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TEAR Model of Grief

Worden formulated the process of grief as consisting of tasks, including accepting the reality of the loss and experiencing its pain. This client information handout details the tasks of grief based upon Worden's (1991) model.

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Worden's (1991) model of grief argues that we have 'tasks' when we grieve. These include:

  • Accepting the reality of the loss.
  • Experiencing the pain of the loss.
  • Adjusting to a new life without the lost person.
  • Reinvestment in the new reality.

The TEAR Model of Grief illustrates these four tasks of mourning.


This is a Psychology Tools information handout. Suggested uses include:
  • Client handout - use as a psychoeducation resource
  • Discussion point - use to provoke a discussion and explore client beliefs
  • Therapist learning tool - improve your familiarity with a psychological construct
  • Teaching resource - use as a learning tool during training


  • Worden, J. W. (1991). Grief counselling and grief therapy: A handbook for the mental health practitioner (2nd edition). London: Springer.