Almost everyone in the world experiences an event which can be considered as a loss. It is the disappearance of something or someone important to an individual, grief is the natural response to the loss, people feel a range of emotions when they suffer a loss such as shock, panic, denial, anger and guilt. Death is one of the major events associated with loss but there are many others that occur which can also have a negative effect on someone’s life by impacting in various ways.
A description of a range of losses which may trigger grief
Any significant loss in our life can cause grief, and individuals can have a mixed range of feelings with regards to their loss. These losses include Infertility where the individual will experience emotions common to the death of a loved one, this type of loss can trigger many reactions such as depression, anger towards life in general or towards others that have children, shame, they feel they are less of a person as they are unable to have children, frustration, it can also result in the avoidance of social interactions (www.infertility.about.com). Divorce where the individual feels they have lost all hope and dreams for the future, fear of now having to cope alone, resentment towards the other person, guilt, they may also struggle with a lifestyle change which may also have a negative impact on social aspects of their life due to financial changes(www.divorcesupport.about.com). The loss of a job where the individual feels anger, jealousy of others who have a job, they may feel they have lost their identity and are useless. This can also cause the individual to suffer social exclusion (www.helpguide.org). There are many more that can trigger grief such as loss of a body function, rape, loss of a friendship, homelessness, role-redefinition.
A description of two theoretical models of grief
One model of grief I looked at was Kubler-Ross (1969) who initially developed the five stage model of grief, Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance and later added to more, Shock and Testing. The stages are set up in the following way –
Shock Stage – The first response in hearing the unpleasant news, the person may freeze and be unable to take in what is being said. Denial Stage – This is a defence mechanism it is the refusal to accept what has happened. Anger Stage – This is when the person will suffer feelings of rage and may look for someone to blame ‘Why me, It’s not fair’. Bargaining Stage – This sis the stage where a person will try to negotiate or compromise, ‘can we still be friends? ’, they may also pray try and bargain with a god they believe in. Depression Stage – Person might withdraw at this stage, they will feel sadness, regret, fear, when at this stage it shows the person is beginning to accept the situation. Testing Stage – This is where the individual looks for realistic solutions to the problem. Acceptance Stage - This is when the person begins to come to terms with the event and can finally see a way forward.(www.changingmids.org)
Another model that is similar to Kubler-Ross is Psychodynamic or ‘Griefwork’ model by Colin Murray Parkes. This model also breaks the grief process down into five stages:
4 Anger and Guilt
5 Gaining a new identity
Parkes idea was that when a loss occurs the individual affected will inevitable go through transitions in their lives. These transitions can be very challenging as people have a feeling of security from their own every day routines in their lives. Parkes described this as a person’s ‘assumptive world’ and this is created on how it has always been. An individual’s concept is that this is how it will always be, to think differently from this would create feelings of insecurity. A persons thoughts would have to change from what they normally take for granted in order to cope with what has changed.
Parks explains that...
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