Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Writing As A Way Of Healing: How Telling Stories Transforms Our Lives” as Want to Read:
Writing As A Way Of Healing: How Telling Stories Transforms Our Lives
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Writing As A Way Of Healing: How Telling Stories Transforms Our Lives

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  282 ratings  ·  35 reviews
A writing guide that shows how anyone can use writing to heal emotional and physical wounds.
Unknown Binding
Published September 1st 1999 by Not Avail (first published March 3rd 1999)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Writing As A Way Of Healing, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Writing As A Way Of Healing

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,049)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Cass
I just finished this book, which I started on April 22 of this year. That’s a long time to spend reading a 216 page book, isn’t it? I thought I would review it, but in the moment, I have decided not to. I’m going to write something else instead, and what I am about to write is a direct effect of reading this book. In fact, I could hardly make myself finish it, because this idea gripped me with such compelling force that I had to keep drawing myself back to the page. And now I struggle to begin.

I...more
Mary Alice

March, 5, 2011 I just finished reading this again. I have read it so many times as can be seen in my previous review below.


Fantastic book. I reference this book a lot in my Masters/PhD work. It is so highlighted and dog-earred it's falling apart.
Lindy
Excellent addition to any writer's book shelf. Written in a very supportive way for all to tell their personal stories with respect and transformational healing.
Michelle
I found the book provided good how-to exercises and guidelines that one could apply whether you plan on doing long-term and formal writing or short, journal type entries. The first part of the book felt a little long and repetitive as it discussed the benefits of writing. The second and third parts seemed to flow at a quicker pace and provided more practical information for starting to write. I appreciated the guidelines and felt that they could be applied to any creative process or "work", not...more
Rikelle
I really enjoyed this book. It details how important journaling is. It is a great discussion about how writing can help you heal from the wounds that life invariably inflicts on everyone. Just writing and wallowing in your writing won't help you and could even be hurtful. It is when we use our writing to empower ourselves and to find lessons and hidden gifts that burdens bring we can find healing.
Judith
May 25, 2014 Judith rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Writers and Journalers, Therapists, Poets. Teachers
One of the top books on journaling I have read over many years. DeSalvo recommends a technique that is similar to that of Carl Jung in his book Active Imagination. it involves in-depth narrative about our joys and traumas, not just venting.

Jung advocates working with one's archetypes. I have found that very effective for resolving challenges and letting go of them to transition to the next level of being.

This book is a keeper with many inspirational stories and quotes as well as exercises. I wil...more
Kate Arms-Roberts
There is a lot of gods material in here about how and why writing can be therapeutic. The book intermingles the author's personal experience of writing her stories, theories about how and why writing can help heal wounds, and stories of other writers' healing work. The book is thought-provoking and inspirational. However, for anyone who wants to write their own stories that need healing or for folks who want to lead writers in workshops, there is not enough explicit instruction.

Many books were...more
Lynda Felder
Not that we really need convincing, but Louise De Salva begins Writing as a Way of Healing with proof, example after example, of writers who have used writing as a salve for their grief, illness, trauma and pain.



Henry Miller, despondent and suicidal because June has left him for a woman, writes through the night a piece he calls June, which outlines the famous books he would write over the next 30 years. (Tropic of Cancer, Tropic of Capricorn, Sexus, Nexus and Plexus.)

Marcel Proust writes ove...more
Helena
So sorry to be that kind of reviewer, but I couldn't read the book through. Finished trying after the first chapter and a half. That's what I have to say after skimming the rest through:

If you're not the kind of a reader who wants to be served what's already been digested by the author herself and then put on a plate, than go straight to pages 26 and 27. There you'll find the guidelines on how to make your writing properly therapeutic. That's it. Having read those guidelines, just skip the rest....more
Marion
As a former English teacher and a current social work student, I read this book because I feel that writing could be a very valuable way to help some of my clients. Louise DeSalvo takes a very comprehensive look at how a specific type of writing (writing that engages our feelings and is more than merely venting) has the power to help one heal from difficult experiences and/or traumas. She also gives a step-by-step guide for how to enter the writing process to do this type of writing. Although I...more
Leonard
This is a terrific book about writing and how important it is to those hwo have suffered some trauma. I marked this book up a lot using a green highlightere and can't wait to read the highlighted areas again. Maybe I'll read the whole book again! I expect to be using its advice in my writing in the near future. The last paragraph is important:

"Writing testimony, to be sure, means that we tell our stories. But it also means that we no longer allow ourselves to be silenced or allow others to spea...more
Zac Sigler
I was introduced to this book/author by the writing of a former professor. I don't want to give to much away, but I think that DeSalvo makes excellent recommendations that really will help people heal more than just writing about traumatic events with no other guidelines.
Risley
I love it when I start to read a book I found on my bookshelf and realize...you read this.
♥ Ibrahim ♥
Excellent book, highly useful. I wish the author took her time with editing instead of repeating herself and stopping at a concept and then chasing rabbits and then coming back to it again. She has valuable tips but the book could have been better edited, better structured and organized. Chapter 2 I had to read twice in order to summarize exactly what she wants to say but eventually I came down with some excellent stuff that I was able to put down in my journal for later reference and use. Anoth...more
Deborah
For those interested in journaling this is an amazing book.
Jocelyn Kelly
DeSalvo's slant on writing as a way of healing stems on the essential aspect of "linking" our emotions with our thinking. It's not just about expressing or venting or more specifically, free writing. It's about engaging with our minds to process our experiences in a way that heals us. If you're looking for a book to give you freewriting ideas, this isn't it.

But, if you're looking for a book that helps people connect their creativity with empathy, this one is perfect.

Jonnalie Estrada
No words can describe how reading this book just makes life more bearable
Sue
Very helpful book written by a college professor who teaches a memoir writing class and has done a lot of research in this area. MANY books are referenced so my list of possible books to read has grown. She has written a memoir that I am looking forward to reading.

This quote says it all: "Writing has helped me heal. Writing has changed my life. Writing has saved my life".

I feel the same way.
Vicki
Excellent book for the lay person who wants to learn how to use writing as a way of healing. Louise DeSalvo is an excellent author who really knows what she's talking about when it comes to the right way to learn how to write to heal.
Rebecca Huston
A very good book and one that really helped me to use writing as a means of therapy. It won't work for everyone, but it does help. The book never gets overburdened on the technical aspects, and the author keeps a very nonjudgmental attitude throughout. Very much recommended.

For the complete review, please go here:
http://www.epinions.com/content_48121...
Claudia
In finding that the writing project I've recently undertaken is quite difficult, I picked up a number of writing books to gain a little perspective, this being one of them. DeSalvo provides a list of techniques writers can use to get through the tough stuff and put words on the page.
Kris Underwood
Came to this very, very late. This book had such a profound effect on me, that I was able to work out a rough draft writing project of a health issue I have rarely, if ever, acknowledged. It poured out and now I am revising it. Also, this book is heavily underlined.
Helen Mallon
Feb 14, 2013 Helen Mallon rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Writers
Recommended to Helen by: A writing client
Really good stuff. It doesn't just apply to people who are writing about dire situations/ personal trauma. Excellent tips and insights into how we can stay healthy and productive as writers. I recommend this to students frequently.
Annette
Another book from my master classes. So far an excellent read. Based on research that shows that writing about traumatic events in which your writing combines description and what you felt can actually improve your health.
Jenny Benson
Both a well-researched treatise on why and how writing can be therapeutic as well as a how-to on how to write about the hard stuff safely. Amazing bibliography--lots of new memoirs for me to read.
Louise Mathewson
For the person who wants to examine their life, this is an excellent book on writing and the benefits of writing to heal! Highly recommend!
Paula Thwaite
I would recomend this book to anyone wanting to write and unravel their life. Excellent read, I will be keeping this book in my library.
Wendy
I'm reading this to prepare for my writing workshops on the psych ward, and elsewhere, at Seattle's Harborview Medical Center.
Julene
An excellent book to encourage writing. This book resonates for the Transformative Language Arts movement.
Nicole
it's good and i has points, but it's also like for me anyway more like ok yeah...buttt maybe not for me.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 34 35 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Writing Past Dark: Envy, Fear, Distraction and Other Dilemmas in the Writer's Life
  • Journal to the Self: Twenty-Two Paths to Personal Growth - Open the Door to Self-Understanding by Writing, Reading, and Creating a Journal of Your Life
  • Writing Begins with the Breath: Embodying Your Authentic Voice
  • Writing Alone and with Others
  • Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir
  • Chapter After Chapter: Discover the Dedication & Focus You Need to Write the Book of Your Dreams
  • Writing from the Inside Out
  • Room to Write: Daily Invitations to a Writer's Life
  • Life's Companion: Journal Writing as a Spiritual Quest
  • Inventing the Truth: The Art and Craft of Memoir
  • Leaving a Trace: On Keeping a Journal
  • The New Diary: How to use a journal for self-guidance and expanded creativity.
  • What If?: Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers
  • A Writer's Book of Days: A Spirited Companion and Lively Muse for the Writing Life
  • Fearless Confessions: A Writer's Guide to Memoir
  • The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life
  • The Pocket Muse: Ideas and Inspirations for Writing
  • Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft
The Letters of Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf Crazy in the Kitchen: Food, Feuds, and Forgiveness in an Italian American Family Virginia Woolf:  The Impact of Childhood Sexual Abuse on Her Life and Work Vertigo: A Memoir On Moving: A Writer's Meditation on New Houses, Old Haunts, and Finding Home Again

Share This Book

“Through our reading we can travel to other times and other places, into other peoples minds and hearts and souls: it is a transcendent experience.” 11 likes
More quotes…