Painting Life: My Creative Journey Through Trauma

Carol Walsh's life was turned upside down in seconds when she pulled her dead fiancé from the bottom of a diving well after suddenly having a massive heart attack. Even though she was a psychotherapist working with clients suffering from trauma, this personal shock felt unbearable. Nonetheless, she had to heal herself while working with clients and, as a single mother, supporting her two children. Using the creative interests she developed during childhood while emotionally saving herself from a difficult mother, she fully recovered from her grief and PTSD symptoms.  More importantly Carol thrived by recreating her personal, artistic, and professional life.

Available anywhere books are sold.  

ISBN: 978-1-63152-099-0 

Get Your Copy of Painting Life!

                          ORDER A SIGNED COPY FROM CAROL: Send check for $20 (includes tax and shipping) to:  

                                                    Carol Walsh - 4848 Battery Lane, # 202, Bethesda, MD. 20852


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A wonderful review by Wisconsin Book Review, a part of Midwest Book Review: 

"A compelling, intimately personal, insightful, and ultimately inspirational account, "Painting Life: My Creative Journey Through Trauma" is very highly recommended for both community and academic library collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Painting Life" is also available in a Kindle format ($8.69)."

Praise for Painting Life

"Authentic and graceful, Carol shares her story in an honest, relatable and insightful prose, as she walks us along her journey of self-discovery through a challenging childhood to the trauma and heartbreak of the death of a fiancé. Each time she faced challenges she called upon her creativity to help her rebuild and redefine her life. Her words are like her paintings, they flow, carrying you along her journey interspersed with artistic antidotes that blend seamlessly with her story. I loved this book and know it will definitely be one I go back to time and again." Belinda Witzenhausen: Writer, Artist, Creativity Coach. 

"Carol Walsh is a woman who despite her trials to find love acceptance connection and peace, manages to find the alchemical gold hidden in her shadow, transforming from a caterpillar to butterfly right in front of your eyes and creating beauty despite and perhaps in spite of pain."  Nicole Ortega: Reviewer for "Pathways Magazine"

“Carol Walsh – a psychotherapist, writer, and painter, shares her artistic gifts with her readers. Her story, written in an engaging style, is honest, poignant, and deeply moving; I have no doubt that it will be inspirational for many. This memoir is a wonderful example of the creative transformation of traumatic loss in which the survivor turns to artistic self-expression to gain mastery, to find meaning, and to connect with others. We, her readers, become witnesses not only to her suffering but also to her strengths and to her empowerment.” Sophia Richman, Ph.D. Author of Mended by the Muse: Creative Transformations of Trauma.  

"A lovely, inspiring book about the rich interplay of life and art. Through her moving personal story of a difficult childhood, the struggle to find the right kind of love, a devastating tragedy, and her career as a wide-ranging, prize-winning artist, Carol Walsh shows us how creative work may, over and over again, nourish us, sustain us, and retrieve us even from the worst that life may toss us." Sara Taber, Author of Born Under an Assumed Name

Painting Life: My Creative Journey Through Trauma is a work of art—a well-written memoir by an incredible woman, who shares how she recovered from a devastating loss. As a psychotherapist, artist, and truly fine writer, she shows us how creativity can help us heal from life’s most dreadful traumas. This is a must-read for anyone recovering from destabilizing loss of any kind, and can provide comfort, hope, and a trustworthy path toward healing. It is also a wonderful resource for professionals and others who are supporting someone experiencing loss.”  Carol S. Pearson, author of The Hero Within, Awakening the Heroes Within, and Persephone Rising: Awakening the Heroine Within 

"When Carol Walsh was faced with the sudden and shocking death of her beloved fiancé she knew, as a psychotherapist, that many trauma survivors never recover from loss. In this tender memoir, she shows us how she found salvation through this and other life challenges by relying upon her innate expressions of creativity. Painting Life reminds us that an artistic perspective can shift even the most distressing trauma into transformation."  Lynn Grodzki, LCSW, MCC  Author of Building Your Ideal Private Practice, 2nd Edition (2015)

"Carol is an evolved being (and talented storyteller). I found her spiritual approach to work and life truly inspirational. She shares very personal, intense, powerful life experiences that have guided her on a path that helps her to integrate her emotional and spiritual health. Painting Life is a gem that offers healing insights for all of us to treasure." —Louis deSabla, Publisher, Pathways Magazine

Painting Life is a wonderful book.  Carol Walsh uses her amazing creative talents to paint a picture with her words. The book itself is a work of art.  It is engaging, compelling and highly readable. But most importantly, it is helpful. Carol’s own journey helps us through our own pain.  The book gives us hope, and indeed this memoir is a brilliant example of using creativity to move through trauma, pain and grief to find renewed empowerment on the other side. Thank you for this timely, wonderful book!  Patti Clark, Author of This Way Up: Seven Tools for Unleashing Your Creative Self and Transforming Your Life

Break Through: Coping Skills for Chaotic Times

by Carol Kurz Walsh

Break Through, recently reprinted by Politics & Prose Bookstore, is an edited collection of articles written over a twelve-year period for Pathways Magazine, plus excepts from my book, The Art of Awakening Spirit

Life is chaotic, often containing multiple stressors, whether from family dysfunctions, illness, death of a loved one, or the general state of our multicultural world. Even positive events result in change that can be stressful.  In response to stressors we tend to develop dysfunctional defense mechanisms, to temporarily appease our emotional pain. But, the relief doesn't last for long.  In order to move past merely surviving towards thriving, our challenge is to change old defense mechanisms into mature coping skills. This paperback book is a collection of articles written for "Pathways Magazine", describing the process of letting go of old defense mechanisms and developing healthy coping skills that will last a lifetime.