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. 

Full Shownotes: https://www.tenpercent.com/podcast-episode/mary-frances-oconnor-450

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