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Loss, Trauma, and Emotion Lab

George Bonanno, Ph.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
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  • Publications



    The Other Side of Sadness. Basic Books (2009)

    From 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.)  
    Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.Review

    New York Times
    “Fascinating and readable… a useful correction to a lot of well-intentioned misinterpretation. A sensitive and sensible view of loss.”

    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.”

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

    Emotion: Current Issues and Future Directions (2001). Guilford press.

    This volume presents cutting-edge work in emotion theory and research that is altering the landscape of the field. Contributors--who represent the first generation of psychologists trained primarily as affect scientists--describe innovative methods, models, and measurements that illuminate and at times challenge traditional paradigms. The volume covers the broad subfields of emotion research. Addressed are such basic areas as the structure and function of emotion; affective neuroscience and cognition; positive emotions, including a chapter on the evolution of positive affect; and social and cultural influences on emotion. Also examined are applied and clinical topics, including emotion self-regulation and intelligence and the role of emotions in coping, health, and psychopathology. Structured in a coherent format to facilitate use in teaching, each chapter defines basic terms, reviews the historical development and evolution of the issue at hand, and discusses current research and directions for future investigation. An ideal text for advanced undergraduate and graduate-level courses, this volume is also essential reading for researchers and clinicians across a range of psychological disciplines.

    "With the rapid growth of the literature on emotions over the past two decades, staying abreast of the many new developments in theory and research has become a formidable if not impossible problem. Mayne and Bonanno take a big step toward solving this problem with this excellent work. Chapters cover a range of topics, from the evolution and neuroscience of emotions to emotional intelligence and dynamic systems theory. I learned much from my reading of this volume." --Carroll E. Izard, PhD., Unidel Professor of Psychology, University of Delaware 

    "I read this book with considerable pleasure. It offers an admirable overview of the research produced by members of the younger generation of emotion investigators, and contains a rich store of data on the many topics covered. Chapters address cutting-edge theoretical issues that have moved to the fore in the last decade, offering a number of truly innovative and surprising insights." --Nico Frijda, PhD., Department of Psychology, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands