A renowned psychologist reveals the power of human resilience in dealing with grief and loss
The conventional view of grieving--encapsulated by the famous five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance--is defined by a mourning process that we can only hope to accept and endure. In The Other Side of Sadness, psychologist and emotions expert George Bonanno argues otherwise. Mourning is far from predictable, and all of us share a surprising ability to be resilient. Our inborn emotions--anger and denial, but also relief and joy--help us deal effectively with loss. To expect or require only grief-stricken behavior from the bereaved does them harm. In fact, grieving goes beyond mere sadness, and it can actually deepen interpersonal connections and even lead to a new sense of meaning in life.
The Other Side of Sadness is a must-read for those going through the death of a loved one, mental health professionals, readers interested in neuroscience and positive psychology, and anyone eager to understand our ability to thrive in the face of adversity.
About the Author
George A. Bonanno is professor of clinical psychology and Chair of the Department of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University's Teachers College. He lives in New York City with his wife and two children.
"Fascinating and readable ... a sensitive and sensible view of loss."—New York Times
"A deep and intelligent book.... It's heartening to discover that grieving is not 'work,' we don't have to be successful at it, and we're stronger than we know."—Double X, Slate
"This is a valuable book for Bonanno's application of the scientific method to a field that badly needs it."—New Scientist
"Perhaps the most renowned grief researcher in the United States ... Bonanno's work ... has redefined the science of grief research."—The Atlantic
"The Other Side of Sadness is a game changer. Bonanno carefully assembles scientific evidence to show that most of what we thought we knew is just plain wrong. If you want to know the truth about the human experience of loss, there's only one book on the shelf."—Daniel Gilbert, professor of psychology, Harvard University, and author of Stumbling on Happiness
"Brilliant and moving."—Dacher Keltner, professor of psychology, University of California, Berkeley, and author of Born to Be Good