by Sally Hunt ... experienced Grief Therapist
Four Stages of Grief and Four tasks of Mourning
Four phases of grief model
British psychologists Bowlby and Parkes were the first to propose the Four Stages of Grief model. Today it is far more common to find this in US theory rather than Europe. In Europe the five stages is most widely used. I tend to use the five stages of grief referred to by Elisabeth Kubler Ross and David Kessler.
The four stages of grief
Shock and Numbness
This is the initial reaction to the loss, it is likely to last for a few days or perhaps weeks.
Yearning and Searching
This is characterised by a desire to be reunited with the loved one. You may experience sadness, longing or loneliness.
Disorganisation and Despair
This is characterised by a feeling of loss and despair. You may feel hopeless, withdrawn, and unmotivated.
Reorganisation and Recovery
Finally you begin to adjust to your new reality without the loved one. You will probably still experience sadness and loss, but you are able to function in you daily life and gradually find new meaning and purpose.
The Four Tasks of Mourning
Another of the theories available is the four tasks of mourning. Similar to the 4 stages of grief these are US orientated.
These were identified by psychologist J. William Worden, in the 1960’s in the USA.
- Accepting: Accepting the reality of the Loss.
- Acknowledging: To process your grief and pain.
- Adjusting: To adjust to a world without your loved one.
- Reinventing: To find a way to maintain a connection with the deceased while embarking on your new life.
All these stages are identifiable. What is important is some recognition by yourself. This is where I will help you. I do not believe you move sequentially between the phases. What is important is the understanding and how you appreciate your progress.
Grieving is unique to everyone. You will grieve in their own way and your own speed. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. You need to be patient with yourself. I know that can be difficult.
Perhaps you need to reach out for support and explanations of what you are going through. I am here to help.