The Other Side of Sadness

The Other Side of Sadness

What the New Science of Bereavement Tells Us About Life After Loss

Book - 2009
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Baker & Taylor
Contends that the five-stage grief process currently accepted as a standard therapeutic model fails to take into account the human capacity for resilience, analyzing various cultural mourning rituals while examining how inborn emotions precondition us to deal with loss in efficient and healing ways.

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

We tend to understand grief as a predictable five-stage process of denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. But in The Other Side of Sadness, George Bonanno shows that our conventional model discounts our capacity for resilience. In fact, he reveals that we are already hardwired to deal with our losses efficiently?not by graduating through static phases. Weaving in explorations of mourning rituals and the universal experiences of the death of a parent or child, Bonanno examines how our inborn emotions?anger and denial, but also relief and joy?help us deal effectively with loss. And grieving goes beyond mere sadness: it can deepen interpersonal connections and often involves positive experiences. In the end, mourning is not predictable, but incredibly sophisticated. Combining personal anecdotes and original research, The Other Side of Sadness is a must-read for those going through the death of a loved one, mental health professionals, and readers interested in neuroscience and positive psychology.

Book News
Bonanno (clinical psychology, Columbia U.) challenges conventional ideas about grief to illustrate how it is not experienced uniformly and that a prescribed pattern discounts human capacity for resilience. He argues that grief can deepen interpersonal connections and lead to a new sense of meaning. Through studies and interviews with hundreds of people, he discusses the history of grief work in psychology, the purpose of sadness, how bereaved people do have pleasurable experiences and find comfort in memories, their natural resilience, prolonged grief, and experiences in different cultures. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: New York : Basic Books, [2009]
Copyright Date: ©2009
ISBN: 9780465013609
Branch Call Number: 155.937 BONAN


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