New EMDR Forums designed and ready for piloting

In the Spring 2021 edition of ETQ, I outlined the Association’s plans to improve communications between members. Since that time a design prototype for the new EMDR forum has been completed and is about to be piloted.

We rely more than ever on online methods of communication and since being set up as an independent means of discussing EMDR-related matters, JISCMAIL has proven popular. However it is an academic forum which served a much smaller membership base. Not all members of JISCMAIL are members of the UK Association, which means that discussions may not be as open as they might be. As it has grown over the years, the discussions range far and wide and JISCMAIL can clutter our inboxes with requests for information that has already been posted. There are sometimes issues with maintaining confidentiality and complying with GDPR, not to mention the occasional lapse of etiquette!  Some people have also commented that they don’t feel confident in posting questions because they are unsure of how they will be received. However, many people do find JISCMAIL a valuable source of information and, despite its limitations, it does keep its members ‘connected’.

EMDR UK’s Communications Committee, which I chair, has been working on a series of online forums to improve communications for Association members in a way that is safer and more effective than JISCMAIL. I am pleased to report that a small group of volunteers is now testing the prototype EMDR forums to flush out and fix any bugs and glitches.  The initial launch, over the next few months, will be to 50-100 members who will help build content and complete the final testing before making it available to all members. 

One of the benefits is that there will be dedicated forums for new trainees, those working toward accreditation, practitioners, consultants, researchers and NHS workers. It will cater for CPD events, identifying therapists and supervisors, as well as providing a general discussion forum. There will also be ‘members only’ forums for Regional and Special Interest Groups to assist with communications. The ability to search across all forums will be particularly useful in reducing the likelihood of questions and resources being replicated. 

Ensuring member and client safety is important, all members participating in the forum will be asked to sign up to a code of conduct charter, and all forums will be actively moderated.  It will be important for all members to frame questions about practice in a way that is less like a supervision question, to avoid the sharing of client-specific information. This is crucial not least because it can breach GDPR regulations but also for brevity and clarity.

The Forums will eventually form a Hub that will host a resource bank, which will include a file repository for useful (open access) information that is populated by Hub members and which will be actively managed by moderators. This EMDR Hub would be part of the Association website, evolving to include other member-related information that is currently on the website.

Please look out for the invitation to be part of the 50-100 member beta test in coming months – this is your chance to get involved and ensure we get as much out of the forums as possible.

I am always enthusiastic to discuss ideas and opinions with members, so please email me at if you wish to get in touch.

Dr Justin Havens is an EMDR Consultant with a private practice in Gloucestershire. He chairs the Association's Communications Committee