1. To accept the reality of the loss. To come face to face with the reality of the loss as irretrievable.
  2. To experience the pain of grief. Including the literal physical pain that many experience and the emotional and behavioral pain associated with loss.
  3. To adjust to an environment in which the deceased is missing. Reorganizing and adjusting one’s life so that life can go on. Learning new skills and discovering inner abilities.
  4. To withdraw emotional energy and reinvest it. This task affects an emotional withdrawal and release from the loss so that this emotional energy can be reinvested in someone or something else.

*From Grief Counseling and Grief Therapy, A Handbook for Mental Health Practitioners, by J. William Worden, Ph.D., Springer Publishing co., New York, 1982

Posted by on Mar 30, 2008 in Youth Grief Tasks | One Comment

1 Comment

  1. Jason Troyer
    June 25, 2010

    Just a quick note – Worden changed his 4th task to include a place for the deceased in the survivor’s life, not to “withdraw emotional energy” anymore. His new 4th task emphasizes that we shouldn’t focus on forgetting or withdrawing from the deceased as a goal of grief. His latest book reflects this:



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