Divorce is hard—really hard. You may find yourself overwhelmed with the myriad of emotions you are experiencing. It’s natural to want to seek support from a therapist, but for various reasons, that may not be an option for everyone. Thankfully, there are alternatives to talk therapy that can help provide comfort and healing after divorce.
This article will explore some of these alternatives and how they can work together to form a holistic healing regimen. We’ll look at techniques like mindfulness, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), therapeutic modalities like EMDR and EFT, essential oils, creative expression, and more. We’ll also explore why these methods are suitable for those amid a life transition like divorce, and how each can contribute to overall well-being.
Ultimately, with the right mix of approaches for your individual situation, you can find greater peace and joy during this difficult time. So let’s get started!
Understanding the Impact of Divorce
It’s important to remember that the pain of divorce can be different for everyone, and for everyone, there’s some level of “rollercoaster” feelings. For some, it may mean an end to family life as they know it or the shattering of dreams you had for your relationship. This grief can be incredibly distressing and lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), so giving yourself time and space to reflect and heal is important.
But beyond talk therapy, what can you do? After all, not everyone is comfortable talking to a therapist or counselor about the personal hardships they are experiencing. Some don’t see the results they’re hoping for with talk therapy alone. If that’s the case for you, don’t worry—there are still plenty of ways to begin your journey towards healing.
Here are general some ways you can find comfort and healing after divorce outside of trauma therapy:
- Acknowledge your feelings and don’t suppress emotions of sadness, anger, confusion, or regret.
- Connect with friends who will listen without judging or trying to give advice.
- Pursue activities that help reduce stress, such as yoga or crafting.
- Take care of yourself through physical health, such as healthy eating, exercise, and getting enough sleep.
- Practice self-compassion and acceptance by doing things you enjoy, like cooking a new recipe or listening to your favorite music.
Identifying Signs of Trauma
You know how you’re feeling; that pain and sadness are a part of your daily reality. But it’s important to acknowledge that grief and sadness after a divorce can be more than just emotion—it can also be physical, cognitive, and behavioral trauma. When these effects of trauma become so overwhelming that they interfere with day-to-day functioning and mental health, it’s time to consider alternatives to talk therapy for healing.
- Body aches or pains
- Changes in appetite or sleep patterns
- Difficulty concentrating
- Fatigue or low energy
Cognitive Signs of Trauma:
- Feeling disconnected from yourself or others
- Difficulty making decisions or completing tasks
- Low self esteem
- Feelings of guilt or shame.
- Loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy
- Avoidance of social situations or gatherings
- Self destructive behaviors such as substance abuse or reckless driving.
If any of these symptoms sound familiar, it may be time to explore other forms of therapy beyond talk therapy—such as holistic therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy options we’re covering here—to begin the process of healing after divorce. Complex trauma, such as divorce trauma overlaying older, childhood trauma, may need a multi-prong approach.
Taking a Holistic Approach to Healing
Healing can take many forms—and the good news is that it doesn’t have to come in the form of talk therapy alone. Taking a holistic approach to healing gives you an opportunity to experiment with new ways of healing and coping.
Homeopathy as a therapy option
One of the most popular holistic approaches used for managing divorce is homeopathy. Homeopathy involves using natural substances—like minerals or plants—to stimulate your body’s natural healing process and rebalance any imbalances in your body and mind.
Essential oils can help to heal from trauma
Essential oils are another great option for shifting your mood, both aromatically and topically. Many therapeutic essential oils like lavender, ylang-ylang, bergamot, and chamomile can be used in massage oils or diffused into a room for their calming and calming effects. Effective treatment may be better with an experienced practitioner, though most will (somewhat jokingly) say that it’s hard to misuse lavender.
Journaling for therapeutic trauma release
Finally, journaling can be a great way to release pent-up negative emotions after divorce. It gives you a chance to express yourself without judgment and organize your thoughts to more clearly assess areas of growth or stress that need attention during this transitional period. In addition, studies have shown that journaling accesses areas of your brain that traditional talk therapy cannot alone.
What Is The Best Therapy For Divorce?
When it comes to finding comfort and healing after a divorce, it can be beneficial to turn to alternative treatments that go beyond traditional talk therapy. Although talk therapy can provide important personal insight and support, other therapies can help in your journey of healing. Once considered alternative therapies, EMDR and Tapping are both wonderful types of therapy in addition to (or as modalities that could work better for you) than talk therapy alone.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy is an integrative approach that seeks to heal the negative and traumatic emotions caused by your divorce. It combines elements of traditional psychotherapy with guided eye movements or other bilateral stimulation and auditory tones. EMDR works by stimulating the parts of the brain affected by your divorce-related trauma, helping to reduce post-divorce emotions such as guilt, fear, and sadness.
EMDR can be incorporated in your current therapy sessions if your talk therapist is practiced in this technique, or you can look into another provider who can treat PTSD symptoms with EMDR.
Tapping and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is another form of therapy gaining popularity among those struggling with divorce-related issues. This form of treatment involves tapping specific body points while focusing on certain affirmations, helping to balance mind-body energy systems to resolve feelings associated with the divorce (or other traumatic event). Tapping can also be used for calming anxiety associated with future events, such as feeling anxious about seeing your ex-spouse in public or facing difficult court proceedings.
No matter which form(s) of therapy you choose, seeking help through alternative treatments can help you find comfort and healing after a divorce – a necessary step in the process of rebuilding one’s life.
Incorporating Mindful Practices
Talking therapy is not the only tool for healing after divorce that can help you move forward. Mindful practices are an important part of this journey, too. Mindful practices can help reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression, while also allowing you to foster self-compassion and inner peace, though it is not a complete replacement for mental health treatment.
Benefits of Mindful Practices
The primary benefit of mindful practices is cultivating a sense of acceptance over control. Taking a few moments throughout your day to cultivate an attitude of openness and curiosity towards your feelings and thoughts can result in greater self-awareness, improved emotional regulation and increased psychological flexibility.
Incorporating Mindful Practices
Incorporating mindful practices into your daily routine doesn’t have to feel like a chore–it can be as simple as taking five minutes for yourself before bed or when you first wake up in the morning–to practice deep breathing, journaling, or guided meditation. It doesn’t have to mean you’re committing to hours of meditation or yoga, either!
Deep breathing is an easy way to access mindfulness techniques – even from the comfort of your own home! It’s simple: close your eyes and focus on your breath for a few minutes daily. You may also incorporate positive affirmations into your practice; use affirmations like “I am capable” or “I am brave enough” to help you let go of negative self-talk and begin to take control back over your life following divorce proceedings. Other mindful practices include yoga, tai chi and qigong, all gentle forms of physical exercise that help build strength, increase flexibility, and improve mental clarity.
Exploring Creative Outlets
Exploring creative outlets can be a great way to help you heal after a divorce–and it’s a complementary and alternative medicine to any kind of therapy. Painting, drawing, photography, music, writing—wherever your creativity takes you—not only are these activities enjoyable and even therapeutic, but they can remind you of who you once were and why it’s important to seek out and stay true to what brings you joy. Trauma can affect so many things, and creative expression can help you reclaim.
These are all excellent ways to process the emotions associated with divorce. Here are just a couple possibilities:
Drawing or painting is another creative outlet that can help process the emotions associated with divorce. Expressing yourself on a canvas is an excellent way to connect with yourself in the present moment and shift your mindset away from painful memories of your past relationship. Not only is it calming, but also it gives your inner critic a break!
Singing and listening to music have been proven to have calming effects on our brains and bodies. Making music allows us to tap into our intuitive minds and explore ideas that otherwise might remain unknown or unexpressed. Additionally, singing has a powerful effect on our feelings—it can transport us back in time like no other activity.
It’s important when exploring creative outlets that no matter where they take us, we are gentle with ourselves as we heal through them – be kind, express curiosity but know that there is no rush.
Finding Support With Coaching or Mentorship
When it comes to finding support and healing after a divorce, it may be helpful to look beyond traditional talk therapy. If you’ve tried that kind of therapy and still find yourself stuck, consider a different approach, like coaching or mentorship.
Life coaching is perfect for anyone who needs help figuring out the next steps in their life. Working with a divorce coach, in particular, can provide the space for you to find greater understanding of your journey after divorce and the transitional period afterward. A coach can help you identify goals, feelings that come up during the process of transition, and strategies for managing them in healthy ways.
Mentorship can be a valuable resource for those transitioning from a divorce as well. A mentor is someone who’s gone through a life transition before (like divorce) and has successfully navigated it and found peace afterwards. They use their experience to offer insight and guidance — both motivational and practical — to help you get through this transition in your own life.
Finding someone who understands what you’re going through post-divorce can be incredibly comforting, so if that’s something you need right now, consider reaching out to somebody who could offer their guidance.
Divorce is a complex, emotional process, and no two paths to healing are exactly alike. Whether you choose counseling, group therapy, art therapy, body-focused practices, or any of the other strategies discussed in this piece, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone in your experience. It’s possible to move through the pain of divorce and marriage dissolution and emerge more whole than before.
It’s never too late to start the healing process, and the key is finding the right fit for yourself that works best in your current life circumstances. With the right support, it’s possible to move beyond the hurt, find comfort and understanding, and make peace with the change that divorce inevitably brings.
Post Divorce Road Map
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