Segments in this Video

Trauma Experience (07:18)


The old model of a broken humpty dumpty does not adequately characterize the human experience of traumatic events and loss. Sonali Deraniyagala lost her family during a tsunami in Sri Lanka.

Understanding Loss (07:04)

Unable to comprehend the death of her family, Deraniyagala had to teach herself loss; she relived her previous life through grief counseling. After the tsunami, Deraniyagala did not return to London for four years.

Mourning Periods (07:24)

Deraniyagala ignored advice to return to London and resume her life after the death of her family;she attended therapy and wrote a book. Extended periods of grief are uncommon among non-human primates and recovery from grief is difficult to measure.

Memory and Loss (06:46)

Remembering is a biological event that creates a new experience with every memory. It is easier to be distracted by guilt and analysis than feel loss deeply.

Honesty in Grieving (07:25)

In therapy, Deraniyagala resurrected her family in a calm and safe space to overcome her fear of remembering. After self-medicating for a short while, Deraniyagala avoided mentioning her loss due to shame and sadness.

Trauma Recovery (06:03)

Survivors of traumatic loss demonstrate variability in resilience and recovery time. Allowing survivors to imagine their life without loss can be creative and fulfilling.

Humor in Healing (07:54)

Before accessing her emotions of deep loss, Deraniyagala could joke about her children and remember them through humor. The line between dead and alive is fluid for Deraniyagala; she is most attached to those not with her.

Emotional Healing (05:55)

Survivors of traumatic loss need others around to keep them safe and assist with coping. A balance of privacy and connection are necessary during mourning.

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Grief and Gratitude

Part of the Series : Brainwave: Attachment Trap
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Sri Lankan economist Sonali Deraniyagala lost her entire family to the 2004 tsunami. With grief specialist George Bonnano, she works out how her brain has been changed through her experience of coming to terms with her loss. George A. Bonanno is a Professor of Clinical Psychology and Chair of the Department of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University's Teachers College. His research focuses on how people cope with potentially traumatic events. His studies have documented our natural resilience to these events and explored the factors that help us cope effectively; these include our repertoire of emotional reactions, especially positive emotion and laughter, personality, and the context of our lives. 

Length: 56 minutes

Item#: BVL143662

ISBN: 978-1-64198-383-9

Copyright date: ©2015

Closed Captioned

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