Course Description

EMDR Therapy can be an incredibly impactful resource for individuals living with chronic illness - both those newly diagnosed, and seasoned spoonies. This being said, a lot of our therapy practice and language originates from inherently ableist systems including what we are socialized to identify as “trauma”. This course seeks to address the realities of supporting clients living with their trauma in the form of chronic illness and somatic disorders; and will explore when the thing that is causing harm is their own body. Participants will address engaging the EMDR Therapy 8 Phase protocol with respect to serving clients with various somatic experiences, realities, and diagnosis. 

This course will also support participants in their case conceptualization when serving clients with chronic illness - particularly in regards to target identification, resourcing, and adjusting for various somatic realities. This course will expand upon Shapiro’s (2018) “protocol for working with illness and somatic disorders” while increasing clinician confidence in serving clients living with these often ongoing traumas. 

Participants will engage in both large and small group discussions using case examples to develop supportive treatment plans and expand their ongoing list of resources to support their clients. Participants will also explore inclusive language and ways to assess their own practices' accessibility to reduce potential instances of retraumatization within the therapy environment. See learning objectives at the bottom of this page for further details.

This course takes place live on Zoom. Check out this link for Zoom requirements.

For more information on our work at The Touchstone Institute, visit our website.

Course Overview

  • Live Interactive Workshop on Zoom

    June 14th, 2024 from 11am - 7:30pm ES

  • Prerequisites

    This training is open to all mental health professionals

  • CE Credits

    This workshop offers 6 CEs. Please see CE section below for more details about specific coverage.

Note on Accessibility:

We include captions in all of our live and self-paced trainings. If there is anything else you need to make our trainings accessible to you, please reach out to us at [email protected]. We recognize that every person has access needs and we are happy to do everything we can to meet yours.


Erica K. Smith, MSW, LCSW (she/her/hers)

Erica K. Smith, MSW, LCSW owns a private practice, Whole Mentality, PLLC in Raleigh North Carolina. She also owns her professional consulting business Erica Kendra, LLC. She has her Master of Social Work from NC State University, and her B.A. in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Erica had a double minor in African-American Studies and Social & Economic Justice which ultimately led her to her graduate education in social work. Erica's original professional background is in non-profit work, supporting survivors of interpersonal violence. She began practicing as a therapist in community mental health where she remained for 4 years and eventually moved to a group practice for 5 and 1/2 years and served as their Clinical Director for Child and Adolescent Therapy Services before transitioning to their Clinical Director for Trauma Therapy Services. She specializes in serving school aged children, adolescents, and adults who have experienced interpersonal violence, oppression, complex trauma, and/or live with chronic illness. She also supports birthing people who are living with chronic illness and/or have experienced interpersonal violence. Erica loves utilizing EMDR Therapy, but is also trained in DBT, Pain Reprocessing Therapy, Flash, Progressive Counting, and Expressive Arts Therapy. Erica integrates all of these into her EMDR Therapy practice. Erica is a clinical supervisor to provisionally licensed clinical social workers, and an EMDR Therapy Approved Consultant. Erica was originally diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis when she was 12, and was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus a couple of months later. As an adult she was additionally diagnosed with Interstitial Lung Disease and is very open about her 20+ years experience living with multiple chronic illnesses. Erica’s focus is serving members of the global majority and those often marginalized by systems of oppression. She also emphasizes the importance of making mental health therapy accessible to all identities, orientations, bodies, ages, and abilities and prioritizes creating accessible spaces mindful of these realities. She’s also overly caffeinated and mildly obsessed with her dog named Toast.

Tiered pricing options

Questions? See our FAQ below.

More about our pricing:

We offer tiered pricing for all of our trainings in order to make our courses accessible to as many practitioners as possible. If you are unsure which tier of payment is right for your financial situation, please read through our FAQ section below or visit our website.

Please reach out to us at [email protected] if you are interested in a multi-month payment plan. We are always happy to create a custom payment plan to make it more feasible for everyone to participate in our courses. 

Course curriculum

    1. Course Description

    2. Get to know Erica Smith!

    3. Zoom Information

    4. Training Schedule

    5. Timed Course Agenda

    6. Learning Objectives

    7. About Course Recordings

    8. Anti-Oppression Statement from The Touchstone Institute

    1. Coming Soon!

    1. Course Evaluation and Receiving your CE Certificate

About this course

  • $200 - $400
  • June 14th, 2024, 11:00am - 7:30pm EST
  • 6 CEs, see below for specific approvals

Continuing Education Credits

Participation in all training sessions and submission of a course evaluation is required to receive a CE Certificate for this course. Course evaluations are made available after all live sessions have been completed within the course portal. After completing the evaluation, participants will be able to download their CE certificates. This training offers 6 CE credits.

  • It is your responsibility to verify CE coverage in your state or province.

  • The Touchstone Institute for Perinatal Training is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Touchstone Institute for Perinatal Training maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

  • The Touchstone Institute for Perinatal Training, Inc. has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 7346. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Touchstone Institute for Perinatal Training, Inc. is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

  • The Touchstone Institute for Perinatal Training, [provider number:1876], is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. The Touchstone Institute for Perinatal Training maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: [1/19/2024-1/19/2025]. Social workers completing this course receive 6 continuing education credits.

  • This course is approved by the EMDR International Association (EMDRIA). The Touchstone Institute is an approved training provider with EMDRIA: approval #22021.

  • This course is approved by Postpartum Support International (PSI) for continuing education towards obtaining and maintaining the PMH-C.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify the differences between the terms chronic illness, somatic disorder, disability, chronic pain, spoonie, and terminal illness.

  • Identify 5-8 examples of chronic illness and/or somatic disorders.

  • Identify the potential impacts of living with a chronic illness and/or somatic disorder, including how it applies to perinatal/birthing person populations.

  • Identify and review the evidence supporting the utilization of EMDR Therapy in treating distress related to the ongoing impacts of chronic illness and/or somatic disorders.

  • Describe 2-3 modifications to the EMDR Therapy 8 Phase protocol for clients experiencing chronic illness and/or somatic disorders.

  • Identify and practice relevant EMDR Therapy Phase 2 resources supportive of clients with ongoing chronic trauma.

  • Practice case conceptualization using EMDR therapy for a client living with chronic illness and/or somatic disorders, including how this uniquely impacts perinatal/birthing person populations.  

  • Review relevant tools to support clients within the context of EMDR Therapy while beginning to expand our cultural awareness of people impacted by chronic illness and/or somatic disorders, including perinatal/birthing person populations.

  • Explore the impacts of ableism within our practice and identify practical adjustments to reduce potential client experiences of re-traumatization, including how this relates to the perinatal/birthing person population.

Timed Course Agenda

Further details available in course preview

11:00 am - 12:30 pm: Introduction, Terms, and Impacts What to expect:

12:30-12:45 pm: 15 min break

12:45 - 2:00 pm: EMDR Therapy and Clients with Chronic Illness and/or Somatic Disorders

2:00 pm - 3:00pm: Lunch 

3:00 pm - 5:30pm: Practice, small groups, case conceptualization

5:30 - 5:45 pm: 15 min break

5:45 - 7:30pm: Creating accessible spaces & reducing harm, & questions 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is the Generative Access tier right for me?

    Select this tier if you: Own the home you live in (even with a mortgage); live in a two-income household; have investments, retirement accounts, or inherited money; travel recreationally; have access to family money and resources in times of need; work part-time by choice, etc.

  • Is the Sustaining Access tier right for me?

    Select this tier if you: Have income available for recreational activities (going out to dinner, movies, concerts etc.); have consistent work compensated at a median income rate based on your region; pay rent that is not more than 25% of your monthly household income; do not own your own home, etc.

  • Is the Supported Access tier right for me?

    Select this tier if you: Are a graduate student paying tuition; have major medical expenses not covered by insurance; have been denied work, or experience discrimination related to ableism, racism, sexism, gender discrimination or other forms of oppression; are eligible for public assistance; have immigration-related expenses; have ever been denied work due to incarceration history; are supporting adult children, extended family members in need or have other adult dependents; are an elder with limited financial support; are primarily working in a setting with under-resourced populations and your income reflects this work, etc.

  • Are there payment plan options available?

    Yes! We are happy to work with you to create a payment plan that fits your needs. Please reach out to us over email with a brief description of the length of the plan that you are interested in using to pay for this course: [email protected].

  • How can I learn more about your pricing?

    Please visit our website for more information on our approach to pricing our trainings:

  • What is your refund policy?

    More than 14 days notice is required for a full refund minus 7% administrative fee. Cancellations made within 14 days of training are eligible for a 50% refund or full transfer to another training within The Touchstone Institute. Only 1 transfer to another training is allowed. If you can not attend the transferred training your fee will be forfeited. No-shows are not eligible for a refund or transfer. Exceptions to this policy are limited to medically documented circumstances or family bereavements. Failure to attend without prior notification (no-shows) will not qualify for a refund.

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Join our growing community of perinatal providers