workshop proposals must be formulated with explicit attention to issues of culture, diversity, equity and privilege. These are important considerations in all our clinical work, but especially so for us as EMDR practitioners seeking to develop a more inclusive community and to improve both the efficacy and accessibility of EMDR Therapy among underserved populations. Every proposal must include a statement of how issues of culture, diversity and equity have been considered and will be included in the proposed presentation.

In order to increase your chance of having your proposal accepted for the conference program, the workshop description should contain clear and specific indication of how you will include the following elements:

  • Concepts grounded in clinical experience and illuminated by case examples
  • Preparing participants to leave the workshop with usable skills and relevant knowledge
  • Multimodal learning opportunities such as videos, brief experiential exercises, role plays, case reviews, practical handouts, etc to enrich & enliven more conventional didactic presentations
  • Clear and succinct statement of learning objectives
  • Slides that are short, simple and easy to read with bullet points and brief statements that summarize the material presented rather than blocks of text that are read out by the presenter
  • Images that illuminate or illustrate the main points rather than lengthy expository texts

Please realize in advance that, while we are very grateful for all submissions, we have limited space available and are unable to accept all proposals. If accepted, you will be asked for additional materials in order to satisfy EMDRIA and multidisciplinary CEU requirements.

If you would like to discuss a proposal idea or seek clarification of the proposal guidelines stated above, please contact the Steering Committee either through Regional Coordinator Jim Helling, LICSW or Conference Program Coordinator Michelle Marchese, LICSW  at

Here are the detailed instructions for submitting a workshop proposal using the new system:

  1. Download the Workshop Proposal Submission Template by clicking on either of the ” Download Proposal Submission Template” buttons on this page
  2. Save the template to your desktop or a folder of your choice on your computer
  3. Open the template, which is a Word document
  4. Complete the template describing your proposed workshop and providing all other requested information
  5. RESAVE the completed template, giving it a new title including your name and the conference date, for example, “Shapiro Proposal 2019”  or “Shapiro 8-Phase, Three-Prong Proposal 2019”
  6. Create an email addressed to
  7. Attach the completed and newly titled proposal to the email and
  8. SEND email message with the completed proposal attached.

The Western Mass EMDRIA Regional Network is a registered non-profit group of local EMDR therapists dedicated to disseminating knowledge about EMDR and otherwise strengthening our regional EMDRIA community. This regional conference is organized by volunteers and serves, in part, as a fundraiser for EMDR-related research, humanitarian, and social justice projects. We award stipends to presenters based on EMDRIA Regional Network guidelines, which cap honoraria at $250 per presentation.

Whether you submit a proposal or not, we look forward to seeing you next spring in Amherst!

On behalf of the Western MA Regional Steering Committee,

Jim Helling
Western MA EMDRIA Regional Coordinator



download proposal submission template