Comapre 2 Grief theorists

Topics: Grief, Grief counseling, Death Pages: 5 (2039 words) Published: October 14, 2013
Grief and bereavement are different for each individual, that is no two people will experience a loss in the same way. A loss is the absence of something we deem meaningful. Over the years there have been many different theories of grief, but it is not a ‘one size fits all’ approach. The aim of this paper is to compare two grief models, namely Dr Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’ Five Stages of Grief and Dr William Worden’s Tasks of Mourning including the Seven Mediators of Mourning. After comparing the two models the paper will then look at how the two models are different and finish with a case study using one of the models. Dr Elisabeth Kubler-Ross was a Swiss born Psychiatrist. During her in psychiatry residency she was appalled by the treatment of patients who were dying. She began lecturing medical students and forced them to face dying patients. Her extensive work with the dying lead to the writing of her book ‘On death and dying’ (1969). In this book she proposed the Five Stages of Grief, being denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance, which most people will feel when faced with death. Whilst this model was initially for the dying patient it has been later adapted for the bereft. Dr Kubler-Ross notes that these stages are not meant to be completed in a strict order or are indeed the only emotions the bereft will pass through. Other researchers studying the process of loss and grief have recognised these stages as well as the fact that they do not have to be experienced in any particular order but are all part of the grieving process. The bereaved may vacillate in and out of some stages before completing this part of the process. Grief begins at the moment a loss is recognised, long before death actually happens. Dr Kubler-Ross’ Five Stages of Grief will be explained in more detail below: Denial. Shock and disbelief that the loss is happening. Numbness and even a sense of isolation that takes over the bereaved and for brief periods of time. Do they remember that they have suffered the loss? Anger. Why me? The bereaved may find themselves angry at the loss or themselves for wishing it would all end. Bargaining. This is usually about making a compromise with God or other deity. “Just let my baby have a heart beat on this ultrasound and I’ll do whatever you want” or your friend asks God to let him live a while longer and he'll promise to quit smoking. Depression. Becoming so sad that things just don't matter anymore. Feelings of hopelessness, sorrow, and despair overwhelm the bereaved. Acceptance. Coming to terms with reality. Loss is part of life and cannot be avoided. If the loss is the death of a loved one then a feeling of calmness and peace that the berefts loved one is no longer suffering and is at rest or peace, having gone on to a better place. These stages can come in any order and can be intertwined. The bereft will experience grief in their own way and their own time. Some people will move through the grieving process quickly, and others take much more time to grieve. Some bereaved people may effectively remain in denial for a long time and put off their grieving. The Four Tasks of Mourning is based on research by Dr J William Worden, PhD, who is currently a professor at Biola University in California. Dr Worden (2009) theorised that the grieving process was broken down into four main tasks of grieving and seven mediators of mourning which could be addressed individually or at the same time. Dr Worden’s Four Tasks of Mourning are:

Task 1: To Accept the Reality of the Loss. During this task, the bereft must face the reality that the loss is real. In the case of a death the bereft must come to harsh terms that the deceased is never coming back. Task 2: To Process the Pain of Grief. This task is just as the title of the task suggests, that is, to process the pain and to find a way to cope with the pain until it passes. Task 3: To Adjust to a World Without the Deceased. Within this...

References: Beyond the five stages of grief. (2011). Harvard Mental Health Letter, 3.
Corr, C. A., & Coolican, M. B. (2010). Understanding bereavement, grief, and mourning: implications for donation and transplant professionals. Progress in Transplantation, 20(2), 169-177.
Field, N. P., Gal-Oz, E., & Bonanno, G. A. (2003). Continuing Bonds and Adjustment at 5 Years After the Death of a Spouse. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 71, 110-117. doi:10.1037/0022-006X.71.1.110
Hamama-Raz, Y., Hemmendinger, S., & Buchbinder, E. (2010). The Unifying Difference: Dyadic Coping With Spontaneous Abortion Among Religious Jewish Couples. Qualitative Health Research. doi:10.1177/1049732309357054
Kubler-Ross, E. (1969). On death and dying. New York: Macmillan.
Worden, J. W. (2009). Grief counseling and grief therapy: A handbook for the mental health practitioner. New York, NY: Springer Pub. Co.
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