Development of EMDR therapy in Bosnia and Herzegovina - Education by supervision to accreditation


Due to the increased needs of the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) affected by the 1992-1995 war, after five basic EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) trainings and one EMDR training workshop for children and adolescents, Trauma Aid UK (former Humanitarian Aid Program UK and Ireland) continually provides supervision to mental health professionals in B&H, working towards European EMDR Association accreditation for the clinicians. To describe the experiences of education, clinical practice, and supervision of EMDR psychotherapy in the process of obtaining European accreditation of EMDR trainees from Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Subjects and methods:
In order to understand how EMDR trainees perceive the process of supervision up to accreditation, nine questions were sent by email to 95 EMDR trainees about practicing EMDR, the number of patients with whom they use EMDR on a monthly basis, about their supervisors, and the number of completed supervisions, blocks to treatment while practicing EMDR, as well as positive experiences with EMDR practice and working with supervisors. 36 EMDR trainees answered these questions. The answers were analyzed using quantitative and qualitative methods.

Of the 36 participants in this short study, 30 (83.3%) are women. Most of them are from Sarajevo 14 (38.9%), Tuzla 8 (22.2%) and Mostar 3 (8.3%), 2 (5.6%) from Bihać, Brčko, Gradačac, one from Banovići, Jajce, Prnjavor, Pale and Zenica. Psychologists make up the highest number of participants 25 (72.3%), followed by 5 (13.9) neuropsychiatric specialists. 31 currently have a supervisor (86.1%), 6 have changed their supervisor, and these 31 do not want to change their existing supervisor. Of them, 5 (13.9%) asked to be assigned a new supervisor. A qualitative analysis of the respondents revealed that the greatest problem in practicing EMDR therapy is the lack of space and time in the institutions where they work, the inability to reach patients seeking EMDR treatment, the parallel use of psychotherapeutic guidelines that they have previously adopted, and insufficient determination to use EMDR. They are mostly satisfied with the experience they have gained in supervision which they deem very important in the process of accreditation. They highly appreciate the expertise and accessibility of the supervisors, to whom they are grateful for the help and support they received while presenting their cases from EMDR practice.

Findings from this study can serve as a basis for improving the supervisory process during the acquisition of European accreditation for EMDR practitioners in B&H. The findings can also aid in understanding the difficulties mental health professionals in BiH face practicing EMDR therapy while working towards the accreditation as practitioners of this very effective and necessary psychotherapeutic method.






Mevludin Hasanović
Sian Morgan
Sanja Oakley
Sandi Richman
Irma Omeragić
Nejra Siručić
Ivana Kokanović
Fadil Imširović
Dženita Hrvić
Dajana Stajić
Zoe Oakley

Original Work Citation

Hasanović, M., Morgan, S., Oakley, S., Richman, S., Omeragić, I., Siručić, N., Kokanović, I., ... Oakley, Z. (2021, Feburary). Development of EMDR therapy in Bosnia and Herzegovina - Education by supervision to accreditation. Psychiatria Danubina, 33(Supplement 1), 4-12



“Development of EMDR therapy in Bosnia and Herzegovina - Education by supervision to accreditation,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed January 19, 2022,

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