Explore the new science of nostalgia and its surprising capacity to make us happier and less lonely, spark creativity and strengthen our connections both to the past and to our family and friends in the present.

After O, the Oprah Magazine published Allison Gilbert's provocative essay, "The Reflection Effect," a national conversation began anew about opportunities for using loss as a driver of personal and professional growth. Gilbert, author of Passed and Present: Keeping Memories of Loved Ones Alive talks with Litsa Williams, co-founder of “What’s Your Grief” and Heidi Horsley, co-host of the TV and radio show Open to Hope about the new science of nostalgia and its surprising capacity to make us happier, less lonely, spark creativity and strengthen our connections not just to the past, but to family and friends in our present. Lois Akner, LCSW, longtime grief support group leader at 92Y, moderates.

Brief Bios

Allison Gilbert is one of the most thought-provoking and influential writers on grief and resilience. The author of numerous books including the groundbreaking, Passed and Present: Keeping Memories of Loved Ones Alive, her stirring work exposes the secret and essential factor for harnessing loss to drive happiness, spark creativity and rebound from adversity.

Litsa Williams, MA, LCSW-C is the co-founder of the popular grief websites "What’s Your Grief," "Photogrief" and "Grief in Six Words." She is a clinical social worker with 10 years experience working in grief and bereavement in Baltimore, MD. Before founding "What’s Your Grief," Litsa worked with patients and families at end of life in circumstances of unexpected loss, often as a result of violence, substance use or suicide. She received her undergraduate degrees in Philosophy and Religious Studies at St. Mary's College of Maryland, an MA degree in Philosophy at the University of Warwick (UK) and her MSW at the University of Maryland School of Social Work. In her free time she is a podcast junkie who camps, rehabs houses and hangs out with her husband and rescue pit bull, Amos.

Heidi Horsley, PsyD, LMSW, MS, is Executive Director of the Open to Hope Foundation. Heidi hosts a weekly award winning cable television and internet radio show. She is an adjunct professor at Columbia University, and has co-authored eight books. For ten years Heidi worked on a research team with families who lost a firefighter in the World Trade Center.

Lois F. Akner (moderator) is a Manhattan-based psychotherapist, who has spent decades working with people who are grieving the death of a parent. Akner was one of the first to recognize that this life transition — while expected — can have a dramatic effect — even when parents are quite elderly. Her book, How to Survive the Loss of a Parent: A Guide for Adults (now also available as an ebook), has been a significant addition to the literature on this issue, with real life personal accounts that are easily relatable to anyone suffering this life-changing loss. More recently she has added widows and widowers as an area of specialty. She has led groups on both subjects at 92nd Street Y for over 30 years.

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  • Resilience After Loss: The Reflection Effect

    Date: Wed, Jun 14, 2017, 7 pm

    Location: Lexington Avenue at 92nd St

    Venue: Classroom

    Price: from $25.00

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