As the founder and CEO/director of the Institute for Creative Mindfulness (ICM), it pleases me to announce some changes that are coming for 2024 that represent the next phase of our evolution. When I retailored my training company Mindful Ohio into the Institute for Creative Mindfulness in 2015, I had a vision of being able to mentor, as faculty members, skilled EMDR consultants whose approach to EMDR Therapy aligned with my mindful conceptualization of the therapy. At the time, the hope was that each region of each state could have their own ICM training presence. Enter the event that changed the world in 2020, and we suddenly realized that not only could EMDR Therapy be trained online, it could be trained well online for our students who gravitate towards online learning, especially for the access it allows. I am proud that, even during the height of the pandemic, one of our original faculty members Amber Stiles-Bodnar kept in-person trainings going responsibly in Ohio. By 2021, many of us transitioned back into offering some form of in-person trainings, giving our students a choice, while many of us also or solely forged ahead with online work.
I’ve waxed and waned over whether we should let our faculty grow, or to keep the number more contained to assure for quality and consistency, which is now more doable in the online world. I’ve ebbed and flowed since the pandemic on deciding whether or not to make ICM a more centralized company, or to give our faculty members more autonomy. The latter is what I wanted all along, yet I know that amongst the 16 people who now train on behalf of ICM, commitment to a mindful approach to EMDR Therapy and in what ICM has become over the years remains important. And we all remain committed to offering EMDRIA-Approved trainings that are eligible for certification from The EMDR International Association.
As of January 2024, ICM will only officially operate:
- The basic/foundational trainings that I personally run in the Deluxe training model (an eight day online model where the cost of consultation is included) or in-person every autumn at Chico Hot Springs in Montana (which will also include the cost of consultation for 2024), and
- The EMDR Therapy Training Cohort for BIPOC Clinicians which will remain under the directorship of Lisa Hayes, MSW, LISW-S. Since the program debuted in 2021, Lisa and the “dream team” of assistants, as they are affectionately referred, (Taina Amaro, Erica Smith, Jasmine Adams, and Yanina Marti) have trained 446 BIPOC clinicians in EMDR Therapy in this specialized cohort. ICM is proud to support the beautiful and life-changing work happening in this program, and we continue to thank Lisa for her hard work in bringing this program to fruition. We’ve also worked hard to share the lessons learned from this program, and from our Spanish language EMDR Therapy trainer Irene Rodriguez, as best practices for anti-oppression work throughout our EMDR trainings.
Most of our existing faculty members will continue to run their own trainings under the auspices of their own business, while licensing the ICM training curriculum originally developed by me. This curriculum, while it remains rooted in my work, has been a steady work in process where we’ve incorporated input and contributions from members of the ICM faculty and consulting network, and responded to learning feedback received from our students. ICM will continue to provide a centralized listing of these available trainings on our homepage, although the faculty members will now be more independent. ICM will also continue to maintain a network directory of other approved consultants and consultants-in-training who are not ICM faculty members, yet choose to stay aligned with ICM’s vision and goals. These consultants will be available options for our students to use to fulfill their training hours, although individual network faculty members may also choose to use some of their own consultants and assistants for their trainings.
Even Irene Rodriguez, LMHC, REAT, the long-time trainer of our curriculum in various formats (Spanish, Bilingual, Expressive Arts focus) will be branching out and taking over ICM’s Certificate of Expressive Arts Therapy under the leadership of her own business, Mindful Journey Center. Although she will license the ICM curriculum in her EMDR trainings and use our original core expressive arts and Dancing Mindfulness curriculum in her work, she will be independent as Mindful Journey Center.
Mara Tesler Stein, a long-time ICM faculty member, has continued to grow her own business, the Touchstone Institute, committed to excellence in perinatal mental health. She is now teaching her own foundational training curriculum in EMDR Therapy, although some of the consultants and assistants will be offering services between both companies. We thank Mara for her long-time service to ICM and wish her and her team the best in this next stage of their own evolution.
One final note: ICM will also continue to operate the Advanced Certificate in Dissociation Studies for EMDR Therapists under the co-directorship of Amy Wagner, LMHC, LMFT and yours truly. Any advanced topics trainings in EMDR Therapy operated by the Institute for Creative Mindfulness at this time are eligible to be counted for our advanced certificate. To learn more about the certificate or express your statement of interest, please click HERE.
We are referring to 2024 as a “year of transition” for ICM and my work personally, which is emerging into its own brand that uses my long-time hashtag, Redefine Therapy. Stay tuned for further updates on how all of these changes may impact you, our past, current, and future students. The world is a very unsteady place right now and I am continuing to navigate how I can best take care of myself(selves), support a community committed to my work, and also allow for people to branch out and experience their own growth.