Protocol for excessive grief is to be used when there is a high level of suffering, self-denigration, and lack of remediation over time concerning the loss of a loved one. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) does not eliminate healthy appropriate emotions, including grief. The protocol is similar to the Standard EMDR Protocol for trauma. The goal of this work is to have clinicians’ client accept the loss and think back on aspects of life with the loved one with a wide range of feelings, including an appreciation for the positive experiences they shared. Francine Shapiro often brings up the issue: How long does one have to grieve? She asks us to not place our limitations on our clients as this would be antithetical to the notion of the ecological validity of the client’s self-healing process.
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Therapists trained to provide eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy have a global responsibility. This article summarizes the multiple impacts of high stress events, and their long-term effects on individuals, families, communities, and nations. While it is well documented that EMDR treatment will remediate the individual symptoms of posttraumatic stress, research is still needed to determine how far-reaching such outcomes are. Future studies should determine whether treatment reverses the neurobiological changes, cognitive deficits, and affective dysregulation, which are associated with exposure to traumatic events. Research should also investigate whether successful treatment decreases high-risk and/or perpetrator behavior, and whether these effects are translated into behavioral and attitudinal changes sufficient to bring an end to intergenerational trauma and ethnopolitical conflicts. It seems self-evident that the ideal way to address pressing societal needs, on both local and global levels, is by the integration of science and practice. The article also discusses the development of nonprofit EMDR humanitarian assistance programs, and their essential work in the alleviation of suffering around the world. In addition to recommending the examination of EMDR's efficacy in treating traumatization from direct, natural, structural, and cultural causes, this article advocates that research resources be dedicated for testing interventions in the areas of the world with the greatest needs. The alleviation of suffering is the duty of our profession.