Seok Hyeon Kim, MD, PhDPresident of EMDR Korea
History of EMDR in KoreaThe history of Korean clinicians who trained in EMDR goes way back to 1990’s, when two Korean psychiatrists (Kiyoung Lim and Chung Moon Yong) and one clinical psychologist (Paul Chae) 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.
In July of 2002,a dozen of psychiatrists and clinical psychologists gathered and launched EMDR study group in Seoul. Daeho Kim who had participated the training workshops in Canada and US led the group and the rest of them got training in Tokyo and Hong Kong soon after they join the study group. 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.
Since then, KEMDRAhad continued numerous basic trainings by Gary Quinn and Udi Oren from Israel twice a year and several specialty workshops including Andrew Leeds, Masaya Inchii, Ignacio Jarero, Gary Quinn, Ester Bar-Sadeh and Barbara Wizansky. Internationally known EMDR specialists came for facilitation or lectures including Elan Shapiro, Sushma Mehrotra, many others with more than seven hundred basic training participants for last decade. In 2007, Seok Hyeon Kim and Yong Chon Park became first Korean EMDR facilitators followed by Jae Hyun Bae, Nam Hee Kim, Daeho Kim, and Joon Ki Kim. In early 2017, five of them became the EMDR Institute Trainers and started independent basic trainings. We thank all the international EMDR folks who helped us to grow and bear fruits of EMDR in Korea.