Camille Wortman Ph.D. Professor of Psychology This Emotional Life - PBS

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Camille Wortman Ph.D.

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

  1. Distinguished Scientific Award for an Early Career Contribution in Psychology, awarded by the American Psychological Association
  2. Women in Science Award, sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the American Psychological Association
  3. 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
  4. Teacher of the Year Awards from the Department of Psychology, Northwestern University, 1976, and the Department of Psychology, Stony Brook University, 2003

Related Links

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.

Related Experts

  1. Craig is an attorney and health care consultant, specializing in issues surrounding modern American health care and the ways it should be managed in its current climate of reform. Between 2002 and 2011, Craig was the Chief Executive Officer at Coast Plaza Hospital in Norwalk, California. He currently serves on the advisory board for the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific, Western University of Health Sciences, on the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Opera, and the Board of Visitors of Seaver College at Pepperdine University. Last year Craig published his book, Hospital Stay – Health Care Made Simple (www.HospitalStay.com), which addresses the many concerns of patients and their families as they navigate their way through the health care system. In January 2012 Craig will teach a hospital law course at Pepperdine University School of Law in Malibu. He lives in Southern California with his wife and son.

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    Robert Neimeyer Ph.D.

    Professor of Psychology

    University of Memphis

    Dr. Neimeyer is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Memphis, where he also maintains an active clinical practice. Neimeyer has published 22 books, including Meaning Reconstruction and the Experience of Loss, and serves as Editor of the journal Death Studies. The author of over 300 articles and book chapters and a frequent workshop presenter, Dr. Neimeyer is currently working to advance a more adequate theory of grieving as a meaning-making process. He served as President of the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC) and Chair of the International Work Group for Death, Dying, & Bereavement. In recognition of his scholarly contributions, he has been granted the Eminent Faculty Award by the University of Memphis, both the Research Recognition and Clinical Practice Awards by ADEC, and Fellowship status by the American Psychological Association.

    Awards and Credentials

    1. Clinical Practice Award, Association for Death Education and Counseling, 2009
    2. Robert Fulton Founder’s Award for Outstanding Teaching, Research and Service by the Center for Death Education and Bioethics, 2008
    3. George A. Kelly Award for Outstanding Contributions to Constructivist Psychology, Constructivist Psychology Network, 2006
    4. Board of Visitors Eminent Faculty Award, University of Memphis, 2002
    5. Fellow, Division 12 (Clinical Psychology), American Psychological Association, 1997

    Related Links

    Recommended Reading List

    • Constructivist Psychotherapy. Neimeyer, R. A. (2009). Routledge.
    • Rainbow in the Stone: Selected Poems. Neimeyer, R. A. (2006). Mercury.
    • Meaning Reconstruction and the Experience of Loss. Neimeyer, R.A. (ed.) (2001). American Psychological Association. (2007). Kongo Shuppan.
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    Randolph M. Nesse, M.D.

    Professor of Psychiatry

    University of Michigan

    Dr. Nesse is a Professor of Psychiatry, a Professor of Psychology, a Research Professor at the Research Center for Group Dynamics at the Institute for Social Research, and Director of the Evolution and Human Adaptation Program. He conducts research on the evolutionary origins and functions of emotions. A central goal of his work is to understand how negative emotions are evolutionarily adaptive, and how natural selection shaped the mechanisms that “keep our emotions in check.”

    Dr. Nesse is one of the founders of the field of Darwinian medicine, which uses the principles of evolutionary biology to address health problems. In particular, his research is about how low mood is useful when individuals are pursuing unreachable goals, and how it can escalate into clinical depression. He is also interested in why about 15% of the population is especially sensitive to such situations. Recently, he has focused on the evolutionary origins of human capacities for morality and close relationships.

    Dr. Nesse received his M.D. from the University of Michigan, where he continues to teach, see patients, and conduct research. Among his many publications, Why We Get Sick: The New Science of Darwinian Medicine, coauthored with the evolutionary biologist George Williams, is often credited with igniting a new line of work. He is the editor of The Evolution and Medicine Review, he serves on the editorial board of many journals, and his extensive schedule of international lectures brings together people interested in evolution, emotions, and mental disorders.

    Awards and Credentials

    1. American Psychiatric Society, Distinguished Psychiatrist Lecturer, May 2005
    2. Editor, The Evolution and Medicine Review
    3. Fellow, Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (Institute for Advanced Study), 2007-2008
    4. Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association

    Related Links

    Recommended Reading List

    • Why We Get Sick: The New Science of Darwinian Medicine. Nesse, R., et al. (1994). Vintage Books.
    • "The Great Opportunity: Evolutionary Applications in Medicine." Nesse, R.M., et al. (2008). Evolutionary Applications, 1 (1).
    • "Evolution, Emotions, and Emotional Disorders." Nesse, R.M., et al. (2009). American Psychologist, 64(2).