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The Pathway from Acute Grief to Integrated Grief

We do not get over grief; we learn to live with it.


The initial phase of grief is acute grief. This is that time when physical, emotional, mental, and reckoning with your worldview or beliefs symptoms can be very intense.


The second phase of grief is integrated grief. This is a permanent form of grief in which we are able to reengage with the world and have some hope for our future.


The pathway from acute grief to integrated can be full of difficult terrain. It is my job to help folks identify the nature of this terrain, and find a way to navigate through it.


Some of the most mountainous terrain on the pathway from acute to integrated grief includes the experience of isolation (not feeling seen or witnessed in the experience); guilt; regret; shame; if only’s that our brain gnaws on; and the traumatic elements of the experience (intrusive thoughts and images of the event; sleep and eating issues; increased anxiety and vigilance; and many more).




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