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Pitt partnered with the state to offer a free trauma-informed therapy certification to Pennsylvania providers

The University of Pittsburgh entrance sign on a snowy day

The University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work has partnered with the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) to offer a free trauma-informed therapy certification program to eligible Medicaid mental health providers.

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is an evidence-based therapeutic intervention commonly used to treat trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder. It employs talk therapy and the use of eye movements and other forms of stimulation to process traumatic memories, thoughts, and feelings to help activate the brain’s ability to resolve these concerns. EMDR certifications typically cost approximately $4,000; however, through American Rescue Plan Act funding, DHS and Pitt will provide the trainings and certification at no cost to qualified providers. 

"We are excited to launch this initiative as part of our ongoing commitment to fostering excellence and equity in mental health services,” said Molly Allwein, director of professional education at the School of Social Work. “By providing free EMDR certification to a diverse array of folks across the state of Pennsylvania, we hope to lower barriers to education and empower helping professionals with the tools they need to make a lasting impact on the lives of those affected by trauma." 

To qualify for the training program, participants must be a clinically licensed professional in Pennsylvania with a caseload comprising of 51% or more Medicaid clients. The certification program is open to licensed mental health professionals, including social workers, counselors, psychologists and other qualified practitioners.  Participants will engage in a comprehensive training program led by experienced and EMDR-certified instructors, equipping them with the skills and knowledge needed to implement EMDR therapy effectively. 

Trainings are available throughout 2024, and applications are now open for the certification program.