In Before and After Loss, Dr. Lisa M. Shulman, a neurologist, describes a personal story of loss and her journey to understand the science behind the mind-altering experience of grief. Part memoir, part creative nonfiction, part account of scientific discovery, this moving book combines Shulman’s perspectives as an expert in brain science and a keen observer of behavior with her experience as a clinician, a caregiver, and a widow.
Shedding light on the disconnect between conventional wisdom about loss and emerging knowledge on the neuroscience of emotional trauma as the cause of brain injury, Shulman explores not only the experience but also the science and psychology of loss. Drawing on the latest studies about grief and its effects, she explains what scientists know about how the mind, brain, and body respond and heal following traumatic loss. She also traces the interface between the experience of profound loss and the search for emotional restoration.
Throughout the book, Dr. Shulman describes effective therapies, both traditional and nontraditional, that promote healing and confidence in managing loss, including dream interpretation, journaling, mindfulness exercises, and meditation. Combining the science of emotional trauma with concrete psychological techniques, Shulman’s frank and empathetic account will help readers regain their emotional balance by navigating the passage from profound sorrow to healing and growth.
"A masterpiece. This important, richly heartening book will be a tremendous resource for those experiencing loss and grief, as well as those working with people who are experiencing loss and grief."
— Christine Way Lynn, MSW, LICSW, Capitol Hill Center for Individual and Family Therapy
"The book's combination of storytelling, insights, education, research, and suggested strategies will appeal to a broad audience interested in the science behind grief. Dr. Shulman’s offering advances our understanding of how the brain impacts grief."
— Laurel Goodrick, LCPC, NCC, CT, Gilchrist Hospice Care
About the Author:
Lisa M. Shulman, MD, is a professor of neurology at the University of Maryland. She is the author or editor of numerous books on neurologic disorders, including Parkinson's Disease: A Complete Guide for Patients and Families, 3rd edition.