SIRA Accredited Psychologist using EMDR Therapy

When you get injured and you want to see a medical practitioner, you need to make sure that this specialist (doctor, physiotherapist, psychologist, etc) is SIRA Accredited (in other words -they can provide treatment for patients under WorkCover).

What does it actually mean to be SIRA Accredited?
In Australia each state has a different regulatory body to manage WorkCover Claims. SIRA – State Insurance Regulatory Authority, overlooks WorkCover and Motor vehicle claims in NSW. From my experience ( I am a registered WorkCover provider in Victoria and Queensland), it’s not that easy to become a registered SIRA Psychologist, as they require from us to go through a paid course, pass an assessment and then apply for provider number. The process of applying for sessions to be approved requires for the psychologist to complete a specific form and needs to be submitted to the Case Manager for their approval. So when some is an accredited SIRA psychologist that means that they have been through all those hoops and they have obtained SIRA provider number.
If you are looking to find a registered provider you can use SIRA’s searching tool:
This searching tool, only allows you to find practitioners in your local area, it does not tell you what kind of modality they use, if they accept new clients etc. It can become quite challenging if you are looking for a specific modality in specific area. With long-tail psychological claim, clients are often send for an IME (Independent Medical Examination done by a psychiatrist) and frequently the recommendation is to progress to a trauma- focused psychologist, who for example uses EMDR therapy. I see these recommendations more frequently now and I have made those recommendations myself when facilitating a Functional Psychological Assessments.

So what does it mean to be a SIRA accredited EMDR psychologist?
It means that the psychologist is registered with WorkCover in NSW (SIRA accredited), they can see clients with both physical and psychological injuries, and they have training and experience in providing trauma therapy using EMDR method.

EMDR therapy is now a recognised method for trauma treatment. In 2013 World Health Organisation wrote: “In addition, referral for advanced treatments such as cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) or a new technique called eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) should be considered for people suffering from PTSD. These techniques help people reduce vivid, unwanted, repeated recollections of traumatic events. More training and supervision is recommended to make these techniques more widely available.”

EMDR is not really that new, as it was developed in the 90s. However, not many therapists have time and resources to go through the training. If you decide that you want to start EMDR therapy it’s important to find someone who is registered with some kind of organisation overseeing practitioners’ practices. In Australia this would be EMDRAA ( EMDR Association of Australia).

On their website you can find more information about EMDR therapy itself and you can use their “Find therapist” option to find a practitioner near you.