How To Deal With Grief and Trauma

19 Joy Bornstein | Using Art to Cope with Loss and Trauma

November 14, 2022 Season 2 Episode 19
How To Deal With Grief and Trauma
19 Joy Bornstein | Using Art to Cope with Loss and Trauma
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Show Notes

Today on the podcast I’m speaking with Joy, who I've known since 2015 as part of the May We All Heal community. This community was born out of a group of women from the Grieving Parents Support Network. They came together year after year during the month of May to focus on dealing with their grief using creativity. 

Joy has used a unique approach with her artwork, which can be seen on her Instagram channel

Joy describes how she moved from feeling ashamed for disassociating from her pain, which was her coping mechanism to understanding and appreciating it as her survival strategy at the time. 

Joy says:

‘You deal with it when you can. That is how you are surviving. That is how your brain is keeping you safe in a situation that is not safe so now it's like ‘oh yeah just disassociating, it's okay, I’ll deal with it later.’ I mean it doesn't mean it's easy to deal with but just knowing that yeah that's an ok thing to do for my brain to survive.’

About this week’s guest 

Joy Bornstein uses art as a way to process everyday emotions and the long-term scars left by trauma. She is the mother of 3 living children, the mother of a stillborn son, Bennet, and a former victim of domestic abuse. Joy uses colour, line, and shape to explore emotions in a way that can't be expressed in words in an attempt to turn pain into beauty.

Joy’s Instagram: @fire_fly_joy

Topics discussed in this episode

  • Stillbirth and physical trauma
  • Shame around the coping strategy of disassociating 
  • Dissolving a marriage, domestic abuse, divorce, custody battles, and dealing with the children’s trauma
  • May We All Heal – using art to cope with loss and trauma 

Resources mentioned in this episode


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HOW TO DEAL WITH GRIEF AND TRAUMA is produced and edited by me, Nathalie Himmelrich. 

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