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Life Arts    H4'ed 9/18/16

Coloring: Not Strictly Kids Play Any More!

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My guest today is Deborah Derman, Ph. D., grief counselor and author of Colors of Loss and Healing, An Adult Coloring Book for Getting Through Tough Times.

Deborah Derman
Deborah Derman
(Image by Regina Miller, Origins Photo)
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Joan Brunwasser: Welcome to OpEdNews, Deborah. Tell us please why you wrote this book.

Deborah Derman: I received a coloring book for my last birthday. It was the first adult coloring book that I had ever seen. I was quite overwhelmed when I looked at all the illustrations - so many tiny spaces to fill - it was kind of overwhelming! I started coloring, and kept at it. I had a lightbulb moment that this was exactly how I proceeded through my difficult times - just keep doing one small thing at a time.

I had so many tragedies to deal with in my life - the suicide of a close friend, losing my parents in a plane crash, the death of my husband when I was expecting my third child, breast cancer - I was so alone and felt so isolated....got my doctorate and studied grief and healing, really so I could help others who were in similar situations. My suffering was profound, and I never wanted anyone else to feel as alone as I felt.

I've been a grief counseling now for more than 20 years, and I know a lot both personally and professionally about healing. I tried to take the most important things that I've learned, the important things to focus upon, and incorporate them into my book.

JB: You've definitely had your share of tragedy - one major blow after another. Yikes! At what point in all this did you study grief and healing? As you practiced as a grief counselor, did the work help your own healing process?

DD: I received an acceptance to graduate school when I had been widowed for two months. Getting my acceptance letter to the Ph.D. program should have been a high point of my life, but all I felt was a sense of sadness. I delayed the start of school until my third child turned 1. I took as many classes as I could, and all that depended on good child care. If I had a reliable sitter, I could take two or three classes, otherwise I could only take one. I studied all year without a break and finished my doctorate in six years. I devoted all of my graduate work to the study of loss and healing. Did it help me heal? Yes!

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Joan Brunwasser is a co-founder of Citizens for Election Reform (CER) which since 2005 existed for the sole purpose of raising the public awareness of the critical need for election reform. Our goal: to restore fair, accurate, transparent, secure elections where votes are cast in private and counted in public. Because the problems with electronic (computerized) voting systems include a lack of (more...)
 

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