The EMDR Community has lost a giant: E.C. Hurley was a leader in our field, a stellar clinician, an astute researcher, a generous and patient teacher and a wise, kind, strong soul who was a fierce advocate for EMDR therapy.
E.C. grew up in a coal-mining community in southeastern Kentucky in the midst of the Appalachian Mountains. His life was one of service. He enlisted in the Army as a Private during the Vietnam era and retired after 33 years with the rank of Colonel. He served with additional duty as an Organizational Effectiveness Officer for a number of U.S. Army units. His military awards included the Army Meritorious Service Medal (awarded three times), the Bronze Star Medal during Operation Desert Storm, the Legion of Merit, and the Army Air Assault Badge. He served on the medical care staff of the 5-star General of the Army, Omar Bradley.
E.C. developed his psychotherapy skills while serving in the Army, counseling with soldiers and military families, doing crisis intervention at a basic training center, working with soldiers experiencing anxiety and depression in combat deployments, and dealing with critical life issues while assigned to an Army Medical Center. He did trauma-resolution therapy following combat, provided couples and family therapy to military families assigned to remote locations in northern Europe.
Dr. Francine Shapiro selected Dr. Hurley to train mental health professionals in EMDR therapy to treat military personnel and veterans. Dr. Hurley served as the EMDR Institute trainer in EMDR therapy for the Army’s Medical Command (AMEDD) and trained mental health providers in the U.S. military and veterans organizations. Over the years, his advanced trainings enlightened and instructed the community about how to effectively treat military and veteran populations and their families using EMDR therapy. He was an EMDR International Association (EMDRIA) Approved Consultant and an Approved Provider of training and served as a member of the Council of Scholars.
Dr. Hurley’s book, A Clinician’s Guide for Treating Active Military and Veteran Populations with EMDR Therapy, 2021, is a major contribution to the field, and reflects his knowledge, dedication and compassion for the healing of military-related trauma. Hi is also author of the chapter, “EMDR Therapy in the Treatment of Military Sexual Trauma” in the boot Treating Military Sexual Trauma, edited by Lori Kats (2015) and the co-author of a chapter on EMDR therapy in the publication PTSD Case Book (2015) published by the American Psychological Association. His published research includes Effective Treatment of Veterans with PTSD: Comparison Between Intensive Daily and Weekly EMDR Approaches, which compares EMDR intensive daily treatment with EMDR weekly sessions.
E.C. considered himself a life-long learner, holding master’s degrees in pastoral, counseling, and clinical psychology with a Doctor of Ministry in pastoral counseling and a PhD in clinical psychology. He held adjunct teaching positions in psychology and marriage and family therapy at a number of universities in the United States and Europe.
Following retirement from the military he founded a private practice center, Soldier Center, near Ft Campbell, KY with staff EMDR clinicians specializing intreating military personnel, veterans and family members. He, himself specializes in treating military personnel and veterans suffering with complex PTSD issues.
As a volunteer for Trauma Recovery/EMDR Humanitarian Assistance Programs (HAP) E.C. and his wife, Nancy, drove to New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina and continued to volunteer there after others had gone. For his commitment to humanitarian services, E.C. was the recipient of the Elizabeth Snyker Volunteer of the Year award from HAP in 2010.
In 2019, he was awarded the Francine Shapiro Award, the most prestigious of awards in the EMDR community.
E.C. was a generous and loyal supporter of the EMDR Foundation and was a charter member of the Visionary Alliance.
E. C. is survived by his loving wife Nancy, their daughter, three sons, and two grandsons.
Gatherings of EMDR therapists will never be the same without his smile, quiet humor and warm spirit. We have gained so much from his teaching, wisdom and humanity. E. C. Hurley has left an indelible mark on our hearts.
EMDR Foundation Board of Directors
To honor the wishes of Nancy, a donation to the EMDR Foundation in E.C.’s name can be made here. On the donation form, kindly leave a message for Nancy using her email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.