MyDivorcePapers Blog

We're here to make your life easier to manage and to help you begin your new start.

divorce art therapyIf you have ever had your heart stomped on, or even dented, you probably have tried your hand at some sort of creative outlet. Maybe you found painting or playing an instrument (or an experimental art mixture of the two) to be just the kind of right brain exercise you needed to mend your maimed heart. But have you ever thought about taking your pain-transforming artistry to the next level?

Transcending After Divorce

In 1997, Sharon Olds received the unsettling news that her husband of 32 years was leaving her for another person. The news, of course, was painful to hear, but Olds’ turned her sorrow and mixed bag of emotions into an accomplishment; and she probably saved herself thousands in therapy bills doing so.

15 years (and probably lots of crumpled pieces of paper) later, Sharon Olds’ “Stag’s Leap” book of poems was published on September 4th, 2012. About 7 months later, on April 15th, 2013, Sharon Olds won the Pulitzer Prize for “Stag’s Leap.”

Living Life Going Stag

“Stag’s Leap” is Olds’ journey through her divorce; from living with the feeling of loss to anger and depression, Olds’ poetry is a divorcee’s bare-all. Yet her poems do not provoke a “Would you like some cheese with that wine?” reaction; the poems are the true, complex feelings of a person learning to live on their own again after filing for divorce.

Olds’ book of poetry is celebrated by the Pulitzer Board as a “book of unflinching poems on the author’s divorce that examine love, sorrow and the limits of self-knowledge.” To say humans discover a truer version of themselves during difficult times would be an understatement; to say humans are never the same after a divorce would be even less than an understatement.

But this is why the arts exist: To give people the opportunity to digest and express their emotions and deepest thoughts. As it happens, art therapy also exists for that very reason. Art therapy may seem like a practice cultivated by the granola-eating community, but art therapy has the backing of many psychologists.

Recovery in Leaps and Bounds

The idea behind art therapy is very simple: Emotions are slippery, tangled things you can’t even see. When you feel something, it can be difficult to even know what you’re feeling. Turning to art while feeling the unknown can help a person externalize and visually create what they are feeling (or basically turn the intangible into the tangible). If you can feel it, see it, touch it, and maybe even smell it, you can know it completely.

Once a person can name what it is they are feeling, they can work to fix it or mend it. An article on Psychology Today notes researchers believe art therapy helps boost self esteem because rendering feelings into visual works makes people feel in control of their emotions. An art therapy director stated, “I have been surprised by my artwork, and am often taught by my artwork.”

If you’re not the artsy-fatsy type, or if you don’t like making messes, you can try art healing. Art healing, as explain in a Psychology Today interview, is different from art therapy because art healing does not involve creating artworks. Art healing involves roaming museums and art galleries and letting yourself connect with works of art. Art healing is quite relaxing, but you definitely wouldn’t be winning $10,000 in Pulitzer Prize winnings from it.

So readers, we turn the floor to you. How do you express yourself? Are we in the cyber-presence of the next greatest potter, woodworker, or spoken word artist?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Home | Leadership Team | Help Center | Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions | Disclaimer

© 2014, All Rights Reserved.

Back to Top