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Therapeutic Approaches to Grief and Loss

Updated: Aug 3, 2022

Grief is a natural human response to loss, separation, or bereavement and, more specifically, to a loss of a loved one. Mourning or grief is affected by cultural, religious, and personality factors as well as the level of relationship between the deceased and the grieving person. Various models of grief have common themes.

Kubler-Ross identified grief as a procedural process involving five stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. According to Kubler-Ross, the affected individual must go through these processes before adapting to everyday life again.

Colin Murray Parkes' grief theory is based on the response people experience when strong affectional bonds are disrupted. According to Parkes, when death occurs, it is not easy to regain the closeness, and sometimes, it leads to despair.

For one to recover from the loss, they have to go through four phases of bereavement, including numbness or shock, yearning and pining, despair and disorganisation, and recovery. Parkes outlines that grief is a transitional process from incomprehension and denial to resolution formation. Seemingly, Parkes' model is challenged for being linear.

On the other hand, William Worden's theory of grief focuses on tasks that need to be completed to resolve grief. Task One involves accepting the reality of loss. The second one involves working through and experiencing the pain of grief. The third step is adjusting to an environment without the deceased, and the last step is withdrawing emotionally from them.

If you feel a this topic has highlighted something close to you that may need working on, why not book an initial therapy consultation using the link below.

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