Working towards growth – in Grief

Living with grief is such a personal experience, I am reluctant to pigeon hole the journey in any way. How you respond is valid. It is not pathological or crazy – though I do appreciate that for some Grief turns into  Major Depression and this of course does need sorting.

My view based on years of practicing Grief Psychology is that traumatic experience in life does not have to be catastrophic. With appropriate care, guidance and support it can be a springboard for growth and an enlightened way of living. There are so many examples of people who have overcome their life’s tragedies. Their stories are inspiring and full of hope. This doesn’t mean it’s easy or that they no longer feel pain or sadness. They do but they have found a way to validate their life with meaningful and authentic purpose.

In order to grow out of grief you have to face it. It is an experience that insists on you paying attention. No shortcuts unfortunately.  You are forced to stop and recognise what you feel. You have little choice but to question what life means for you now. This is an experience which is unavoidable. It is normal to feel lost and scared. It is normal to feel upset, depressed, anxious and disoriented. The old you has gone. There is a new you, you are being called to discover.

The first step towards the new you is one of self-compassion and kindness. Do not compare yourself with others. Your experience is unique and absolutely valid. Do not judge yourself for how you feel. It is normal. Do not be destructive. Put your wellbeing first and trust in  your process for adapting to life’s pain. Focus on allowing your feelings to emerge. This can be overwhelming and I would recommend you don’t go through this alone. Lean on a trusted friends and family. If this is not possible, a spiritual guide, a professional counsellor. Choose your support wisely. You will need it.

What is likely to happen is that by processing your feelings of growth, you will experience waves of pain and with every step of self-compassion you will move towards a greater you. A you that has faced loss, that has paid attention to what life means to you now and a you that can heal.

You will heal and grow but this has to happen genuinely and in it’s own time. Do not rush. Do not judge.

If you need help – there is a lot out there. Reach out!



Published by

Dr Chloe

Dr Chloe Paidoussis Mitchell is a leading grief and trauma psychologist working in the UK today, an innovator in digital mental health technologies. She teaches, writes, supervises and works with clients form all over the world to help them adjust to traumatic life events. Most recently she was appointed as the clinical lead for the Minds for Life "Overcoming Grief" app and has developed strong expertise in delivering digital mental health apps.

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