- Grief and Loss
Professor of Psychology
Stony Brook University
Dr. Wortman received her Ph.D. from Duke University in 1972. She served on the faculty at Northwestern University and the University of Michigan before moving to Stony Brook in 1990. She is an expert on grief and bereavement, and has published more than 100 articles and book chapters on this topic. She conducted a large study on spousal loss that followed respondents for 7-10 years to identify the predictors of successful adjustment. Her main area of expertise concerns how people react to the sudden, traumatic death of a loved one. Her research demonstrates that those who experience this type of loss show enduring difficulties in many areas of their lives. Consequently, Dr. Wortman has been working to develop more effective mental health treatment approaches for this population. She is collaborating on a book for clinicians entitled Treating Survivors of Sudden, Traumatic Loss, to be published by Guilford Press.
Awards and Credentials
- Distinguished Scientific Award for an Early Career Contribution in Psychology, awarded by the American Psychological Association
- Women in Science Award, sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the American Psychological Association
- Service Award for “Providing Assistance to Families Who Lost Loved Ones in the Attacks of September 11, 2001," awarded by the Board of Directors of Trial Lawyers Care
- Teacher of the Year Awards from the Department of Psychology, Northwestern University, 1976, and the Department of Psychology, Stony Brook University, 2003
Recommended Reading List
- "Long-Term Effects of Losing a Spouse or Child in a Motor Vehicle Crash." Lehman, D. R., et al. (1987). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 52.
- "The Myths of Coping with Loss." Wortman, C. B., et al. (1989). Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 57.
- "Resilience to Loss and Chronic Grief: A Prospective Study from Preloss to 18-Months Postloss." Bonanno, G. A., et al. (2002). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83.