“You’re not alone. I’ve been where you are.  Now I’m on the otherside of grief. I’ve discovered ways to not only survive, but thrive.” – Claire Bidwell Smith

Season 2 Episode 35: Claire Bidwell Smith, LCPC & Writer

Claire Bidwell Smith, LCPC, is a therapist specializing in grief, and the author of three books of nonfiction: The Rules of Inheritance (Penguin, 2012), After This: When Life Is Over Where Do We Go? (Penguin, 2015) and Anxiety: The Missing Stage of Grief (Da Capo, 2018).

The Rules of Inheritance, a coming-of-age memoir about grief, was a Books for a Better Life Nominee, a Barnes & Noble Discover pick, has been published in 18 countries, and is currently being adapted for film. After This chronicles Claire’s journey as a grief therapist searching for meaning as she explores various beliefs about the afterlife.
Claire has written for The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Salon.com, Slate, Chicago Public Radio, The Guardian, Psychology Today, Yoga Journal, and BlackBook Magazine

Claire has a bachelor’s degree from The New School University and a master’s degree from Antioch University. She is a licensed therapist (LCPC) and has a thriving private practice in Los Angeles with offices in both Santa Monica and Beverly Hills. She also works remotely with clients around the globe via Skype and phone. 

Since the publication of her books Claire has made many media appearances on both television and radio, gone on to speak and lecture at numerous events, and regularly leads dozens of workshops and retreats on both writing and grief.
Claire is also very involved in the literary community, speaking on panels every year at conferences like AWP, the LA Times Festival of Books, Bindercon and BlogHer. Claire also curates the Los Angeles branch of the popular Happier Hour literary series. She has a vibrant social media life and large community of professional support.
Claire deeply loves her work and seeks to further the conversation about death in order to help our culture reach a healthier understanding of how to move through grief.


Anxiety: The Missing Stage of Grief

Coming September 25, 2018, this groundbreaking book explores the little-known yet critical connections between anxiety and grief, with practical strategies for healing, following the renowned Kübler-Ross stages model

Anxiety disorders are on the rise; many people are looking for resources to help them cope with anxiety, yet most people aren’t aware that unresolved grief is a primary underpinning–or that the two are related at all. In my own therapy practice and life,

I’ve discovered the connections between anxiety and grief. In my upcoming book, backed by research, case studies, and interviews, I break down the physiology of anxiety, giving readers a concrete foundation of understanding in order to help them heal the anxiety caused by loss. Taking a big step beyond Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’ widely accepted five stages, Anxiety: The Missing Stage of Grief explains the intimate connection between death and grief and how they specifically cause anxiety–unpacking everything from our age-old fears about mortality to the bare vulnerability a loss can make us feel.

With concrete tools and coping strategies for panic attacks, getting a handle on anxious thoughts, and more, Anxiety: The Missing Stage of Grief bridges these two emotions in a way that is deeply empathetic and eminently practical.