“Light on the Other Side of Divorce”: A Conversation with Dr. Elizabeth Cohen
On the most recent episode of the Schein On podcast, I sat down with Dr. Elizabeth Cohen to talk all things divorce, including her new book: Light on the Other Side of Divorce. We talked about what drove her to write the book, what inspired some of the chapters, and the benefits of finding pleasure in a post-divorce life.
Writing the book she wanted to read
When Elizabeth Cohen went through her own divorce, she searched online for divorce recovery programs. She was looking for tools and resources to help her heal, but those tools did not exist. That lack of resources, she said, “confirmed an assumption that I had: that I think we learn in our culture that a divorce was the ending, and that it was a failure or a mistake.”
Dr. Cohen explained that, as a clinical psychologist, she knew she had to find a way to get through the darkness and to the other side of her divorce – and she knew she would need help from others to do so. It was important for her and for her work that she find a way to heal. This is what drove her to create her own divorce recovery program that is based in confidence, empowerment, and hope – a program that she shares with her clients, and with people around the country who find the information on her website, to access resources and toolkits to help them move forward in a positive way. Light on the Other Side of Divorce is a natural extension of the work Dr. Cohen has been doing for the last 15 years, and a resource to help people heal in body, mind, and heart.
“I really wrote this,” Dr. Cohen said, “for the parent who walks into the library to bring their kids to the free reading hour, and maybe hasn’t taken a shower or maybe hasn’t changed their clothes, going through a divorce just whiplashed, and happens to see out of the corner of their eye the name of my book. And maybe that gives them just a little bit of hope that they will move through what they’re going through.”
The secret tool to managing your divorce? Find your pleasure
Dr. Cohen told me a story about realizing the importance of figuring out who you are and what you want.
I hadn’t thought about myself. I haven’t thought about where I was, what I wanted – I had no idea. And so that was a moment of realization of wait a minute, I need to figure myself out. And one of the most important things and the secret that we have that we just do not connect to enough is we have this ability to find pleasure.
That ability to find sensual pleasure in the world around us – the warmth of a coffee mug in our hands, or the feel of flannel or silk – is one of the best tools we have. By connecting with our senses and taking joy in the way tings look or smell or taste, we can actively retrain our brains to focus on the positive, not the negative.
The importance of self-care
So often, Dr. Cohen explained, people view self-care as selfish behavior. In her eyes, self-care is an essential part of the divorce process, and of our lives after a divorce. It doesn’t have to be limited to massages or baths, either: it can be saying “no” to things you don’t want to do, avoid situations you don’t want to be a part of, and finding pleasure in the small things.
Another important part of self-care is living in the moment, instead of waiting for the divorce to be over, or the kids to be out of the house. Instead, you should find joy where you can, and begin training your brain to prioritizes your needs. One way you can do this is to create a self-care plan that can help you deal with your feelings and needs during the divorce and assist you and your relationships after the divorce is settled.
Where can I buy Light on the Other Side of Divorce?
If you are ready to start the healing process, and move forward in a positive and healthy way, get your copy today from Dr. Cohen’s website, or whichever book retailer you use.