Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Writing to Heal (Again)

One of the problems for me in focusing on bipolarity is that it begins to make me feel ill. So, today I plan to share some information on writing to heal.

One of the foremost researchers on writing to heal is James W. Pennebaker, Ph.D., who wrote the book, Writing to Heal: A Guided Journey for Recovering from Trauma and Emotional Upheaval , and also Opening Up: The Healing Power of Confiding in Others. In the latter book, he asks: What should your writing topic be?
"It is not necessary to write about the most traumatic experience of your life. It is more important to focus on the issues that you are currently living with. If you find yourself thinking or dreaming about an event or experience too much of the time, writing about it can help resolve it in your mind. By the same token, if there has been something you would like to tell others but you can't for fear of embarrassment or punishment, express it on paper.

"Whatever your topic, it is critical to explore both the objective experience (i.e. what happened) and your feelings about it. Really let go and write about your very deepest emotions. What do you feel about it and why do you feel that way?"
One of my favorite sites for exploring this topic is One Year of Writing and Healing. It's hosted by Diane Morrow, M.D., the doctor we probably all wish we could see. Her interest is in how the act of writing can benefit healing, and her site is chock full of activities, books recommendations, and research on writing and health. Enjoy!
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Also...You might be interesting in yesterday's post on Furious Seasons entitled, Bipolar Diagnosis Overdose Seen in Private Practice.

10 comments:

Jazz said...

Thank you for this site! This looks like exactly what I need right now!

Dirk said...

I recently went through a writing exercise in which I documented long hand every significant memory I could recall from childhood through my recent 40th birthday. I found myself recording factual incidents from my childhood and young adulthood. The last 15 years were much more about feelings and reflections. It came out to about 75 pages. I did share it with one other person who went through it page by page with me. I'm glad I did it although it was not the cathartic experience I'd imagined.

Bipolar Wellness Writer said...

Dear Jazz,
I'm delighted it's helping you. I'm adding you to my blogroll. We have a very nice community of people who are all seeking wellness!

Susan

Bipolar Wellness Writer said...

Dear Dirk,
Very interesting. Other than it being your 40th birthday, which is always a milestone, if you don't mind my asking, what prompted you to do this exercise? And what did you hope to gain by it?

Susan

marja said...

As I wrote the book that I'll be releasing in a couple of months, it not only healed, it helped me grow I believe. For people who have emotional problems, I believe that writing about your life experiences is amazing healthy. When you're finished you can move on. It's as good as any counseling.

bart said...

my take...

i think writing, in its own right, is an exercise in healing because in doing so one crystallises thoughts and traps emotions, forcing and examination of events and feelings...
i write quite a lot and don't publish most of it since it's for internal consumption ;-) but once i've put fingers to keyboard, the tensions flow away and i'm able to breathe again...

keep well...

Bipolar Wellness Writer said...

Dear Marja,
I certainly couldn't agree more!

Susan

Bipolar Wellness Writer said...

Dear Bart,
It sounds like your writing truly helps you as mine helps me. You take care, too!

Susan

iHanna said...

What cool resources, didn't know about the One Year of Writing and Healing, will sit and read a lot at this site this week.

Thanks. I also just found your blog, it's interesting. Thanks for sharing!

Bipolar Wellness Writer said...

Dear IHanna,
Welcome to my blog. Glad the resources are helpful!

Susan