An Interview with George Bonanno, Ph.D. on Bereavement, Grief and Resilience. Mental Help Net (www.mentalhelp.net) presents the Wise Counsel Podcast (wisecounsel.mentalhelp.net), hosted by David Van Nuys, Ph.D. Dr. Bonanno describes lessons learned from his 30 year research career studying bereavement (grief in response to the death of a significant other). His findings debunk many grief myths that are widely held, including the notion that grief is always a drawn out process, and that it proceeds as a predictable series of stages. In reality, many people get over their losses fairly quickly. Rather than stages, the typical experience is more like periods of sadness that gradually get less intense. It is also the case that people normally experience intense happy emotions during bereavement as well as sad ones, moving back and forth between the two, with both emotions tending to be intensely felt but brief in duration. The more that people smile early on during bereavement, the faster they tend to recover their equilibrium. In many ways distraction and avoidance end up being better ways of managing intense grief than involved grief-focused conversations. Distressed people can become sensitized by such conversations and end up having a worse outcome than they otherwise would. Involved grief-focused discussion can be useful as a componant of psychotherapy for people displaying complicated (non-remitting) grief. Formal therapy is generally not indicated for normal grief. However, it can very useful for grieving people to have the opportunity to talk with an understanding and caring family member or friend if they desire it.