Understanding the Grieving Process

How different ways of understanding grief could help you

Last updated: 16 March 2017

If you are coping with the death of a loved one, you may hear people talk about how grief works. They might refer to different psychological theories to describe the various stages of bereavement.

Be aware that there are many different theories about grief from different psychologists and doctors. All of these theories have evidence to support them, however, there is no one ‘correct’ answer to how grief works. Grief is unique to each person and affects everyone differently.

Some of the most common theories include:

It may seem confusing that there are so many different ways of understanding grief, but you do not need to choose one theory, and none of them will magically fix the emotions you are feeling.

However, you may find that one or two of them help shed some light onto the kind of thoughts and feelings happening to you right now. You can discuss these ideas in more depth with a counsellor or therapist, who will be able to help you understand more about grief.