The Dual Process Model: Effective Coping With Bereavement

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The dual process model is a taxonomy to describe how people come to terms or cope with the loss of a partner, however, generalised to include other losses in recent years (Stroebe & Schut, 1999). Of primary importance is gaining an understanding of what constitutes effective coping with bereavement, as some people come to terms with loss while avoiding any health consequences while others adopt more damaging strategies (Parkes, 1996; Stroebe, Stroebe, & Hansson, 2007). This model is not a stage or phase model, rather a “waxing and wanning” over time with ongoing flexibility (Stroebe & Schut, 1999, pg. 213). It proposes that adaptive coping comprises of confrontation-avoidance of loss and restoration stressors (Stroebe & Schut, 1999). Loss…show more content…
There is a shift of focus from greiving the loss to the secondary consequences of the loss, adressing what needs to be addressed, such as social lonliness along with adjusting to new roles or identities, e.g. spouse to widow(er). Coping with new tasks that the deceased used to be responsible for e.g. paying bills, childcare and the general burdens of daily living (Stroebe & Schut, 1999; Shah & Meeks, 2012). Coping with such new tasks can bring about a myriad of emotional reactions such as anxiety and fear that one will not succeed, or indeed courage and relief that one has mastered a new skill. The dual process model includes other aspects of adjustment than changes in relationship alone (Stroebe & Schut, 1999). This is similar to Task three of Worden’s model, however, the dual process model perhaps puts greater focus on the reconstruction of the subjective environment…show more content…
Stroebe and Schut consider it fundamental to successful coping (Stroebe & Schut, 1999). It is a “process of juxtaposition of confrontation and avoidance of different stressors associated with bereavement” (Stroebe & Schut, 1999, pg. 215). The bereaved will at times be confronted by loss and at other times find relief through distractions and attending to new things. Optimal post-loss adjustment is posited to occur when the bereaved individual smoothly transitions or oscillate between LO and RO processes (Shah & Meeks, 2012; Stroebe & Schut, 1999). “The ones who best cope with death may be those who both embrace and avoid grief, at times feeling pain and at times finding ways not to” (Neimeyer, 2002, pg. 193). Oscillation can be achieved through a process of expressing grief by means of revisiting and retelling of the the story of the loss, holding conversations with the image of the loved one and to providing opportunity to structure future goals and restore contact with a new world (Neimeyer & Currier, 2009, pg. 355). It has been shown to produce substantial change (Shear, Frank, Houch, & Reynolds, 2005 as cited in Neimeyer & Currier, 2009). Some benefits to denial are acknowledged, provided it is not in the extreme or long term. In support of oscillation, evidence shows that

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