TC's Bonanno: "Adversity Doesn't Guarantee Suffering Going Forward" | Teachers College Columbia University

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TC's Bonanno: "Adversity Doesn't Guarantee Suffering Going Forward"


A recent Huffington Post article about the annual meeting of the Global Shapers in Latin America—a World Economic Forum initiative comprising a global network of young leaders committed to serving society—discussed resiliency among urban millennials who are rebuilding ravaged communities in their cities.

TC Professor of Clinical Psychology George Bonanno, one of the world’s foremost authorities on human emotional resilience and recovery from trauma and loss, is quoted, saying, “living through adversity, be it endemic to your environment or an acute negative event, doesn’t guarantee that you’ll suffer going forward. What matters is whether that adversity becomes traumatizing.”

As director of TC's Loss, Trauma, and Emotion Lab, Bonanno has examined how adults and children respond to and cope with extremely aversive events, such as the death of a loved one, war, infectious disease, sexual abuse, and terrorist attacks. In recent years, Bonanno's work has focused more specifically on defining psychological resilience in adults exposed to extreme adversity and on the psychological and contextual factors that might inform resilient outcomes.

Bonanno also leads TC's Resilience Center for Veterans and Families, which studies the experiences, strengths and difficulties of veterans and their families, while researching and assessing intervention programs that can best enhance their health and well-being.

Read the article here.

Published Tuesday, Aug 2, 2016

George Bonanno
George Bonanno, Professor of Clinical Psychology