Mary-Frances O’Connor, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Arizona where she conducts studies to better understand the grief process both psychologically and physiologically. She is a leader in the field of prolonged grief, a clinical condition in which people do not adjust to the acute feelings of grief and show increases in yearning, avoidance, and rumination. Her work primarily focuses on trying to tease out the mechanisms that cause this ongoing and severe reaction to loss. In particular, she is curious about the neurobiological, immune, and cardiovascular factors that vary between individual responses to grief.
IN TODAY’S EPISODE:
- How Mary-Frances got into the field of bereavement science
- Why it is so hard and takes so long to understand that when someone dies it is forever
- Why grief causes so many emotions
- What happens to the brain during grief
- How our understanding of grief has changed over time
- Why do some people adapt better than others when someone passes away
- What can we do when we are overwhelmed with grief?
- Can our grief change?
- Signature Question: If you could tell a younger version of yourself something about grief/grieving/bereavement – what would it be?