I’ve been teaching Creative Writing for Social Work at the University of Iowa School of Social Work since 1999, exploring the use of creative writing as a tool for personal transformation and social activism.
Writing offers us a way to make sense of what happens in our lives, and it can help us to imagine something better. It can inspire and support healing, including from past trauma, and help us cope with current or chronic stress.
In October I began facilitating an online Journal Writing Workshop at the Family Caregivers Center at Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It is a privilege and pleasure to be a part of this wonderful, groundbreaking project, and I’m reminded yet again of the resilience of the human spirit, and the powerful healing potential that lies in writing and speaking from the heart.
My goal is not just to help people become the best writers they can be, but to facilitate their access to insight and inspiration and to encourage discovery of their creativity and personal strengths. I help my individual clients and writing groups story their lives to make sense of them and to improve their wellbeing.
My counseling background informs my approach as a writing coach and teacher, and even as a writer myself. I have personally experienced deeply transformative healing through writing and witnessed it over the course of my career working with writers at all skill levels.
Journal writing is a form of expressive writing, and since the 1980’s James Pennebaker, Ph.D. has pioneered the use of expressive writing, as a healing modality. His evidence-based research demonstrates the health benefits of writing about emotional upheavals.
Write better, feel better. Keeping a journal is a good start.