Write over divorce: banish the pain with a pen!
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Write over divorce: banish the pain with a pen!

Get over the toxic effects of a breakup. Use proven writing strategies to boost your resilience, optimism and happiness.
5.0 (1 rating)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
626 students enrolled
Created by Rachel McAlpine
Last updated 12/2016
Current price: $10 Original price: $40 Discount: 75% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 2 hours on-demand video
  • 12 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Release bad feelings and thoughts about your lost relationship
  • Distance yourself from past events that still cause you distress
  • Rewrite your story in a more realistic and positive way
  • Master powerful writing techniques that will help you to cope with problems
  • Be more comfortable with your life choices
View Curriculum
  • You'll need a pen and paper.
  • Find a place to write in private for about 20 minutes per day.
  • You don't need to be good at writing or spelling or grammar — you don't even need to like writing! You will benefit regardless.

Write Over Divorce—and reclaim your happiness

If you have been divorced and you can’t quite get over it, this is the course for you. It’s a practical course which requires you to spend about 20 minutes every day writing in specific ways. If you study every day, it will take about three weeks.

I know what it’s like – any relationship break-up is painful! It’s also a huge disruption to your life. Here are some of the signs that you are ready to do this course.

  • You hear yourself saying the same things over and over again, and you don’t like what you hear.
  •  You are annoyed with yourself for still feeling bitter or sad.
  • You want to gain control over your own thoughts and feelings.
  • You want your life to make sense again, and you know that you deserve to be happy.

I created this course as a do-it-yourself cure for that difficult post-divorce state of mind. Here's what we'll cover.

  • How to finally purge yourself of bad thoughts and feelings.
  • How to reframe reality and start seeing your own story from different points of view.
  • How to revitalise your entire life with optimism and happiness.

Ready? I’ll be with you every step of the way. OK, let’s go!

What are the requirements?

  • A computer with internet connection
  • A pen and paper
  • No skill in writing required!

What am I going to get from this course?

This course could change your view of life—with numerous benefits.

  • By the end of the course, you'll know exactly how to stop those bad thoughts that go round and round in your mind. You’ll be able to move on from your divorce or breakup with a positive but realistic approach to life.
  • You’ll have mastered the technique of expressive writing, which you can use to ease the pain of any future emotional upheavals.
  • You will have ways of viewing your experience more clearly, as part of a big picture.
  • You’ll have a portfolio of writing techniques that you can use whenever you feel stuck or pessimistic or sad.

What is the target audience?

  • You, if you are having trouble getting over a relationship breakup.
  • You, if you catch yourself obsessing about past events.
Who is the target audience?
  • The course is not intended for people who are in strife but still together.
  • Take this course if you are emerging from a divorce or painful break-up
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Curriculum For This Course
33 Lectures
Release those painful feelings, memories and thoughts
11 Lectures 29:14

Welcome to an unusual and practical course! This brief introduction will tell you:

  • Who should do this course — are you ready?
  • What you need
  • What you’ll gain (plenty!)
Preview 03:28

Certain aspects of the curriculum for Write Over Divorce are not obvious. Let me explain the way it’s structured, so that you can study the course with maximum benefit and minimum stress. You will learn:

  • Why it’s a good idea to do one writing exercise per day, no more, no less
  • Why the course is structured in three sections
  • 4 ways in which you will learn: lectures, writing exercises, quizzes for yourself, and tests of knowledge
  • How to study alone without feeling alone
  • A little secret about this course.
Preview 04:57

This is it—your active participation in Write Over Divorce starts here. In this lecture you will discover:

  • the scope and context of your expressive writing exercises; details are in a downloadable slideshow
  • guidelines: how to express your deepest feelings and private thoughts about your divorce
  • timing: 20 minutes and you’re done for today.
Starting expressive writing: Day 1

All is well. Now you will reflect briefly on how that first experience of expressive writing went. 

  1. Congratulate yourself on finishing!
  2. Find out how most people respond to the first exercise
  3. Know your next task: relax!

Relax after your first expressive writing exercise

This lecture prepares you for your second session of expressive writing.

  • Learn what is similar to yesterday
  • Learn to go a little deeper in your writing 
  • Remember to write for 20 minutes without stopping
Introducing Day 2 of expressive writing

This lecture suggests various ways to reflect on the two days of writing, and your quiz results:

  • Compare your feelings over the two days
  • Consider whether your attitude has changed at all
  • and then relax!
Take a breath after Day 2 of Expressive writing

During this lecture you will learn how to focus even more closely on the subject of your divorce or separation:

  • Discover how your feelings affect your life and your self image
  • Learn how to explore the topic from different angles
  • Observe yourself as you write
  • Venture into no-go aspects of this sensitive topic.
About Day 3 of expressive writing — progress!

Now you will discover why so many people have a breakthrough on Day 3.

  • Find out which group you identify with
  • Pay attention to any unexpected feelings and new ideas
  • Prepare for tomorrow: the final stage of your cleansing process.  
After Day 3 of expressive writing — almost finished!

Excitement is mounting! In this lecture you will prepare for your final day of releasing your deepest feelings and thoughts about your divorce or break-up.

  • Try to place your story in context, to show a big picture
  • Think about ways you have changed because of this great upheaval
  • Deal with any aspects of the story that you have avoided up to now
About your final expressive writing exercise: Day 4

Now it’s time to congratulate yourself. In this lecture you will discover:

  • What you have achieved in four days: release and long-term healing
  • Why you may have found today’s exercise less interesting than the previous three
  • How you can use the expressive writing technique for other problems in the future.
Congratulations on finishing the full 4-days of expressive writing!

After each section, you will find a test of your knowledge. It is very short, because your main learning happens with the many practical writing exercises in the course, and a few PDF questionnaires about your emotional progress. By contract, the 3 tests of knowledge will remind you of some important facts and consolidate your progress.

Your first test of knowledge
2 questions

This is not so much a lecture as a personal story, but I hope you'll find it valuable, because anyone's story can be food for our own learning. You will discover:

  • Share my personal experience of divorce and the aftermath
  • Learn how writing helped and hindered my recovery from bad feelings and distorted narratives
  • Find out why I created this course for people in a similarly painful situation.
Preview 05:24
Rewrite your life story
9 Lectures 33:38

After completing this section you will have gained writing techniques that will help you to see problems more objectively in future and to take control of your life story. You will be able to:

  • see your younger self more clearly
  • create an alternative version of your own reality
  • distance yourself from problems
  • see events and situations objectively
  • see events and situations from other points of view
  • practise letting go.
Introduction to Section 2: Rewrite your life story

This lecture invites you to write a letter to your younger self; this writing exercise enables you to look back honestly and see how you have changed. Expect to have fun writing this! 

After listening to the lecture and doing this exercise, you will have made many discoveries. For example, you may:

  • discover that you are wiser than you knew 
  • write something mysterious, funny, and satisfying
  • learn something remarkable about yourself
  • gain a useful technique for other occasions.
Time travel: look back at your younger self

The stories you hear or read as children get a grip on your imagination. They are powerful! So when you take charge of a childhood story and change it to suit yourself, that’s a powerful technique. It’s also great practice for changing the stories that you tell about yourself, especially the unsatisfying stories such as “He cheated on me and left me with nothing” or “I was a fool to marry that person.” You can literally write an alternative version of a story that pleases you more.

  • Take control of an old story
  • Write an alternative version that pleases you more
  • Apply the same technique to the stories you tell about yourself
Write your own version of a childhood tale, and take control

In this video you will learn how to have an imaginary conversation and write it down. You can expect to gain useful skills for dealing with future problems.

  • see yourself as others see you 
  • get insights into another person's motivation
  • understand that there’s more than one way of looking at any situation
  • learn something interesting about yourself and others.

    Write an Imaginary Dialogue and open your mind to other points of view

    You know how an annoying experience can loop through your mind as a story? You will learn a great technique for stopping that mental churn: switching to observer-mode. After this exercise you will know how to:

    • practise objective observation
    • distance yourself from small problems
    • stop a persistent story from playing over and over in your mind
    • view an event in your life as if you were an objective observer.
    Distance yourself from an annoying narrative

    Now you will learn about a simple and versatile writing technique, the extreme list. 

    • Understand how an extreme list differs from an everyday list 
    • Learn the unexpected power of a 100-item list
    • Discover the many practical uses of an extreme list
    Write an Extreme List and gain objective data, clarity and planning

    This video steps you through the process of first writing and then analyzing an Extreme List. When you have done this exercise even once, you will know how to:

    • Write a numbered list of 100 for clarification and problem solving
    • Code results into themes and percentages
    • Analyze results to understand yourself and solve practical problems
    • Use the list to make decisions and plans based on reality.
    Preview 06:11

    Do you feel yourself clinging on to something or someone against your better judgement? This lecture will help you to dream up a farewell ceremony to formalise and finalise your release. In the process you will learn how to:

    • acknowledge the difficulty of letting go things and people that were important to you
    • duly honour what must be let go
    • formalise the moment when you let go
    • enjoy a new freedom after a farewell ceremony.
    Design a ceremony for Letting Go

    Over the last six days you have been introduced to six different writing exercises. Each one gives you skills to help you rewrite the stories you tell yourself about your life, and of course the one big narrative that describes your life up to this point. Reflect on the exercises, and compare your experiences with each one. Your task is to pick any one of the exercises —for whatever reason — and repeat it. What can you expect to learn as a result?

    • The six exercises are versatile and repeatable
    • You can use any one of them at any time in the future
    • Each time you do an exercise, the experience will be different
    Extension: Reflect on six exercises and repeat one

    Test your knowledge of the content of Section 2 and improve your retention.  

    Your second test of knowledge
    1 question
    Section 3: Repair your world view
    13 Lectures 55:32

    This week you will practise seven new writing techniques. Each technique improves your capacity to view your future life with more optimism and hope, without being unrealistic. 

    How you are going to improve your optimism and peace of mind

    Today's lecture provides information about the tricky topic of forgiveness. Your writing exercise gives you an opportunity to move into a forgiving frame of mind while remaining realistic.

    • Learn what forgiveness is and how it helps the person who forgives.
    • Set yourself free from toxic feelings such as bitterness, anger, resentment and blaming. 
    • Write a very difficult letter and feel proud of your accomplishment.  
    When you choose to forgive, you set yourself free

    You hear it all the time nowadays: optimism improves health and happiness and even longevity. But how can you feel optimistic when life is fraught with problems and troubles and pain? The lecture today provides you with useful facts on the subject, and a writing exercise to start you on the road to feeling positive but realistic. Here's what you will gain from the lecture and the exercise.

    • You will understand the difference between blind pessimism, blind optimism, and realistic optimism.
    • You will learn how to see life in a more positive light without losing touch with reality.
    • You will practise realistic optimism by balancing negative statements with positive ones. 

    Preview 03:44

    Giving and receiving are two sides of the same action, and doing both with your whole heart will give your happiness a boost. But that's not always easy. Here's what you will gain from this lecture and the associated writing exercise. 

    • Learn about two varieties of generosity: gracious giving and receiving.
    • Consider how you might accept compliments more kindly.
    • Break the habit of answering positive statements with a depressing “Yes, but…” comment. 

    How to give and receive graciously: not easy but worthwhile

    Maybe this is the most important lecture of all, because developing new habits can seem like an impossible task. Luckily for us, scientists have recently discovered the key, so we really do know how it can be done. After studying this lecture and doing the writing exercise on habits, you will know:

    • the difference between an idea, an experiment, and a habit
    • the power that comes from turning forgiveness, realistic optimism or gratitude into a habit
    • how to acquire a small habit on which you can build.
    Habits matter most—how to replace a bad habit with a better one

    After this lecture you will understand some valuable truths :

    • what empathy is and how it can improve the quality of your life
    • how good listening is a sure path to understanding people’s true feelings 
    • why most of us listen so inefficiently and half-heartedly
    Empathy: understand what people are really thinking and feeling

    Let me introduce you to the superpowers that come with skilful listening! You will learn some fascinating techniques from this lecture and from an intriguing eavesdropping exercise.

    • Level 1: how to become an active listener, fully involved in the other person's story
    • Level 2: how to listen mindfully, paying close attention and suspending judgement while you listen
    • Level 3: how to step into the mind of the person talking so that you know what they feel and you feel it too
    • The four essentials of super-listening: relax, expect, respond, reflect. 
    How to become a super-listener

    To be a super-listener, you need to practise. This lecture will enable you to:

    • notice opportunities in everyday life for active, mindful and empathetic listening
    • choose a suitable time and place when you can deliberately practise the skills of listening.
    How to practise empathetic listening

    The 3-good-things exercise is wildly popular world-wide, and with very good reason. Just by doing this short exercise every day for a week, you will:

    • train your brain to focus more on the positive
    • sweeten your memories of the past
    • raise your satisfaction with your present life
    • increase your optimism about the future.
    The 3-Good-Things exercise: a simple way to feel more contented

    In our lowest moments, our life can sometimes seem almost pointless or worthless. After studying this lecture, you can expect to:

    • become more comfortable with your life choices
    • understand that your life already has meaning and purpose
    • clarify your life's purpose — but only if you feel the need. 
    A purpose for living? You've got it!

    Nobody loves me! Ever felt that? But you know what? It's not true,never was. During this lecture and the exercise that follows, you will:

    • recognize the many different varieties of love that are in your life right now
    • see what makes you lovable
    • practise loving other people by writing a love poem to yourself.
    See the love coming your way right now

    After listening to this lecture, you will be ready to do the third downloadable quiz for yourself. There you will:

    • assess the value of the course for you personally
    • evaluate how much effort you have invested in it
    • describe what you have gained from it
    • suggest any changes that would improve the course for other people. 
    Reflection on Writing Over Divorce

    This is the third and final test of knowledge for this course. 

    Final test of knowledge
    1 question

    One last word! Find out how to keep in touch in just the way you want to:

    • keep in contact with the instructor
    • chat to other students
    • get news, tips, and free offers from Write Into Life 
    Bonus lecture: News, chat, and special offers
    About the Instructor
    Rachel McAlpine
    5.0 Average rating
    1 Review
    627 Students
    2 Courses
    Published author, lecturer, writing teacher and life coach

    I’m the author of over 30 successful books, including novels, poetry, plays, and books about writing. I’ve taught writing in eight countries, at colleges, conferences, writers’ festivals, and corporations. I even wrote the first book in the world on writing for the web! Now I like to share the happiness and healing that writing can bring. This work is close to my heart, and I bring to it my long and rich experience as a teacher, writer, and coach. My home is in Wellington, New Zealand.