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Before and After Loss

A Neurologist's Perspective on Loss, Grief, and Our Brain

In Before and After Loss, neurologist Dr. Lisa M. Shulman 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. 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.

Combining the science of emotional trauma with concrete psychological techniques— including dream interpretation, journaling, mindfulness exercises, and meditation—Shulman's frank and empathetic account will help readers regain their emotional balance by navigating the passage from profound sorrow to healing and growth.

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.

Endorsements

"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

"Dr. Shulman has written a touching and informative memoir about grief. This book manages to balance science with an intimate, compassionate voice that allows easy access to her extensive experience and wisdom. I highly recommend this to people who have lost a loved one and are feeling the confusion and bewilderment that often accompanies loss."

- Sameet Kumar, author of Grieving Mindfully: A Compassionate and Spiritual Guide to Coping with Loss

"Had Dr. Shulman's book only been an eloquent and moving account of how she approached her husband's death and the grief that followed, it would have been well worth reading. But in taking us deep into the science of grief, she also enlightens us, and normalizes grief as evolution's way of enabling our survival in the face of traumatic loss."

- Susan Dentzer, President and CEO, Network for Excellence in Health Innovation

"Dr. Shulman has found a way to make the concept of emotional trauma more tangible, explaining the emotional experiences related to loss and healing through neurological physical functions and the psychological purpose each symptom serves. This bravely intimate and scholarly work provides a unique guide for all of us in our healing journeys."

- Christine Moutier, MD, Chief Medical Officer, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

"Before and After Loss is remarkable. Having worked to improve care of those who are seriously ill and dying and their families for four decades, I have never read another manuscript like it. This book will be a touchstone for those who have experienced the loss of a loved one."

- Myra Christopher, Center for Practical Bioethics (retired)

"A courageous and formative work. Dr. Shulman's intimate account and search for answers creates a recipe of sensible ingredients honoring the deeply personal experience and transformative power of loss and grief. And she serves it all up with scientific sizzle."

- Susan Schneider Williams, fine artist and wife of Robin Williams
Johns Hopkins University Press
A Johns Hopkins Press Health Book
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