In July of 2002, a dozen of psychiatrists and clinical psychologists gathered and launched EMDR study group in Seoul. Dr Daeho Kim who had participated the training workshops in Canada and US led the group and the rest of them got training in Hong Kong and Tokyo soon after they join the study group. In fact, history of Korean clinicians who trained in EMDR goes way back to mid 1990’s, when two Korean psychiatrists attended the Level I training in US. However, as you can remember those times due to lack of evidence data on effectiveness of this revolutionary treatment and dissatisfaction with early clinical application to Korean patients, EMDR in Korea did not get to the surface.
The study group did tremendous ground works:
1) translation of terms and protocols; 2) introducing EMDR for professionals through lectures and symposiums; 3) publishing review articles; 4) providing evidence data to The Ministry of Health and Welfare so that they announced EMDR as effective medical treatment and included EMDR in Korean Medical Insurance System. These and continuing efforts resulted in establishing Korean EMDR Association (KEMDRA) in October 2003 and holding the first Part I EMDR training in November 2003 by Dr Udi Oren and Dr Gary Quinn.
In the summer of 2004, we began the first annual conference of KEMDRA and held both Part I and Part II training workshops. So far the members of our association has grown to seventy. And also this reflects the number of EMDR trained professional clinicians in Korea. Also we respect the international collaboration with EMDRIA and the Mission and Values Statement set by EMDRIA.
We are expecting a big step forward in terms of our progression and growth. Our enthusiasm for EMDR is not only confined to clinical practice, but to researches. Several articles already appeared in Korean professional journals and some exciting studies are on the way. These researches are led by members who are in the university but we encourage all the members of KEMDRA to participate in our efforts to understand EMDR more profoundly.
October 20, 2004
Yong-Chon Park MD, PhD
President of KEMDRA