The five stages of grief defined by Kübler-Ross in 1969 have helped countless people make sense of the feelings that they experienced after a painful loss. In this handout, each of the five stages (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance) are explained.
The Kübler-Ross model is no longer supported by science as a valid model or predictor of grief. Not everyone experiences every stage of the Kübler-Ross model, and the stages don't necessarily occur in order. Imagine the stages as a very loose depiction of what a person may experience during grief. However, clients can often identify with these stages, which provides a valuable tool for self-understanding and introspection.
We suggest using this worksheet as an education piece, encouraging your clients to explore how they have personally experienced the stages. Try pairing this worksheet with the My Stages of Grief worksheet to increase client involvement.
For more about grief psychoeducation, see our guide on the subject:
1. Kübler-Ross, E. (2009). On death and dying: What the dying have to teach doctors, nurses, clergy and their own families. Taylor & Francis.