APD searching for counselors to help survivors of trauma


AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin Police Department is searching for local counselors within the non-profit and private sectors to train in a psychotherapeutic treatment known as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). These counselors will then help APD’s Victim Services Unit and provide help to survivors of trauma.

“We’re basically giving therapists another tool in their toolbox,” said Kachina Clark, the manager of victim services at the Austin Police Department. “This is something the executive staff feels is worthwhile and very important.”

Those that qualify obtain the training free of charge. The Austin Police Department reports that the standard range to learn the EMDR process hovers around $2,000 to $4,000 plus the costs of additional supplies.

In exchange for the training, counselors will agree to partner with APD Victim Services to provide survivors of trauma 50 pro bono sessions within the next three years.

“EMDR focuses on the disturbing emotions and symptoms that result from a traumatic event and assist the brain’s information processing system so that it can organically move toward natural healing and positive mental health.”

How it works:

While thinking about a specific traumatic event, your eyes will follow a light back and forth while paddles simultaneously provide stimulation to the hands. The goal is to access the deepest parts of your brain to slowly and carefully eliminate the negative feelings associated to the hurt.

“They are not able to do, to think, to behave, to feel in ways that they want in order to accomplish the things they want to in this world,” said Dr. Christie Sprowls, a professional psychologist who will be offering the training. “They are a little less disturbed, they are feeling a little calmer, the image is fading.”

Additional information for applicants via APD:

EMDR training consists of 2 weekends of in-person training and a series of consultations sessions after each weekend. Participants will be expected to participate in all of the required consultations.
Rick Levinson, LCSW http://www.ricklevinson.com
Christie Sprowls, PsyD https://www.drchristiesprowls.com
May 17-19th & Aug 16-18th
July 12-14th & Sept 20-22nd 

  • Licensed as an LPC, LMFT, LCSW (or pursuing licensure)
  • 3 years’ experience working with survivors of trauma in some capacity is preferable
  • Letter of commitment to waive wait lists and session limits for clients referred by the project from your agency (if not in private practice)
  • A commitment of 50 sessions pro bono within the next 3 calendar years


  • Submit the following to APDemdr@gmail.com
    1. Letter of interest detailing how you meet the requirements, which training you prefer to attend and contact information.
    2. Resumé
    3. Three letters of recommendation from individuals who can speak to your capacity to work with survivors of sexual trauma.

If selected for the project, you’ll be contacted by someone from APD Victim Services.

Tonight on KXAN News at 6 p.m., Alex Caprariello will show the benefits of EMDR for survivors of trauma.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Austin-Travis County

More Austin-Travis County News

SPONSORED: Saving the Planet in :60

SPONSORED: Avoid idling your car

SPONSORED: Keeping cool and saving the planet

SPONSORED: Taking public transit to fight climate change

SPONSORED: How changing your air filter can save the planet (and save you money)

Tracking the Coronavirus

Coronavirus Cases Tracker

Latest Central Texas COVID-19 Cases

More Coronavirus Live Blogs

Trending Stories

Don't Miss