Remarkable Resiliency: George Bonanno on PTSD, Grief, and Depression

Whether illness, disaster, or death of a loved one, most of us go through at least one traumatic event in our lifetimes. The dramatic nature of these experiences has driven psychological scientists to focus on the damage these challenges can cause, particularly in the areas of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), prolonged grief disorder, and major depressive disorder, according to researcher George A. Bonanno — but there’s more to the picture.

-Watch the convention video here-

“I would argue we can’t really understand psychopathology if we don’t understand the rest of the responses, the normative response,” said Bonanno, a professor of clinical psychology at Teacher’s College, Columbia University, during his James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award Address at the 31st APS Annual Convention last spring in Washington, DC.

Resiliency in the face of traumatic events is often assumed to be rare, to the point that those who don’t have a marked reaction to loss or suffering may even be said to be lying to themselves, or otherwise repressing their emotions, Bonanno explained. In reality, people are often remarkably resilient.

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Posted by the association for psychological science (aps), on the convention speech by George Bonnano, written by Kim Armstrong

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