Every day, we use writing for the necessities–to email friends, write proposals and memos, correspond with colleagues. But we seldom use it for self discovery, to learn what we truly think or feel. in my professional workshops, I teach reflective writing as a transformational tool for stimulating insight, relieving stress, promoting healing, self-knowledge, creativity, and mutual understanding.
• Writing Toward Healing in the Workplace
Institution ruptures, including death and outsourcing, always present challenges in large organizations. My workshops, which can be customized for a variety of corporate and institutional settings, use accessible writing prompts to help people explore and understand the impact of change and disruption and to find meaning in difficult situations.
• Writing for Caregivers
Every day the folks staffing major medical facilities undergo the emotions and stress of caring for critically ill patients and for patients in their final stage of life. Reflective writing is a skill perfectly suited for professionals in the caring professions, both to teach their patients and clients, and to help care for themselves. Hospital workers are not necessarily grieving, personally, but their constant daily work is with those who are. This level of service– in this traumatic, high-stress “workplace”- can lead to depression, burnout, and (at the very least) reduced job performance. Transformative writing is a powerful tool for revitalization that all staff members can benefit from–both professionally and personally.
• Reflective Writing for Teachers and Staff
Teachers, administrators, and school staff spend so much time trying to motivate and encourage students that they can easily forget what motivates and nourishes them. In this workshop, teachers can relax, remember, and reflect on what’s meaningful in their own lives. Middle School teacher Betsy Spalding said this workshop was liking “going to the spa.”
I conducted Writing for Caregivers, a staff development workshop series, for counselors and medical staff at Hospice and Paliative Care Center, Winston-Salem, NC and here is a sample of the response:
“This has been an amazing opportunity to reconnect with myself. I had no idea how disconnected I had become. The exercises have changed my life and instilled the curiosity and willpower for me to continue journaling after today. You have changed my life and I THANK YOU!”
–Kay Watson, Community Education Liaison, Hospice and Palliative Care Center
“. . . I learned that there is a writer (fiction) inside me! I’ve always seen myself more as a non-fiction recorder who can embellish, but this was a wonderful awakening. Thank you!”
–Donna Hampton, Grief Counsellor
“I have learned that I love to write. I have been reminded that I can write about lots of things—not just myself, my life. I have learned that I learn a great deal when I write.”
–Sara E. Bridges, Community Education Liaison
“Confirmation that writing is good therapy, good self care. Venting on paper, dreaming on paper– anything on paper is not wasted energy, but a beginning step for healing and wholeness. Writing is essential for my well-being. Thank you, it has been a joy and a blessing!!”
–Chris Martin, Long-Term Care Liaison
“Writing is a good way to find out what you’re thinking.”
–Carol Ford, Community Partnership Liaison
“Some days everything was funny. The subject could have been Death and I would still write something that made me laugh. Prompts, objects and paintings, all really helped to get my writing started.”
–Faye Everhart, Volunteer Coordinator
“I’ve learned to express myself in writing in different ways. I’ve learned there is still much work to be done on myself but also how far I’ve come. I’ll miss this monthly event. Thanks for it all!”
–Anna Scott, Medical Liaison