#450. The Science of Loss and Recovery | Mary-Frances O’Connor
Very few of us will live a life without loss.
As part of our Mental Health Reboot series in recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, this week’s episodes talk a lot about grieving. Mary-Frances O’Connor, an expert in bereavement research, explores the science of how we grieve and experience loss, whether it’s a job or a loved one.
Mary-Frances O'Connor is an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Arizona, where she is also the Director of Clinical Training. And she is the author of a book called The Grieving Brain.
In this episode we talk about:
- The distinction between grief and grieving
- How her Buddhist practice has influenced her understanding of grief
- Whether or not we can ever quote/unquote “get over it”
- Why she argues for “a really big toolkit of coping strategies”
- How to understand the work of Elizabeth Kübler-Ross today
- What grieving looks like in a pandemic
- What to say to people who are grieving
- The new diagnosis of prolonged grief disorder
Content Warning: Brief mention of suicide.
Where to find Mary-Frances O’Connor online:
Other Resources Mentioned:
- Al Kaszniak
- Upaya Sangha
- Varela Symposium
- “The Aquarium: A Child’s Isolating Illness” by Aleksander Hemon (The New Yorker)
- Lindsey Knowles
- Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
- On Death and Dying: What the Dying Have to Teach Doctors, Nurses, Clergy and Their Own Families by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
- George Bonanno
- Robert Neimeyer
- Jason Holland
- Joseph Goldstein
- Brené Brown
- Roshi Joan Halifax
- DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders)