Shapiro Administration, University of Pittsburgh Partner to Offer Free Trauma-Informed Therapy Certification to Mental Health Providers

Pittsburgh, PA - The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) and the University of Pittsburgh today announced a free certification program that offers eligible Medicaid mental health providers the opportunity to obtain a trauma-informed therapy certification at no cost. 

This certification program, organized by DHS’ Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) and the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work, will provide high-quality Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) training and certification to qualified Medicaid mental health providers in Pennsylvania. 

“DHS is committed to using trauma-informed therapies to promote and support the well-being of all Pennsylvanians who need them,” said DHS Secretary Dr. Val Arkoosh. “By partnering with the University of Pittsburgh to offer certifications for this innovative EMDR therapy, we are giving mental health providers additional tools to help Pennsylvanians struggling with mental health. I encourage all eligible Medicaid mental health providers to apply for this certification.”  

EMDR is an evidence-based therapeutic intervention that is commonly used to treat trauma and PTSD and to support mental health. It employs talk therapy and the use of eye movements and other forms of stimulation to process traumatic memories, thoughts, and feelings to help activate the brain’s ability to resolve these concerns.  

Providers must be certified in order to offer EMDR therapy. EMDR certifications typically cost approximately $4,000; however, through funding available through the American Rescue Plan Act, DHS and the University of Pittsburgh are able to offer EMDR trainings and certification at no cost to qualified providers. 

"We are excited to launch this initiative as part of our ongoing commitment to fostering excellence and equity in mental health services,” said Molly B. Allwein, Director of Professional Education at the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work. “By providing free EMDR certification to a diverse array of folks across the state of PA, we hope to lower barriers to education and empower helping professionals with the tools they need to make a lasting impact on the lives of those affected by trauma." 

To qualify for the training program, participants must be a clinically licensed professional in Pennsylvania with a caseload comprising of 51 percent or more Medicaid clients. The certification program is open to licensed mental health professionals, including social workers, counselors, psychologists, and other qualified practitioners.  

Participants will engage in a comprehensive training program led by experienced and EMDR-certified instructors, equipping them with the skills and knowledge needed to implement EMDR therapy effectively. 

Trainings are available throughout 2024, and applications for the certification program are now open. Interested individuals can learn more and apply at

More information on EMDR is available at

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