Suppressing Grief Does Not Prove Harmful | Teachers College Columbia University

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Suppressing Grief Does Not Prove Harmful

George Bonanno, professor of psychology and education, suggested that people should not be forced to express grief following the death of a loved one.

George Bonanno, professor of psychology and education, suggested that people should not be forced to express grief following the death of a loved one. He found that the bereaved who typically avoid displaying emotions suffer no traumatic consequences as result of suppressing grief, even three years later.

Bonanno studied the various courses of bereavement by evaluating 1,532 people, all of whom were married with at least one partner over the age of 65. His findings indicated that 46 percent of the survivors scored low in depression, while 10 percent who had been depressed before the death did very well afterward.

The article, entitled "Often, Time Beats Therapy for Treating," appeared in the January 27 edition of the New York Times.

Published Monday, Mar. 15, 2004

Suppressing Grief Does Not Prove Harmful

George Bonanno, professor of psychology and education, suggested that people should not be forced to express grief following the death of a loved one. He found that the bereaved who typically avoid displaying emotions suffer no traumatic consequences as result of suppressing grief, even three years later.

Bonanno studied the various courses of bereavement by evaluating 1,532 people, all of whom were married with at least one partner over the age of 65. His findings indicated that 46 percent of the survivors scored low in depression, while 10 percent who had been depressed before the death did very well afterward.

The article, entitled "Often, Time Beats Therapy for Treating," appeared in the January 27 edition of the New York Times.

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