Divorce is always traumatic. Oftentimes, we overlook the trauma as other things have our attention – but as you’ll learn during our discussion with certified therapist, coach, and author Whitney Boole, it’s vital to focus on navigating our way through the emotional crisis while simultaneously addressing practical matters. Despite the discomfort we feel inside, asking difficult questions and addressing the heart of the matter helps provide the healing we so desperately need.
It isn’t easy to address tough topics or tackle trauma head-on. Even so, Whitney explains, the process of working through emotional pain can fuel our personal growth and empower us as we face the road ahead.
In This Episode
Whitney and Jennifer discuss the pain that comes when divorce leaves us feeling traumatized, terrified, alone, and overwhelmed. While navigating her own divorce, Whitney wrote her book, You Got This: Healing through Divorce with the goal of helping people overcome the isolation and heal from the pain that accompanies divorce. During the conversation, Whitney and Jennifer cover important issues surrounding the journey through divorce’s trauma including:
The importance of addressing divorce as a crisis. Everything we know is thrown out the window and suddenly, we’re faced with instability in every area of life. Understanding how our brains respond and react can promote healing.
It’s normal to feel out of control or frozen, or even wonder if we’re going “crazy.” Once we understand that we are facing an emotional roller-coaster ride that is part of the brain’s response to trauma empowers us to take steps toward regaining balance.
When we don’t recognize what’s happening and work through our trauma, we can experience peripheral problems such as impulsivity, erratic behavior, and poor decision-making. We can be prone to making unhealthy choices in attempts to soothe ourselves physically and emotionally during this time, too.
The importance of recognizing that these thoughts and feelings are not what define us; instead, our actions make us who we are. Painful thoughts and feelings will pass.
Practical considerations such as finances, our living situation, child custody, etc. must be addressed. The added stress can pile up quickly when we aren’t working through emotional issues at the same time.
It’s never too early to reach out for help and make yourself a priority. Working with a therapist throughout the divorce process can make it easier for the rest of the puzzle pieces to come together.
A divorce first aid kit such the one Whitney created can be an important resource that serves as a starting point for healing. If you’re divorced or divorcing, Whitney’s Facebook group and other tools from her kit including a list of books, legal sites, and more can help with grounding yourself and set the process of reclaiming your life into motion. You can visit Whitney’s website for a complimentary divorce first aid kit.
The importance of setting boundaries, particularly with your ex; methods for healthy boundary-setting and keeping yourself safe, physically and emotionally. Boundary-setting isn’t a punishment or a cruel ultimatum.
Tips for making your home into a safe sanctuary for yourself.
The importance of connecting with friends and family members; tips for avoiding the pitfalls that come with exploring the option of dating too early. How online support – even from strangers in a Facebook group – can help.
How self-care including exercise and good nutrition can help us work our way through the pain of divorce.
The importance of using positive self-dialogue, and tips for stopping the negative self-talk we often engage in.
We must focus on having compassion for ourselves as we navigate through trauma and everything that comes with it. When we begin to experience healing through pain, our transformation begins, too.
About Whitney Boole
Whitney Boole, MA LMFT is a therapist, coach, and writer with a private practice in Hermosa Beach, California. She provides individual therapy as well as therapy for relationships. Whitney runs a Facebook group for people who are healing through divorce, and believes that pain serves us by fueling growth and ultimately offering empowerment.
Whitney is a single mother with three kids including ridiculously wild twins. She laughingly explains that they enjoy climbing everything and leaving uncapped markers in their wake.
You can find Whitney’s book You Got This: Healing through Divorce on Amazon and other places where books are sold. Her new online intensive course includes an exclusive support group and coaching to help people heal through particularly traumatic divorces with difficult or toxic exes. It will soon be available on WhitneyBoole.com.
The Worthy Blog is a place for inspiration, insight, and advice for all things surrounding life's greatest transitions - divorce, losing a loved one, retirement, and so much more. You can find us on our blog, Instagram, and Facebook.