Elisabeth Kubler Ross

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Elisabeth Kubler Ross (Kübler Ross) M.D. (1926-2004) was a Swiss-American doctor and psychiatrist who became famous for her progressive ideas and development with respect to care and support for the terminally ill. She also developed a theory on the stages of grief and loss.

Biography Elisabeth Kubler Ross

Elisabeth Kubler Ross obtained her Medical Degree (MD) from the University of Zurich in 1957.

In 1958 she emigrated to the United States with her husband Emanuel (Manny) Ross and she took up a number of follow-up studies in the field of psychiatry. Elisabeth Kubler Ross focused on and specialized in working with terminally ill patients and care and support for the terminally ill. She inspired student by giving fascinating and confronting lectures about this specialism.

In 1962 Elisabeth Kubler Ross accepted a position at the University of Colorado, in the United States. She completed her follow-up studies in the field of psychiatry and moved to Chicago in 1965. 

Elisabeth Kubler Ross changed jobs in 1965 and became an Assistant Professor at the Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago. She developed a number of seminars based on interviews with terminally ill patients. In addition to experiencing the pros and cons of her profession, Elisabeth Kubler Ross was, however, also critical of traditional psychiatry. She herself took a number of special psychoanalytical training courses to familiarize herself with this specialism.

After follow-up empirical research, she published the successful book On Death and Dying in 1969 in which the introduced the five stages of grief model.

All this accelerated her fame within the (medical) world of coping with bereavement and care and support for the terminally ill. She wrote over many books and scientific publications. 

Elisabeth Kubler Ross was particularly appreciated for her work and was awarded 21 honorary doctorates.

In 1977 Elisabeth Kubler Ross bought a large piece of land with her husband in San Diego in the United States and founded Shanti Nilaya (Home of Peace) a ‘healing center‘ for the dying and their families.

She continued her research into spirituality and mediumship.

During the last years of her life she used her best endeavours to fight against AIDS by doing research and giving workshops about this subject.

At the age of 78, after having been in a coma for a week, Elisabeth Kubler Ross died partly due to a number of different infections she had contracted.

Famous quotes by Elisabeth Kubler Ross

  1. “The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of those depths.”
  2. “People are like stained – glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”
  3. “The ultimate lesson all of us have to learn is unconditional love, which includes not only others but ourselves as well.”
  4. “The five stages – denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance – are a part of the framework that makes up our learning to live with the one we lost. They are tools to help us frame and identify what we may be feeling. But they are not stops on some linear time line in grief.”
  5. “Denial helps us to pace our feelings of grief. There is a grace in denial. It is nature’s way of letting in only as much as we can handle.”
  6. “I think modern medicine has become like a prophet offering a life free of pain. It is nonsense. The only thing I know that truly heals people is unconditional love.”
  7. “The opinion which other people have of you is their problem, not yours.”
  8. “As far as service goes, it can take the form of a million things.”
  9. “To do service, you don’t have to be a doctor working in the slums for free, or become a social worker. Your position in life and what you do doesn’t matter as much as how you do what you do.”

Publications and books by Elisabeth Kubler Ross et al.

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