Kubler-Ross Stages of Grief

The Kubler-Ross Stages of Grief that most of us have heard of before come from Elizabeth Kübler-Ross’ book, On Death and Dying. Kübler-Ross describes five stages of dying that begin when a patient learns he or she has a terminal illness. In her final book, On Grief and Grieving, Kübler-Ross substituted the term “five stages of loss” and “stages of grief” for her previous “stages of dying.”

These are the five stages of the Kübler-Ross Stages of Grief:

Denial

Anger

Bargaining

Depression

Acceptance

Over the years people have applied these five stages to the grief process calling them 5 stages of grief even though no one has proven that these “stages” exist. In fact, there is controversy about whether people commonly experience "stages" of grief.

While someone may experience anger or depression when mourning a loved one or a loss, these experiences do not necessarily occur in ordered stages. For this reason the term “stages” is somewhat unfortunate. To learn more about the different stage theories of grief, click here.

5 Stages of Grief

7 Stages of Grief


The idea of stages of grief suggests that if one is in one of these stages there is nothing they can do but wait until they pass into the next stage. This is a damaging myth.


If grief is troubling you, there is something you can do about it. You do not need to wait it out. You can enjoy peace, love and happiness again much sooner than you think.


Grief Recovery Coaching or counseling can help you take the necessary steps to move out of heartache to a life of joy and peace.

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Debbra Bronstad, LMFT
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Grief Recovery Specialist®
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