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Course Title
The Healing Power of Words


What benefits can writing provide – physically, mentally, spiritually? Are some ways of writing more healing than others? And can we create quality literary work as we heal? In this workshop that incorporates Dr. James Pennebaker’s ground-breaking ideas, we’ll discuss and implement ways to use writing as a transformational tool. And, if you’re looking, you’ll find the genesis of new poetry, creative non-fiction, and/or fiction.  Warning: Laughter likely. Inspiration guaranteed.


  • Students will understand and have access to using writing as a healing tool in the physical, mental, and spiritual realms.
  • Students will create a literary work as they practice using writing as a healing process.


1.  Introduction 

  • Some Background on Writing and Healing
  • The Healing Benefits Writing Can Provide
  • References/Resources
  • The Basic Writing Technique from James W. Pennebaker’s Writing to Heal

2.  Techniques of Writing to Heal

  • The Timed Writing
  • Writing Incorporating the Group Process
  • Personifying Emotions
  • The Guided Meditation
  • The Dialog

3.  Maximizing the Potential of Expressive Writing

  • Measuring Change
  • Acknowledging and Expressing Positive Emotion
  • Changing Perspectives
  • Constructing and Editing Your Story
  • Broaching Forgivness
  • The Power of Gratitude





Method of Instruction

Lecture and class participation


  • Class participation
  • Examples/sharing of written work