Author: Katie Bloom Leoni, Psy.D.
No one is immune from loss and grief. Losing someone or something you love is very painful and often shocking. Many of our clients are confused about the emotions they feel following a loss and might be worried about talking with others about their experiences. It is important to remember that grief does not follow a straight path as grief is an extremely individual process. There is no time frame for grief just as there is no right or wrong way to grieve.
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross and David Kessler developed the five stages of grief, which encompass common emotions and experiences of people going through the grieving process. You may go through each stage, may stay in one stage longer than another, or may not go through any of the stages at all. Think of the grieving process as a roller coaster, full of ups and downs and highs and lows. Just as Kübler-Ross and Kessler said, “They [the five stages] were never meant to help tuck messy emotions into neat packages.”
The five stages of grief are:
Remember that although the grieving is difficult, letting your emotions out and allowing yourself to feel however you feel is part of the healing process. Treating yourself with compassion and kindness and practicing physical, emotional, and social self-care are important. If you’d like to talk with a professional, we’d be happy to offer you a free consultation in order to make sure you get the support you need.
Diana Gordon, Psy.D., Kari Kagan Psy.D., and Katie Leoni, Psy.D.
Drs. Gordon, Kagan, and Leoni practice psychotherapy in downtown San Francisco and Oakland. Their areas of expertise include anxiety, sleep, stress, depression, and addiction. They blog about these topics to provide research-based information about common problems and strategies to help manage them.