EMDR and combined techniques in the treatment of (complicated) mourning


Working with mourning clients can be difficult. To face the irrevocability of loss and to stand helpless and empty-handed as a therapist is a heavy burden. Sometimes it seems there is nothing we can do to help our clients. Yet there are many ways in which EMDR can contribute to help our clients to live a valuable life after a serious loss.

In this presentation the psychodynamics of complicated mourning are discussed. Treatment strategies and treatment techniques (both EMDR and combined techniques) are developed for specific patterns of complicated mourning (i.e. denied mourning, postponed mourning, chronic mourning, distorted mourning, traumatized mourning, somatized mourning).

Some non-EMDR techniques (rituals, Gestalt dialogue, writing assignments, imagination techniques) will be integrated into EMDR treatment. Also practical interventions to address resistance and affect regulation problems will be discussed.

Learning Objectives:
What are the key aspects of using EMDR with issues of grief and mourning; Outline the core characteristics of stabilization and resourcing for this population; Review the range of cognitive interviews that have an application when evidence of blocked processing is apparent with this client group






Joany Spierings

Original Work Citation

Spierings, J. (2013, June). EMDR and combined techniques in the treatment of (complicated) mourning. Presentation at the 14th EMDR Europe Association Conference, Geneva, Switzerland



“EMDR and combined techniques in the treatment of (complicated) mourning,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed September 26, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/22020.

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