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Writing to Heal: A guided journal for recovering from trauma & emotional upheaval Hardcover – January 1, 2004


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: New Harbinger Publications, Inc; 1 edition (January 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572243651
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572243651
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.4 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,212,364 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

· 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
· Designed to be the perfect gift for someone struggling with trauma or emotional difficulty, the package of this book is attractive; it is certain to become a valued keepsake

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.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

72 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Kay Porterfield on April 13, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Writing to Heal: A Guided Journal for Recovering from Trauma and Emotional Upheaval by James Pennebaker presents clear suggestions for using journaling to recover from life's difficult periods. Pennebaker, a researcher, discovered the healing power of expressive writing in the mid 1980s by accident. He writes in his introduction, "Ever since then, I've been devoted to understanding the mysteries of emotional writing." He's also been devoted to sharing what learned so that ordinary people can put this knowledge to good use.
Writing to Heal is an excellent resource for anyone who wants to try writing through trauma. In addition to expressive writing, Pennebaker covers how to construct story in order to understand and overcome a traumatic event. Other topics include looking for and writing about positive emotions, finding benefit from the experience, and forgiveness. Of special note are his instructions about using pronouns to shift perspective, a technique that arose from his research.
In my own work with bereaved people, I've repeatedly seen the mysterious power of writing to heal. Pennebaker's guided journal stands out because in it he shares technique without providing specific prompts that too often distract people from reaching inside to deal with their unique emotional issues.
I also like the fact that the book is written in a simple style. Pennebaker's concise, no-nonsense writing means that this book is useful to a number of people, including those who normally don't read many books and those who are too emotionally distraught to concentrate on a longer book. I will definitely recommend Writing to Heal in my workshops and when I speak at conferences.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Mindfull on August 6, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found the exercises in this book easy to do. I also found it interesting that you were asked to limit the number of days you wrote. I guess I have a tendancy to want to dwell on things. Writing as I did, did seem to help me deal with the issue on which I focused. Pennebaker is a credible researcher and this approach is based on empirical study. I recommend it to others.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Marla Scripter DC on August 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I searched high and low in a quest to find something appropriate for people with emotional trauma that they are not prepared to discuss with another. Do I know what the problem is? Not necessarily, but I can tell that it is painful and delaying healing.

This is the only book I found that I recommend for this purpose. There are plenty of books on journaling...some for artistic development, for writing skills, and for breaking dysfunctional behavior patterns. This is not one of those.

There are others on journaling to heal, but this is the only one gentle and wise enough for my taste.

This is the book that you give as a gift from the heart for a person in need, which might mean a gift to oneself. Pennebaker treats the reader wisely (never show your writing to anyone else), gently (if this exercise does not feel like what you need, here are several more), and intelligently (here is the research that supports this method).

Only criticism is the cover design...should be a neutral color, should be more discrete. But no matter, it is still worthy of 5 stars. Buy this book and put on a bookcover!
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Madison Avenue Publishers on March 4, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful book for anyone who has experienced loss.

For some reason, the literary community is lagging this re emergence of narrative that is insightful, painful and ultimately healing. I applaude the author and the authors who have written books on personal travails that have changed their lives - Second Chance Ranch, A Year of Magical Thinking, to name only a few. I highly recommend it!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Linda Joy Myers on September 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was excited when I first found out about Dr. Pennebaker's amazing research showing that writing helped to heal phsycial as well as emotional distress and illnesses. It was so exciting that I investigated the research, downloaded his articles, and decided to write a book that talked about this research and how writing can be used to heal in Becoming Whole: Writing Your Healing Story. The wonderful thing about this kind of writing is that it seems to work whether you believe in it or not. Therapists and healers from all over the world I hope will use these techniques to help heal many people who have found it hard to recover from trauma and emotional abuse.
I was very pleased when Dr. Pennebaker offered an endorsement for my book, and encouraged me to continue spreading the message about the healing power of writing. He is a kind man, inspiring, brilliant, and sincere. Kay Adams on her site for Journal Therapy has a terrific interview with Dr. Pennebaker that everyone should read.
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