Connect & GOEMDRIAN Partner to Promote New Training on EMDR & Eating Disorders (or,) A Brief History of One Local EMDR Community and How It Grew

In 2000 an idea was born. It stared small, with a question: How can we grow and support EMDR therapists in our local, Central Florida community? Over time a few movers and shakers got together to explore this further. In 2004 Regina Morrow Robinson organized the first Latest & Greatest of EMDRIA training, where local clinicians who were able to attend the EMDR International Association’s (EMDRIA) Annual Conference shared highlights of their favorite presentations with colleagues who were unable to travel to the conference. Over time, Reg brought in master therapists from across the nation to deliver advanced EMDR workshops to clinicians our region.

In 2013 Claire Mauer took up the baton of hosting the Orlando-area monthly no-fee Study Group. Study Group is a place where EMDR therapists at all levels of experience and training meet to consult on tough cases, share best practices, support each other’s development, and build community. Connect Training & Consulting is proud to sponsor this group, which has temporarily migrated to an online platform due to Covid. Connect’s mission is Local Learning for Global Healing, and the Study Group embodies that ethos.

With all of the educational and networking opportunities, our community grew both in size and expertise, becoming a thriving center for excellence in EMDR and trauma therapy. The vigorous community supported excellent opportunities for professional growth and development. A robust referral base emerged as our knowledgeable EMDR network spread the word to both health care providers and the general population. New therapists were able to see a path forward and find brilliant mentors, and seasoned clinicians could reinvigorate their practices with new perspectives and approaches.
However, as the regional meetings became more frequent and well-attended, they also became more labor intensive and relied on a few generous individuals and ad-hoc volunteers to help shoulder the burden of all the “back stage” logistics that go into big events. It was time to create a structure that could sustain the vision and share the load.

So…in 2015 a group of like-minded EMDR therapists got together to form the Greater Orlando EMDRIA Network (GOEMDRIAN), whose sole purpose is to promote excellence in EMDR therapy through education and advocacy, as well as to offer immediate services when community crises strike. GOEMDRIAN officially incorporated as a nonprofit in 2018. Through this metamorphosis they have had the support of many talented folks who wanted to see this amazing community grow. GOEMDRIAN now has a website as well as a quarterly newsletter. In addition to sponsoring local talent, GOEMDRIAN upholds the tradition of the annual Latest and Greatest, where local therapists continue to present on their favorite workshops from each year’s EMDRIA annual conference.

Now, Connect and GOEMDRIAN are collaborating to provide affordable, quality training, while promoting local talent. On October 16, GOEMDRIAN is sponsoring Marnie Davis’s live, virtual EMDR training — Eating Disorders, Ego States and EMDR: Inviting the power of resourcing into the therapeutic dance towards healing, with an on-demand virtual training option to follow.

Marnie Davis, LMHC, CED-S, is an Certified EMDR Therapist and an EMDRIA-Approved Consultant. She is an expert in the field of eating disorders, a published author, and a gifted presenter. Her training is intended to enhance the EMDR therapist’s understanding of the development of an eating disorder mindset and the many purposes it serves to protect and defend an internal system of parts. The training will:

  • Outline comprehensive client history and treatment planning and explores the relationship between trauma, attachment and dissociation.
  • Discuss effective resource development and installation throughout the 8 phases of EMDR.
  • Explore methods to enhance collaboration with parts, decrease fragmentation, foster healing, and increase self-energy.
  • Present effective protocols for desensitizing positive feeling states, urges, triggers, and defenses of the eating disorder and assists with compassionately accessing and healing the disowned/rejected parts of self.

Connect Training & Consulting is providing the Zoom infrastructure for Marnie’s live, virtual training and will host the on-demand viewing component beginning several weeks after the live training. Both Marnie and Connect are happy to donate a portion of the proceeds from the delayed viewing/on-demand version to our Greater Orlando Trauma Recovery Network. In a time when there is such stress and conflict in this country, it feels like a breath of fresh air for these organizations to be able to work together for the greater good of our EMDR community.

We look forward to further collaborations and growth in the future as we flourish together. The shared mission is always to promote Francine Shapiro’s goal of EMDR as a path to world peace. We hope you’ll find a way to connect with us and with our community through one or more of these Florida-based organizations.

Mary Jo & Claire

Mary Jo McHaney is the acting President of GOEMDRIAN. If you are interested in serving on the Board, please contact her at Many board positions will be open in December, as tenured volunteers step back to allow fresh voices to come forward.