Frequently Asked Questions

Our world is red hot with emotions, stuck in age old patterns. Yet we know that when we bring awareness to the deepest emotional hot spots, creative energy is suddenly set free.

We believe that emotions we have long avoided could become our most sustainable source of energy and focus, fuel for building communities where all can flourish.

In 2016, author and teacher Dzogchen Ponlop published Emotional Rescue: How to Work with Your Emotions to Transform Fear and Confusion into Energy that Empowers You, which has now been translated into multiple languages. The book lays out a 3-step method for using mindfulness to effectively engage the energy of emotions and build emotional resilience. The 3 steps of the Emotional Rescue Method are Mindful Gap, Clear Seeing, and Letting Go. 

The Emotional Rescue Practitioner Certification Courses are a gift to yourself, to others, and to a suffering world. By learning the authentic Emotional Rescue (ER) method as presented by Dzogchen Ponlop, you empower yourself to connect with your deepest intention to transform emotions, to bring awareness to those emotions on the spot, and to reclaim the creative energy to enjoy your life and to nourish the lives of others as well.

In the Level 1 and Level 2 ER Practitioner Certification Courses, you will have guided opportunities to practice the ER Method in an open, accepting environment. By the end of each course, you will better understand your relationship with your emotions and will have practical skills and experience you can apply to any situation.

The Practitioner Certification courses give you a foundation of understanding and practice in the Emotional Rescue method. Upon completion of the Level 1 Practitioner Certification course, you can take the Level 2 Practitioner Certification Course to gain further practice. Professional certification is available at both levels but is not required.

Learn more about ER Professional Certification

The Emotional Rescue Courses were originally envisioned as a way to offer professionals certification in the ER Method. As the global pandemic has continued, and we have heard more of your stories about how you are applying the method in your daily life, we re-envisioned the courses. 

Now there are two ways to go deeper in your Emotional Rescue journey: the Professional Certification path, and the Practitioner path. You can choose your own adventure!

The Professional Certification path

  • In addition to practicing the ER Method in your personal life, do you see the ER Method as part of your toolkit for your professional work in the world?
  • Are you seeking the certification as a credential that demonstrates to clients and colleagues that emotional resilience skills are part of your toolkit?  Will it enhance your professional profile? 
  • Are you thinking about becoming a Certified Instructor of the Emotional Rescue Method?

(You may already be familiar with various certification programs that you pursue as part of your professional development, such as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, CPR, Non-Violent Communication, and the like.)

If your answer to any of these questions is yes, Professional Certification is the appropriate path for you.

The Practitioner path

  • Do you primarily intend to practice the ER Method in your personal life?  (We know that in many ways these are arbitrary distinctions! We are the same person at work and at home…)
  • Do you want to go deeper in practicing the ER Method, but are not seeking the official credential as part of your professional profile?

If your answer to any of these questions is yes, the Practitioner path is the appropriate way to go.

If you think you are on the Professional Certification path, click here to learn more and take the next steps.

If you think you are on the Practitioner path, click here to learn more and take the next steps.

While people can learn about the Emotional Rescue Method by reading Dzogchen Ponlop’s book, we have developed the Courses to enhance and deepen participants’ direct experience, by including further explanations, frameworks, and exercises that have been created by the author and senior practitioners since the publication of the book in 2016.

Our aspiration is that this method becomes available widely throughout the world. In order to ensure that the ER Method is practiced and taught with integrity, in alignment with the author’s intention and depth of understanding, and to create a common language and framework for doing so, we have created this Certification process.


At the heart of the original vision for Emotional Rescue Courses was to give professionals the tools they need to strengthen their own emotional resilience. In turn, these professionals could then support clients and colleagues in learning to do the same for themselves.   

Unlike many other kinds of continuing education training, Emotional Rescue Courses takes a warmer, more human-centered approach to professional development –– one that combines time-tested methods, the latest science, and a community of connection that helps you more deeply internalize the skills you have learned so that they become a natural part of your life and work.   

As a professional certification course, we are committed to maintaining a high standard of quality in our program offerings as well as among those who receive the official Emotional Rescue certifications. In this way, we aim to both preserve the integrity of the Emotional Rescue Method as well as guarantee that certified professionals receive the most up-to-date tools and frameworks.

The latest science of well-being –– found in psychology, neuroscience, biology, and many other disciplines –– is confirming the positive effects of emotional resilience on our mental and physical health. As our world continues to increase in volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity, emotional resilience will prove to be increasingly valuable, professionally and personally.  

Professionals who understand this, who value emotional resilience and integrate it into their work, will grow in effectiveness and expand their ability to benefit others.

By becoming a certified Emotional Rescue professional, you will have access to the latest tools and frameworks, and will earn the opportunity to display the Emotional Rescue certification mark on your professional profile. This badge demonstrates to your clients and colleagues that these effective methods of emotional resilience are part of your professional tool kit.

In order to apply for certification as an Emotional Rescue Practitioner Level 1, your first step is to take the Introduction to Emotional Rescue and Practitioner Certification Level 1 courses. Most people register for both courses at the same time, to take advantage of the discount for doing so.

At the conclusion of the Level 1 course, you may apply for Level 1 Practitioner Certification, which allows you to take the next course: ER Practitioner Certification Level 2. If you wish to display the professional certification mark “ER Practitioner Certification Level 1,” you will be asked to pay a fee before downloading the logo/mark. Certification mark fees help to support the cost of making ER courses more widely available. 

Note that Level 2 ER Practitioner Certification is a prerequisite for taking the ER Teacher Training.

Upon certification as a Level 1 ER Practitioner, you may take the Level 2 Practitioner Certification course. On completion of the Level 2 course requirements you may apply for Level 2 Practitioner Certification.

If you succeed in earning Level 2 Certification, and you wish to display the professional certification mark “ER Practitioner Certification Level 2,” you will be asked to pay a fee before downloading the logo/mark.

Level 2 ER Practitioner Certification is a prerequisite for taking the next course on the Professional Certification path: ER Teacher Training. 

Professional Certification Fee (Annual)

As with many professional certifications, the ER Practitioner Certification credential is valid for one year.  It can be renewed annually by participating in any ER course offered that year, and by paying the certification renewal fee. This enables practitioners and teachers to ensure that they stay current with the most up-to-date presentations, frameworks, tools, and training methods developed by Emotional Rescue Courses and ER Affinity Groups.  

Emotional Rescue certification fees support the further development of course offerings, and help make these materials more widely available.  

There are two types of practitioner certification:

1) Practitioner Certification: Levels 1 & 2 

This is similar to a certification process that one might get for learning basic First Aid techniques, such as CPR. One can learn and be certified to practice CPR in an emergency situation. However, such a practitioner certification does not automatically permit someone to officially teach CPR to others.

Similarly, one can be certified to practice the Emotional Rescue Method for oneself. This means that you have learned how to practice the most up-to-date explanations, frameworks, and exercises of the Emotional Rescue Method  –– ones that have been reviewed and carefully considered by Dzogchen Ponlop and senior practitioners.

As a certified practitioner, you will be permitted to display the Emotional Rescue Practitioner Certification Level 1 or Level 2 logo on your public profile, in the same spirit as someone might display a credential as a First Aid or CPR practitioner.  

The Emotional Rescue Certification Committee, composed of long-time certified practitioners and instructors of the ER Method, retain the right to grant official Certification or recommend further training in order to meet the requirements of Levels 1 and 2.

In addition, you can earn certification as an Emotional Rescue Instructor.

2) Instructor Certification  

In order to teach the method as a Certified Emotional Rescue Instructor, you must first earn  Practitioner Certification Levels 1 and 2. In addition, you will need to receive additional training that deepens your understanding and supports your ability to share the ER Method with others. All Level 2 Certified Practitioners receive an email invitation to take the ER Teacher Training when it is offered. Earning ER Instructor Certification  includes a license to present the Method using exclusive teaching materials and frameworks that we are continually developing. As a Certified Instructor, you will also be permitted to display an official Emotional Rescue Instructor logo on your public profile, as a professional credential.

Not everyone who takes our courses is interested in earning a professional certification. Many are here to learn and continue practicing the Method in a community dedicated to transforming emotions into positive change and compassionate action for a kinder, more sustainable world. If this describes you, you’re on the Practitioner path.

As an Emotional Rescue Practitioner, there is much to explore! Register for Introduction to Emotional Rescue and Practitioner Certification Level 1 to learn the basics of the ER Method. Once you have completed the Level 1 course, you can either retake the introductory courses or continue by taking Emotional Rescue Practitioner Level 2, learning even more emotional resilience skills for transforming specific patterns with emotions we all experience.


While the original vision for Emotional Rescue Courses was to be a professional certification course, the global pandemic of 2020-2021 has challenged us to expand. As we listened to the stories of people taking our courses –– those who have put the ER Method into practice into their lives in the midst of grief, job loss, parenting, and work stress –– we realized that we also needed to create a non-certification pathway: the Emotional Rescue Practitioner Path.

The Practitioner Path is for anyone who wants to learn how to use mindfulness to work with difficult emotions, primarily for their own personal growth.

People who choose Professional Certification Path; however, are required to meet certain standards demonstrating their skills in a professional setting, and may advance through the Emotional Rescue Courses with the intention to take the ER Teacher Training. 

What are the benefits of the Practitioner Path?

If you’re on the Practitioner Path, you want to continue to go deeper in your understanding of the Emotional Rescue Method, but don’t need the Practitioner certification, and don’t intend to get certified as an ER Instructor.

By enrolling in the Courses, you have access to all the videos and recordings for those courses until 45 days after the course concludes, to review at your leisure.

You can also continue to go deeper by being part of the Emotional Rescue Community, such as participating in the ER Online Discussions and Practitioner Affinity Groups. The ER Affinity Groups, such as ER for Parents, will continue to meet over time, and will help inform the development of future ER offerings designed to meet the needs of that group.  

What are my options on the Practitioner Path?

Those who are on the Practitioner Path are invited to take Introduction to Emotional Rescue and Practitioner Level(s) 1 (and 2). 

You are welcome to take the courses as many times as you wish.  As with any profound method, each time we revisit it, we can discover new dimensions in ourselves and in our explorations with others.  

You are also invited to continue the community connection by joining the private Facebook group, attending the ER Online Discussions, and participating in the ER Affinity Groups.  

What are the requirements?

You will sign a Participation agreement during registration for each Practitioner Course. If your schedule or time zone makes it inconvenient to attend all of the live classes, you are welcome to view video recordings of the classes at your leisure, for up to 45 days after the course has concluded. To complete the course, you will be asked to sign an agreement acknowledging your understanding that certification as an Emotional Rescue Practitioner, whether Level 1 or Level 2, does not grant the right to share the courses’ proprietary materials with others.

We aspire to make all of our courses available in as many languages as possible, so that everyone who wishes to learn the Emotional Rescue Method can do so in their native language. From 2021 onward, we will be adding courses in additional languages such as Spanish and more.

All Emotional Rescue Courses are conducted online via Zoom. You will be able to access video recordings of your classes one hour after each class session ends, by logging into your course page on our website.

All of the video recordings of class sessions will be accessible to you for 45 days from the last day of the course you are taking.

While our course participants greatly prefer the experience of learning and practicing the ER Method with others in a live class, you are not required to attend all class sessions in real time in order to earn certification. You are welcome to view the video recordings of classes at your leisure. If you intend to apply for professional certifications such as Practitioner Level 1, Practitioner Level 2, or Instructor, we strongly recommend viewing all class sessions.

We want your experience with us to be a good one! Please email your question to and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.