Pub. Date:
New Harbinger Publications
Writing to Heal

Writing to Heal

by James W. Pennebaker


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Heal Your Pain Now with Expressive Writing

What do diarists and journal writers know that can help anyone dealing with a traumatic or emotionally challenging situation recover from pain and regain their peace of mind? They know that the act of putting thoughts and feelings on paper is, itself, a powerful exercise that makes them feel heard and acknowledged-a way of regaining perspective and control over the events that move through their lives.

In this book, the preeminent psychologist and researcher in the growing field of expressive emotions therapy, or EET, takes readers through a series of guided writing exercises that help them explore their feelings about difficult experiences. Each chapter begins with an introduction that explains how to proceed with the journal exercise and what it is structured to help accomplish. Readers are encouraged to do the exercise in the journal itself-each chapter provides plenty of ruled space-so that they can frequently refer to their own work and gain insight and clarity from their own words. The text offers encouragement and gentle advice for breaking through those inevitable moments when mental block make writing impossible; stream-of-consciousness and automatic writing clears away the obstacle and inspires the journal writer to even deeper levels of self-expression. The text stresses throughout the power for understanding and coping with difficult times that lies in storytelling, whether through fiction, dance, or art. In all, the exercises will leave readers with a strong sense of their value in the world and the ability to accept that which is sometimes hard to accept-that life can be good even when it is sometimes bad.

For the first time, a leading authority on expressive emotions therapy, or EET, translates these powerful techniques for emotional healing into a book accessible to general readers. Through guided journal writing exercises, this book helps readers translate their traumatic, emotionally disturbing experiences into powerful writing that is clinically proven to promote recovery.

  • Clinical trials indicate that writing about painful experiences can enhance immune response, reduce recovery times, and promote physical, psychological, and social well-being
  • This book is the first guided journal written by the preeminent psychologist working in the field of expressive emotions therapy: a step-by-step guide to emotionally expressive writing
About the Author:
James W. Pennebaker. Ph.D., is professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin and has been recognized by the American Psychological Association as one of the top researchers on trauma, disclosure, and health. He is the author of Opening Up: The Healing Power of Expressing Emotions.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781572243651
Publisher: New Harbinger Publications
Publication date: 03/01/2004
Series: Guided Journal Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 176
Product dimensions: 7.10(w) x 10.20(h) x 0.30(d)

Table of Contents

Part IThe Essentials of Writing
Chapter 1Why Write about Trauma or Emotional Upheaval?3
Chapter 2Getting Ready to Write17
Chapter 3The Basic Writing Technique25
Chapter 4Looking Back at Your Writing51
Part IIExperimenting with Writing
Chapter 5Breaking Mental Blocks: Stream of Consciousness and Semiautomatic Writing61
Chapter 6Appreciating the Good in a Sometimes Bad World71
Chapter 7Constructing and Editing Your Story85
Chapter 8Changing Perspectives101
Chapter 9Experimenting with Context119
Chapter 10Writing Creatively: The Power of Fiction, Poetry, Dance, and Art139

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