Grief Counseling Certification Article on John Bowlby and Attachment Theory

John Bowlby was a revolutionary pioneer in the study of grief.  His observations and experiments on infant dependency and bonds with the parent were important studies for his Attachment Theory.  In essence, the greater the attachment and stronger the bond, the greater the loss and readjustment.

Bowbly studied the impact of bonds shared between babies and caregivers. Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification


In particular, his four step process of the grief process was important in understanding loss.  Shock, yearning, despair and disorganization and finally re-organization and recovery were the four primary steps that he observed individuals progress through during a loss.

In the article, “What is Attachment Theory? Bowlby’s 4 Stages Explained” by Courtney Akerman, MA, Bowlby’s four step process is looked at in greater detail.  The article states,

“The psychological theory of attachment was first described by John Bowlby, a psychoanalyst who researched the effects of separation between infants and their parents (Fraley, 2010).  Bowlby hypothesized that the extreme behaviors infants engage in to avoid separation from a parent or when reconnecting with a physically separated parent—like crying, screaming, and clinging—were evolutionary mechanisms”

To review the entire article, please click here

In understanding grief, it is important that grief counselors are very familiar with Bowlby’s work and how attachment plays a key role in the loss process.  Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification and see if it matches your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Grief Counseling