Every day, the world is shifting in ways you’ve never imagined. The path ahead is full of questions. Loss looms around every corner… Uncertainty and loss are part of every day right now.
You might be one of the many people grappling with a specific loss. Maybe something you’ve worked on for years has slipped away. Perhaps your creative dreams are on hold. Your accomplishments and opportunities are vanishing before your eyes.
Just about everyone is feeling the loss of our world as we once knew it. We are trying to make sense of this new reality and how we’re supposed to connect, create, and be productive now. You’re trying to figure out a new way of moving forward while the earth continues to shift beneath your feet.
In addition to all of this painful uncertainty, you may be trying to adjust to the heavy reality of life after losing someone you deeply love. You may be mourning a death or feeling the loss of relationships and community due to the pandemic.
Loss and grief have been touching so many in so many ways, at so many levels. And, it is not over…
Loss brings up so many emotions, including regret, guilt, sadness, and hopelessness. It’s common to feel numb or angry. Loss leaves you alone with so many questions and no answers. Put simply, loss hurts.
To move through the loss and continue to live, loss requires you to be present in the grieving process. It’s through the messy, wild wrestle with grief that you can reconnect with life, vitality, and love.
To process loss in a healthy way you need to feel the real depths of grief. You need to find a way to move back and forth between facing your pain and continuing to show up day-by-day, for people you love and for yourself.
But, if you find yourself prisoner to your loss and feel unable to function, EMDR therapy can help you find your way back to yourself.
How does EMDR help?
First, EMDR, also known as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, basically works with your in-the-now emotional responses – to loss. We work with these current emotional responses (which may show up as feelings, beliefs, and body sensations) to identify emotionally unhealthy responses or traumatic memories around losing people, things, and opportunities that matter to you. EMDR activates structures in your brain that help you heal these traumatic memories and to create a healthier emotional response to current loss.
How does EMDR work?
1. EMDR clears old and unprocessed losses that may interfere with your ability to grieve now, in the present.
EMDR helps you resolve previously denied or repressed grief so you can cope with the challenges of today. Yes, EMDR can help soothe those childhood tears you had to swallow when you lost something you loved. You can heal the memories of moments when your loss was minimized, dismissed, or ignored. Thanks to EMDR, you’re able to work through the denied, minimized grief that has lingered somewhere inside you, so you can find the strength and freedom to face the losses affecting you now.
2. EMDR also helps you process current complicated feelings.
Loss is never easy. But loss is harder when you don’t show up to face it. Avoidance is normal. Who wants to feel the pain of the loss? Especially a big, permanent loss.
We all have a tendency to numb our pain. We ignore it or use distractions and get away from it. When we do so, loss trickles down from our hearts into all that we are. It makes roots in our internal world. It grows and stays there until we can see it and feel it. EMDR enables you to face the struggles of the day and empowers you to meet challenges with emotional courage, dignity, and presence.
3. EMDR can help reconnect you with hope and a vision for the future.
Loss can become such a powerful presence in your life that you find yourself unable to see beyond it. Trapped in loss, you can’t see other options or possibilities.
Though it may seem counterintuitive, you find your way back to life when you allow yourself to fully experience your feelings of loss. Loss demands your emotional attention. It requires you to take an emotional inventory of all the things that will never be the same again, to look closely at what’s gone, and give meaning to it all.
Loss wants you to find a way to continue to include everything you’ve had in your story, even when special people and experiences are gone forever. The goal is not to relinquish what was meaningful to you nor to detach from what you’ve loved. Instead, you’re asked to build a new relationship with what you’ve lost.
To continue to create your future, you need to have a sense of continuity with the past.
A loving relationship, the business that you built and lost, the show that you created but couldn’t present to the world, the world as you knew it… It all has to continue to be a part of your story. It is a part of who you are, and it will always be.
It’s true, life will never be the same. But, you owe it to yourself and those you love to continue moving forward. By honoring all that you’ve had – or could have had – and by healing the wounds that still linger in the past, you’ll be able to create your future.
EMDR therapy with a compassionate, experienced psychotherapist can help you make peace with the past, meet the present with presence of mind, and move into the future with hope.
If you have any questions about EMDR or would like to know if it’s a good psychotherapy approach for you, please contact me for your free 15-20min phone consultation.
I am Mihaela Ivan Holtz, Doctor in Clinical Psychology. I help creatives and performers with their life struggles, depression, anxiety, performance anxiety, creativity, relationships and love, PTSD, and addictions – to become their own best version. You can read more about EMDR on my EMDR Therapy Page.