Understanding the Process of Grief and How Therapy can Help

Most people will experience the loss of a loved one at some point in their lives. Grief is a reaction to this loss and it encompasses a wide range of feelings. There is no “right” way to deal with grief. It’s personal and varies based on a person’s background, beliefs and relationship with the deceased.

That said, there is still a grief process that people go through when they lose a loved one. One of the most popular grief models is the Five Stages of Grief identified by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. Let’s learn more about this grief process and how therapy can help support a grieving person.

Kubler-Ross Model: The Five Stages of Grief

The Kubler-Ross model was first introduced in 1969. It can be applied to any type of loss, including the death of a loved one, divorce, the loss of a job or the loss of freedom. Here are the five stages:

1. Denial. This is a temporary defense. People in denial generally feel things like, “This can’t be happening to me.”

2. Anger. As the person has heightened awareness of the situation, they generally move on to feeling angry – “How can this happen to me? Who’s to blame? This is not fair.”

3. Bargaining. The third stage usually has the person bargaining with a higher power in return for healing. 

4. Depression. Feelings of depression are common when grieving, though they don’t always indicate clinical depression. However if the symptoms persist, it’s important to see a doctor.

5. Acceptance. In the last stage, a grieving person is still grieving but has come to terms with what happened. Even though it’s hard to lose a loved one, they realize they’ll be okay.

How Therapy Can Help the Grieving Process

Grief is experienced in many different ways – physically, emotionally and spiritually. Some of the most common symptoms of grief are shock, guilt, sadness and anxiety. Occasionally, a person may feel numb.

When going through the grief process, people have a hard time believing they will ever be happy again. But there are ways to cope with this process and rebuild a happy life. One of the best ways to achieve this is by attending therapy.

Therapy or grief counseling offers a wide range of benefits:

  • Express emotions in a non-judgmental environment
  • Focus on specific areas where life is most difficult
  • Identity coping strategies for managing grief and re-engaging in daily life
  • Find comfort in sharing memories
  • Understand the stages of grief and how to work through them

Contact VNA Health Group for Bereavement Support

If you have a family member in hospice or have recently lost a loved one, contact VNA Health Group for recommendations on bereavement support services. As part of our hospice services, we have grief counseling and bereavement support groups for family members led by license social workers.

Groups or webinars or memorials we offer

  • Loss of a spouse group
  • Loss of a parent group
  • Loss of a child group
  • Coping with the Holidays group
  • Understanding Grief Webinars
  • Anticipatory Grief Support group
  • Annual Memorial Services

 Contact us today to learn more.

Have questions about home care? Contact us today at 800.400.0981