Making Positive Psychology Work Podcast

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Podcast with Professor George Bonanno

George Bonanno on Can Resilience Be Cultivated?

Today’s Guest:

On this episode of Making Positive Psychology Work, I’m joined by George Bonanno. George is a professor of clinical psychology, Director of the Lost Trauma and Emotion Lab, and Director of The Resilience Center for Veterans and Families at Columbia University’s Teacher’s College. George’s research focuses on resilience in the face of loss and traumatic events.  

Do we really need to improve our resilience?  George suggests that while experiencing traumatic events can be painful at the time,  most of us are naturally resilient and overcome these things relatively quickly. Discover why and how you can build the skills to have harness your natural resilience and navigate painful situations.  George also explains why he believes the well-known five-stages of grief model is wrong and how ‘coping ugly’ can improve the healing process.

Connect with George Bonanno:

Website for Lost Trauma and Emotion Lab

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You’ll Learn:

  • 01:55] – George will be presenting on loss, trauma, and resilience at the 5th World Congress on Positive Psychology.
  • [03:45] – When you feel intense fear or sadness, it’s hard to imagine that it will eventually just go away, but it does.
  • [05:38] – George believes that resilience is natural.
  • [08:50] – George suggests to build more general resilience you need to have skills to assess the situation, a broad repertoire of behaviors you can use, and monitor whether it’s working or not.
  • [11:43] – Sometimes this may mean “coping ugly”, so on the surface it may not seem healthy, but it works. 
  • [12:55] – George talks about how laughter can be an example of coping ugly.
  • [14:20] – George suggests the well-known five stages of grief model isn’t valid, and undermine your coping.
  • [16:25] – The Lightning Round with George Bonanno

Your Resources:

Thanks for listening!

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Special thanks to George for joining me this week. Until next time, take care!

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