Judy Field

Counselling in Harrogate, North Yorkshire


Exploring the ‘Anger Stage’ of Grief

26th May 2022

As noted in a previous blog post, people still tend to look at grief in terms of the ‘five stages’ model – something coined in 1969 – which states that we all process a bereavement in the same way: denial, bargaining, anger, depression, acceptance. Since then, a far more nuanced and accurate understanding of grief has developed. People don’t experience these emotions in sequential ‘stages’, nor do we necessarily go through all of them.

When it comes to the so-called ‘anger’ stage, I have seen, over many years as a bereavement counsellor in Harrogate, that there is precious little understanding of what this actually means. And so, in this blog post, we will take a closer look at the role of anger in grief.

Anger Comes in Different Forms

If we think about anger, our mind tends to picture someone shouting, but the emotion of anger is far more complex than that. When someone dies, the person who is grieving may well descend into fits of loud outbursts at people, or nobody in particular, but it is also very possible to be angry in silence. It could be that we are quietly resentful of the person who has died for leaving you. You might be angry towards the doctors for not doing more, or other people who haven’t lost a loved one, or even God.

We experience anger in various ways. Some of us hold it in; others let it out. And it can be directed at yourself, the person who has died, or anyone else.

Something Lies Behind the Anger

Many people, for myriad reasons, find it hard to express complex emotions like fear or sadness. Those emotions are there, but they were never given the space to bring them out into the open in a safe way growing up, and as such can’t vocalise them in adulthood. As a result, these emotions come out as anger. It is their way of telling you they feel sad, or confused, or hurt, or perhaps even scared. If you are feeling this way, I am here to provide bereavement counselling that allows you to engage with these primary emotions and understand them better.

Don’t Suppress It!

Nobody likes to feel angry, but trying to turn it off or avoiding it only makes the matter worse. The emotion remains unresolved. It is important that you go ahead and feel your anger, no matter how difficult it might be. These emotions come up for a reason and the best thing you can do is get present to them.

Of course, I know that showing this anger to family and friends can be extremely difficult – or impossible for you to do. If you are looking for an outlet to process your anger, or any other emotion you may be feeling, I am here to provide compassionate bereavement counselling in Harrogate or online. Give me a call whenever you like.

Get in Touch

To find out more about Individual CounsellingBereavement Therapy, Remote Counselling or my other services, you can contact me on 07855 059 964. Due to the nature of my work, I am not always available to answer the phone – please leave a voicemail message and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Appointments now available for in-person sessions, with social distancing in place. My therapy room is well ventilated and cleaned between each client session.

Most of the time I am able to offer you your first therapy session within a few days of your initial enquiry.

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I offer an optional FREE Initial 30-minute telephone consultation to give you the opportunity to get a sense of what I am like and see whether you think I am someone you feel comfortable talking to about your issues.

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I am able to offer day, evening and weekend appointments, subject to availability. My final appointment time on an evening is 8pm, Monday to Thursday and 7pm on a Friday.


Monday: 8am to 9pm

Tuesday: 8am to 9pm

Wednesday: 8am to 9pm

Thursday: 8am to 9pm

Friday: 8am to 8pm

Saturday: 8am to 2pm

Sunday: Closed

Opening Hours

I am able to offer daytime, evening and weekend appointments, subject to availability. My final appointment time on an evening is 8pm, Monday to Thursday and 7pm on a Friday.


Monday: 8am to 9pm

Tuesday: 8am to 9pm

Wednesday: 8am to 9pm

Thursday: 8am to 9pm

Friday: 8am to 8pm

Saturday: 9am to 3pm

Sunday: Closed

Opening Hours

I am able to offer daytime and evening appointments, subject to availability. My final appointment time on an evening is 8pm, Monday to Thursday and 7pm on a Friday.


Monday: 8am to 9pm

Tuesday: 8am to 9pm

Wednesday: 8am to 9pm

Thursday: 8am to 9pm

Friday: 8am to 8pm

Saturday: Closed

Sunday: Closed

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