Keep Calm and Write On

Writing to promote tranquility and resilience in an anxious age

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Scope: Thursday afternoons for 6 weeks

Dates: March 24 – April 28

Time: 4 – 6 pm

Call Blue Heron to register: 905-852-4282

$180.00 + HST for 6 classes

For thirty years psychologists have been researching how expressive writing and other forms of writing can help individuals who are experiencing psychological distress. The outcomes of the research have shown that writing down “what distresses and dismays you” can significantly relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Most of the studies have used a protocol focused on individuals writing alone to specific instructions. But more recently research has shown that writing together can enhance the development of the protective processes of self-esteem, self-efficacy, coping strategies, social support, and cultural connections.

Using the Amherst Writers and Artists (AWA) method of facilitating writing workshops, research conducted with youth has shown that writing together promotes connection to self through feelings, reflection, and behaviors, as well as connection to others through learning and empathy. Writing in a group using this specific approach facilitates emotional catharsis, increased self-knowledge, coping strategies, and understanding and appreciating of others.

At the Blue Heron Studio in Uxbridge Ontario, starting March 24th for 6 weeks from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. high school-age participants have the opportunity to explore their experiences through a writing workshop conducted in the AWA method.

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In the summer of 2013 I was invited to do a TEDtalk on “Shining the light on our Changing Communities”. I talked about the therapeutic writing program I do with incarcerated women. You can view the talk here.

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