We’re now more than a year deep into the global pandemic of Covid-19. We’re also contending with ongoing crises of white supremacy (particularly anti-Black and anti-Asian violence), nationalism and xenophobia, climate change, onslaughts of anti-trans legislation, and countless other social, political, and economic actions and inactions eroding the lives and landscapes of our world. At the same time, we’re witnessing and participating in powerful efforts toward justice and healing on both individual and collective levels. Vaccine rollouts have helped many of us to breathe long-held sighs of relief as possibilities reemerge. Throughout the year, care work, mutual aid, and political organizing have yielded hard-won hope and change and laid vital groundwork for a safer, healthier, more just, and more joyful future for all.
As therapists, we have served active roles in helping others get through a time that none of us could ever have been trained or prepared for – professionally or personally – all while navigating our own seemingly endless days of loss and uncertainty, and often struggling very much to do so. We have been healing traumas while surviving traumas. If you are feeling exhausted, confused, overwhelmed, furious, sad, terrified, numb, or some version of all or none of those things, then this is a reminder that that makes total sense and you are not alone. We are, too, and we’ve been thinking about and meaning to write to you.
The WMass EMDR Network Board has met several times since last March – first to face the news that we would have to delay and ultimately cancel our Fall meeting and yearly conference, then to help one another prepare for and enact sudden and intense changes to our clinical practices, and most recently to check in on one another and see each other through a frustrating and frightening holding pattern of waiting and not knowing. We are now reconnecting and reaching out to you to ask how you are doing, what you need as therapists doing this challenging and necessary work, and how we might be able to support you.
We also have important news to share about the Board. Michelle has stepped down in order to focus on her EMDR research and PhD at the Smith College School for Social Work. Joanna and Cheryl have stepped down from the Board after serving as dedicated and generous foundations of the team over the last several years. Joel and Jacquelyn shared their vital energy with us for the last 19 months. We thank each of them so much for their work on the Board and for the gifts of their continued expertise and leadership in the WMass EMDR community. This means that we are currently seeking new members for the Board. If you are interested in joining the Board, please email us at [email protected]. Thank you all for the work you do and the care and support you offer to your communities. We look forward to hearing from you and will reach out again in a couple of months to reconnect.
Western Mass EMDR Network Board of Directors
Melysa Friedman, LICSW
Desiree Lowit, LICSW
Elizabeth Barron, LMHC
Sandy Stephenson-Murphy, LICSW