Does talking about grief help? Any time you pick up a book that deals with psychology or self-improvement, or you listen to a therapist, you hear the idea that it’s important for you to express your feelings and put your thoughts into words. Why?

Talking about things that bother or affect us doesn’t change a thing in the world around us. In fact, it’s not at all unusual to hear people ask, “What is the point of talking about ‘it,’ if talking about it doesn’t change it?”

It’s not that self-expression – talking about grief – changes the world. It can’t. But self-expression has the power to change you, and the way you see and experience the world. Putting your feelings into words gives them shape and meaning. It allows you to put your feelings and thoughts into the world around you. By doing that, you connect to your environment, and the people in your life.

This makes you more whole. Once out of your head, words give meaning and clarity to your feelings and thoughts. Sometimes, you may be relieved of them.

To express means to press or squeeze out, to make known and reveal. Sometimes, if you don’t express, you explode. And the danger of such an explosion is particularly acute if you’re dealing with something as devastating as the loss of a loved one.

Talking about grief allows you a sort of freedom – the freedom to recognize and overcome troubling feelings and thoughts.

This is an excerpt from The Healing Journey Through Grief: Your Journal for Reflection and Recovery: Rich, Phil: 9780471295655: Books

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Phil Rich

Phil Rich holds a master’s degree in social work and a doctorate in behavioral studies, and has been a licensed independent clinical social worker for almost 40 years. Phil is an experienced individual, group, and family therapist, and has supervised and trained multiple clinicians. He has been a program or clinical director of numerous treatment programs, including outpatient, inpatient, and residential treatment, and in addition has authored multiple books, chapters, and articles.

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