Expressive Writing

Expressive Writing : Counseling and Healthcare

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Expressive writing is life-based writing that focuses on authentic expression of lived experience, with resultant insight, growth, and skill-building. Therapists, coaches, healthcare professionals, and educators have known for decades that expressive writing is a powerful tool for better living, learning, and healing. But until now, few have had access to practical applications that have proven successful.
In this groundbreaking collection, you'll discover:
*how expressive writing can call us into healing community
*exciting new discoveries about how writing can support neuroplasticity and actually help change our brains-and thus our thinking and behavior
*new research on the role of expressive writing for prevention of compassion fatigue in RNs
*how transformative writing can create art from the ashes of trauma
*the role of journal writing for emotional balance
*sensible ideas about the synergy of expressive writing and play therapy for children, teens, and adults
*interventions and strategies for the use of expressive writing in acute psychiatric care
*how interactive expressive writing helps deaf teens communicate inarticulate feelings and thoughts
*how cancer survivors can use expressive writing to reclaim identity and strength post-treatment
*the role of expressive writing in developing the roots of resilience for practitioners
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Product details

  • Paperback | 252 pages
  • 155 x 227 x 21mm | 381g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 1475807732
  • 9781475807738
  • 1,162,538

Table of contents


Kathleen Adams

Section 1: Theory

In This Together:
Writing in Health and Social Care
Graham Hartill and
Victoria Field
Your Brain on Ink: Expressive
Writing and Neuroplasticity
Deborah Ross
Expressive Writing for Caregiver Resilience: A Research Perspective
John Evans,
Meredith Mealer,
Karen Jooste, and
Marc Moss
Writing the Darkness:
A Transformative Writing Model
Sherry Reiter
Emotional Balance,
the Therapy Session, and the Journal
Beth Jacobs

Section 2: Practice

WOWSA! Play-Based Journal Therapy
Cherie Spehar
Therapeutic Writing in Psychiatric Care
Carol Ross
Now That I See:
Journal Writing with Deaf Teens
Donna Houston
Roots of Resilience:
Writing for Practitioner Self-Care
Susan Smith Pierce
Creating a New Story after Brain Injury
Barbara Stahura
After the Deep Dive:
Reflections on Writing beyond Cancer
Jean Rowe


Honoring Silence
Jeannie Wright and
Kate Thompson
About the Editors and Contributors

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Review quote

Expressive Writing: Counseling and Healthcare provides a bridge in the much-needed world of psychological healing. It reminds us that creative approaches can provide breakthrough methods for clients to find their way to health. Spanning the diverse fields of poetry, journal therapy, spirituality, brain science, theories of self and much more, this book gives proof that expressive writing addresses a full spectrum of mental health challenges. -- Deborah Bowman, Phd, dean of the graduate school of psychology, Naropa University; author, "The Female Buddha: Discovering the Heart of Liberation and Love" An exciting read that had me writing creatively even during the theory section; an inspiration to be more "playful, spontaneous and generous" with expressing ourselves and supporting others to do the same. This is a book that encompasses social, neurological and practical ways of employing expressive writing. It is ideal for students, practitioners, and academic courses. I particularly liked the idea of writing with the focus on re-wiring, reviving and healing neural pathways and the chapter on the significance and role of silence. I will definitely be adding Expressive Writing: Counseling and Healthcare to our reading list! -- Claire Williamson, MA, program leader for M.Sc., Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes, Metatonia Institute, Bristol and London; author, "The Soulwater Pool and Ride On" Thompson and Adams have gathered a rare collection of experts in the field who will bring this work to new audiences. The publication of original research material gives depth to the broadening field of expressive writing as a therapeutic modality. This book straddles the Atlantic with leaders in the field from the UK and the US, making it truly international in scope. This is an inspiring collection of chapters, edited into a coherent volume from the broad overview in the introduction to the existential epilogue. -- Betty Cannon, PhD, president, Boulder Psychotherapy Institute; author, "Sartre and Psychoanalysis" Write on! This collection offers clear, congruent, and creative guidelines from senior practitioners on important clinical topics. This substantive series is a superbly curated resource for counselors, psychotherapists, and other helping professionals at all levels of experience. Highly recommended. -- Barry M. Cohen, ATR-BC; founder, Expressive Therapies Summit; co-founder, Mid-Atlantic Play Therapy Training Institute In 1990, trailblazer Kathleen Adams' Journal to the Self offered thrilling ideas about expressive writing that opened up new frontiers. More than a quarter-century later, Adams and Kate Thompson bring us to the edge of even newer frontiers of writing and healing in this collection of the latest exciting theories and practices. The authors in this book enlighten us with their research, their clinical work, and their theoretical understandings illustrating how writing offers relief, positive change, hope and zest.
In an outstanding chapter, Deborah Ross outlines neurophysiologic processes and how writing affects the brain. Drawing from the latest brain science, she presents with startling clarity how writing helps to establish and create neurological connections that bring about resilience, insight and inspiration. Ross provides beautiful examples that enable the reader to translate complex theory into practical and enjoyable methods of working with clients.
All authors describe their work with specific insight, curiosity, and presence, honoring complexity while providing writing tools that offer light and companionship along the healing journey. This book gives detailed and clear examples of how to use expressive writing techniques as doors to well-being by providing a means to both listen to oneself and to affect positive change. -- Wendi Kaplan, LCSW, assistant clinical professor, George Washington University School of Medicine This bubbling fountain of inspiration feeds us with ... serious and playful journal writing strategies to help clients and patients. -- Gillie Bolton, PhD, author of "The Writer's Key: Introducing Creative Solutions for Life" I am impressed, in particular, with the inclusion of chapters addressing the newly understood neurobiological bases for the role of expressive writing in creating positive changes--not only in thought patterns but in building neuronal networks, strengthening immune function and reducing physical symptoms of illness. This important understanding is described and explained in clear language that is based on cutting-edge research, yet remains accurate without being distorted by being over-simplified.
I whole-heartedly recommend this book as a source of healing and insight to any individual wishing to create and strengthen resilient coping mechanisms when experiencing a personal health or emotional crisis, or as a powerful resource for professionals seeking to help others. -- Mary Sue Moore, PhD, licensed psychologist; Clinical Faculty, Boulder (CO) Institute for Psychotherapy and Research; Hon. Senior Psychotherapist, Child & Family, Tavistock Clinic, London, England Can therapeutic writing help with brain injury, a diagnosis of cancer, or the isolation that can accompany deafness? Can poetry heal us? Can expressive writing cause the brain, quite literally, to change? In this extraordinary collection of essays, counselors and therapists on the frontier of therapeutic writing share their tools, processes, and the results they have achieved with their clients. Had I not already been a convert to the power of the pen, this groundbreaking book would have made me one. -- Mary Reynolds Thompson, CAPF, CJF, author, "Reclaiming the Wild Soul: How Earth's Landscapes Restore Us to Wholeness"
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About Kate Thompson

Kate Thompson, MA, CJT, is an existential counselor, journal therapist and writer. She pioneered the use of therapeutic writing in counseling and supervision in the UK. She now lives in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

Kathleen Adams, MA, LPC, is psychotherapist, journal therapist, and international thought leader in the field of expressive/ therapeutic writing. She is the director of the Center for Journal Therapy and its online professional training division, the Therapeutic Writing Institute, in Denver. This is her eleventh book.
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