Can EMDR Help with Grief and Loss?

Can EMDR Help with Grief and Loss?

Can EMDR Help with Grief and Loss?

Dealing with loss and grief can be a challenging and arduous journey, and traditional therapy approaches may not be as effective for everyone. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is one such innovative and non-traditional approach that has gained popularity over the last few decades. The technique mainly works on disturbing memories that trigger negative feelings and emotions. However, can EMDR therapy help process grief and loss-related emotions? The answer is yes, and this blog post will dive into the details.

What is EMDR therapy?

EMDR therapy is an evidence-based psychotherapy approach that primarily focuses on resolving traumatic or negative life experiences. The therapist guides the patient’s eye movements while they recall a traumatic memory, which reactivates the brain’s information processing system. The goal is to help the patient’s brain process past experiences and facilitate a positive outcome.

How does EMDR help with grief and loss?

When someone experiences grief and loss, they go through an array of emotional stages that can be challenging to manage. When sorrow and depression become overwhelming, they may hinder the natural healing process. However, EMDR allows the patient to process their grief differently, allowing them to feel, heal and move forward.

EMDR helps patients process the emotions and beliefs associated with their grief. The therapist evaluates the negative body sensations – sights, smells, or thoughts – to help redirect the current problem to reach a resolution. They also help identify the ways an individual self-sabotages and make negative statements they must change. EMDR therapy provides a safer way to move past your grief from anger to acceptance.

Benefits of EMDR therapy for grief

Besides helping a patient process their pain and sorrow, EMDR also provides a wealth of holistic benefits that include:

  • Improved mood and self-esteem
  • Reduced anxiety levels
  • Enhanced relationships
  • More efficient coping mechanisms
  • Renewed motivation

Who is an ideal candidate for EMDR therapy?

People dealing with complicated grief are ideal candidates for EMDR therapy. These individuals usually go through intense sorrow that’s unrelenting, lasts for an extended period, or has become unmanageable. Complicated grief can result from the loss of a parent, spouse, child, or a pivotal figure in your life. EMDR therapy can also help you overcome grief related to other losses, including loss of a job, divorce, or even an animal companion.

What to expect during EMDR therapy

During your EMDR session, your therapist will work through your difficult memories with you and identify the negative thoughts or feelings that are preventing you from healing. They will use bilateral stimulation to help activate your brain’s natural healing ability. This process may include eye movements, lights, sounds, or other tactile experiences. Your therapist will work at your pace and make sure you feel safe and in control throughout the session.


In conclusion, EMDR therapy is a safe, non-invasive, and effective way to process grief and loss-related emotions. While the grieving process can vary from person to person, it should never become unbearable. At Orlando Thrive Therapy, our team of professional psychologists can help you through your difficult times. With our certified EMDR therapy in Winter Park, FL, you can receive the emotional support you need to facilitate healing. Contact us today for more information on how we can help.

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(407) 592-8997

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Heather Oller

Heather Oller is the owner and founder of Orlando Thrive Therapy, Coaching, and Counseling. She is a licensed counselor and a family mediator who has over 23 years of dedicated work as a professional in the mental health field. Through her company's mission, she continues to pave the way for future therapists, and their clients, who want a higher quality of life....and who want to thrive, rather than just survive. You can contact Orlando Thrive Therapy at (407) 592-8997 for more information.