Real World Clinical Blog: On Grief and its Permutations

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Thank you for this article. I am an LCSW and enjoy working with grieving clients. I've found that other clinicians are often uncomfortable with grief and are happy to refer their clients to me.
I would add that some people have a sense of connection with a gravesite and visit regularly, while for others the gravesite is not meaningful and they feel no need to visit. Sometimes there is a conflict with a cultural expectation to visit such sites, which the client finds uncomfortable or meaningless. I like to stress with clients that the grief process is individual and varies greatly from one person to another. I find that clients often benefit from a group, where they can discuss their feelings and experiences outside of their family and social circles.

Jo more than 5 years ago


his article helped me get a perspective on deaths that happened many years ago in my family, by making me realise that I was still grieving! I had been on the occasions of my grandmother's deaths firmly occupied with undergraduate examinations and I now realise I had somehow coped with them by suppressing and refusing to process the implications. I had been close to one of them but both of them loved me and it was only after moving to the United States for education, ironically, that it hit me. Your article succinctly describes how there are no timelines to start grieving and it is true in my case indeed! It also correctly ties n grief with a passage of life that triggers it and in my case it was my big move into a foreign country. I was taken aback by the intensity of my feelings but I now know that it quite normal in fact, the dormancy does not in any way mean that it has not affected me and this has helped retain perspective. Thank you for such a well thought out piece!

Shefali Samdaria more than 6 years ago

The Grieving Process

There is much clinical wisdom in what Dr. Bodenheimer has presented. It is crucial to understand that grieving and mourning is a natural process that we must move through. Getting stuck alone the way causes unnecessary suffering. This understanding creates useful expectations for dealing with this all important aspect of life.

Jeffrey I Bryan ( more than 6 years ago

Coping with Grief

I feel like thinking of grief in stages or phases helps people to label their feelings and gives them a sense of control / understanding about what to potentially expect. I appreciate that the author highlighted that there is no timeline and that grief isn't limited to death. Everyone experiences grief in different ways and each person needs support systems for to cope well in life transitions.

Susan P. more than 6 years ago

About Real World CSW

Dr. Danna Bodenheimer is the author of Real World Clinical Social Work: Find Your Voice and Find Your Way and On Clinical Social Work: Meditations and Truths From the Field. She shares practice wisdom with new clinicians.