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Desire for Certainty

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How did Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’ stages of grief (denial, bargaining, anger, depression, acceptance and hope) become so ingrained in our cultural consciousness? I believe our need for certainty in a time of chaos is the answer to the question. If only we could have an accurate map to guide us through this disorienting experience, maybe we would feel safer on the trip.

Dr. Kubler-Ross developed these stages based on interviews of dying patients. She did not intend for this model to become the standard used to measure those who grieve. Yet, that is what has happened.  If you listen to news reports in the aftermath of national tragedies, you will hear references to these stages as if they are absolutes.

Grief as a series of stages may be useful to some, but for many this description of loss can cause self-doubt when the reality of grief differs from this cultural prescription. You are not getting grief wrong if your experience of grief does not conform to these stages.

CLICK HERE to purchase a copy of my book “Getting Grief Right.”


Getting Grief Right

by Dr. Patrick O'Malley

A masterpiece that will touch your heart and soul with healing powers. • A compassionate, wise, and practical guide • A must read for anyone who is grieving the loss of a loved one.


Grief Therapist

Dr. Patrick O’Malley is a psychotherapist in Fort Worth, Texas, who specializes in grief counseling. For 40 years, he has counseled individuals, couples and families
in his private practice.


Getting Grief Right

by Dr. Patrick O'Malley

By the time Mary came to see me, six months after losing her daughter to sudden infant death syndrome, she had hired and fired two other therapists. She was trying to get her grief right...

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