The Other Side of Sadness: What the New Science of Bereavement Tells Us About Life After Loss

The Other Side of Sadness: What the New Science of Bereavement Tells Us About Life After Loss

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by George A. Bonanno
     
 

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A leading expert in emotions research establishes a bold new paradigm for understanding grief.See more details below

Overview

A leading expert in emotions research establishes a bold new paradigm for understanding grief.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
He once helped debunk the theory of repressed memory; now this Columbia clinical psychology professor takes on the conventional wisdom about grieving. There's little evidence to support the existence of “stages of mourning” or the corollary that if the stages aren't followed completely, there's cause for alarm. What Bonanno does find is “a natural resilience” that guides us through the sadness of loss, and grief, rather than distracting us, actually causes the mind to focus; it also elicits the “compassion and concern” that humans are hard-wired to offer in response to another's suffering. Bonanno acknowledges that grief is sometimes extreme and requires treatment, much like post-traumatic stress disorder. But with this work, science and common sense come together in a thoughtful, kindhearted way; stories of loss go far beyond striking a familiar chord—they give us hope. As one mother who lost her daughter tells Bonanno, even years later she felt her daughter was like a “little ember, and if I need to, if I want to have Claire next to me, I blow on it, ever so gently, and it glows bright again.” (Oct.)
Library Journal
This illuminating work by Bonanno (clinical psychology, Columbia Univ.) challenges Elisabeth Kübler-Ross's five-step model for understanding grief and the dying process. The author shares his research into the experiences of ordinary people who have lost a loved one, revealing how their personal journeys through the grief process differ remarkably from what most self-help books and the professional literature on grief describe. In warmly presented chapters, Bonanno cogently covers the traditional response to grief in Western culture, how grief many times is overcome with enlightened levity, the importance of resilience after losing a loved one, the importance of memories in the grief process, the strength that develops after overcoming a loss, and the importance of beliefs in various myths about the afterlife. VERDICT While the popular and the professional literature on death and dying continue to surge, Bonanno's work manages to offer a clearly professed alternative way to understand grief that will be a refreshing new resource for professionals, as well as for the grieving.—Dale Farris, Groves, TX
From the Publisher
Library Journal
“Illuminating…while the popular and the professional literature on death and dying continue to surge, Bonanno's work manages to offer a clearly professed alternative way to understand grief that will be a refreshing new resource for professionals, as well as for the grieving.”

Publishers Weekly
“Bonanno acknowledges that grief is sometimes extreme and requires treatment, much like post-traumatic stress disorder. But with this work, science and common sense come together in a thoughtful, kindhearted way; stories of loss go far beyond striking a familiar chord—they give us hope.”

Camille Wortman, Professor of Psychology, Stony Brook University
“Bonanno, the most productive and influential bereavement researcher in America today, has changed the scientific landscape in the field of grief and bereavement.”

Dacher Keltner, Professor of Psychology, University of California Berkeley and author of Born To Be Good
The Other Side of Sadness is brilliant and moving. Bonanno turns our thinking about loss on its head. He reveals the subtle and myriad ways we are resilient, how we find new layers of meaning, why we laugh, and gain insight when loved ones pass. This inspiring book will fill you with wisdom about the other side of loss, and make life immeasurably richer.”

Barbara L. Fredrickson, Ph.D., Kenan Distinguished Professor, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and author of Positivity
The Other Side of Sadness paints a refreshingly new and scientifically-grounded portrait of the grieving process, one infused with positivity, laughter, and enduring bonds. Anyone interested in the emotional nuances of the human condition will value this warm, engaging, and accessible book.”

Jim Whitaker, Founder and Director Project Rebirth
“George Bonanno’s ground-breaking research on grief illuminates mankind’s profound capacity for resilience, and shows us how to find meaning in life after death.”

Daniel Gilbert, Professor of Psychology, Harvard University; author of Stumbling on Happiness
“There are a lot of books on bereavement and now you can throw them all away. Bonanno carefully assembles scientific evidence to show that most of what we thought we knew is just plain wrong. The Other Side of Sadness is a game changer. There’s nothing else like it. If you want to know the truth about the human experience of loss, there’s only one book on the shelf.”

Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, Professor of Psychology, Yale University
“Bonanno has revolutionized our thinking about how people respond to loss and trauma. The Other Side of Sadness has tremendous implications for interventions and for how people see themselves.” 

Christopher Peterson, Professor of Psychology, University of Michigan
The Other Side of Sadness melds rigorous research and compelling case examples to inform, enlighten, and inspire. I highly recommend this book.” 

Richard J. McNally, Professor of Psychology, Harvard University; author of Remembering Trauma
“No one has done more to transform our understanding of how people cope with the loss of a loved one than George Bonanno. His landmark research overturns engrained myths about mourning, and identifies sources of human resilience in the face of loss. The Other Side of Sadness is an excellent, emotionally moving account of how people overcome the pangs of grief.”

New Scientist
“This is a valuable book for Bonanno's application of the scientific method to a field that badly needs it.”

New York Times
“Fascinating and readable… a sensitive and sensible view of loss.”

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780465019946
Publisher:
Basic Books
Publication date:
09/22/2009
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
312,719
File size:
0 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

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