Grief Education

What Is The Most Effective Therapy Tool for Traumatic Grief?

Ashley Waite

Grief is a natural response to loss - the loss of a loved one, a relationship, a job, or way of life. Grief has no set pattern or timeline and everyone experiences grief differently. Throughout the grief journey, you will experience a myriad of emotions and physical symptoms. If your feelings of grief overwhelm you and affect your daily interactions, it may be time to consider the help of a professional who has experience with grieving individuals, EMDR, or somatic experiencing.

EMDR is a tool known as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing and has been shown to be the most effective type of therapy for individuals grieving a traumatic loss.

A study funded by Kaiser Permanente found that 100% of the single-trauma victims and 77% of multiple trauma victims no longer were diagnosed with PTSD after only six 50-minute sessions.

In an EMDR session, a trained therapist works with the individual to recall the trauma. Once the trauma is recalled, the client will experience bilateral brain stimulation through the use of something you can hear, see, or touch that occurs in a moving side-to-side pattern. The trauma is then reprocessed by the brain, resulting in more resolved, peaceful feelings.

To find a therapist trained in EMDR click here.

Source: Marcus, S., Marquis, P. & Sakai, C. (1997). A controlled study of treatment of PTSD using EMDR in an HMO setting. Psychotherapy, 34, 307-315.

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