Writing as a Way of Healing: How Telling Our Stories Transforms Our Lives

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In this inspiring book, based on her twenty years of research, highly acclaimed author and teacher Louise DeSalvo reveals the healing power of writing. DeSalvo shows how anyone can use writing as a way to heal the emotional and physical wounds that are an inevitable part of life. Contrary to what most self-help books claim, just writing won't help you; in fact, there's abundant evidence that the wrong kind of writing can be damaging.

DeSalvo's program is based on the best available and most recent scientific studies about the efficacy of using writing as a restorative tool. With insight and wit, she illuminates how writers, from Virginia Woolf to Henry Miller to Audre Lorde to Isabel Allende, have been transformed by the writing process. Writing as a Way of Healing includes valuable advice and practical techniques to guide and inspire both experienced and beginning writers.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Beacon Press; 1st Beacon Press ed edition (March 17, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807072435
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807072431
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces

Customer Reviews

Telling our stories is healing

5 people found this helpful.
 on May 4, 2013
By Glenda Council Beall
This book by Louise Desalvo is tells us how we can use writing to heal from personal tragedies and traumas. I learned from this book how many best selling authors have begun to write to ease their own pain. I know I have healed myself throughout my life by writing out my pain, my grief, my angst, This book reinforces my ideas that we can all benefit from writing or telling our stories.

Read more than once.

One person found this helpful.
 on December 17, 2016
By M Maye
I found this book very helpful, as the title suggests. It is grounded in the experiences of real writers. I am reading certain passages more than once, as I try to internalize what I’m learning from it.

Insightful read

One person found this helpful.
 on May 6, 2015
By S. Robertson
I really love his book. There was so many nuggets in here. I have been researching using writing as a tool for healing for my business and gained a ton of insight and tips and also received confirmation from things that I was already doing, letting me know i was on the right page. This will definitely be my go to book on this subject. Great resource!

A book to return to again and again…

One person found this helpful.
 on April 3, 2014
By Judy Montel
I think I’ve read it and used it and been inspired by it in new ways two or three times now. This book is a real keeper and one to reuse. It contains both practical guidance – of the highest import!! – as well as deeply inspiring examples. About healing just as much as it is about writing – gives one hope.

this book called to me before I read it!

2 people found this helpful.
 on June 5, 2013
By angela fontanez
I have used this book like a bible and it has really jump started my writing in a definitive path. Louise is a master teacher of her craft and has “walked the walk” with the guidance she provides. Her anecdotes about her students were especially insightful, too

Liked it

 on March 18, 2017
By Jeni k.
Very informative!

A must have for any writer.

 on November 25, 2015
By Jamie L. Whitaker
Fabulous. If you are looking for a book to aid you in writing to work through something, this is it. Wife bought it for me and I use it. It is a great tool. One that should be on any writer’s shelf.

Truly Enlightening

12 people found this helpful.
 on April 27, 2001
By Kristi Swede
Ms. DeSalvo has succeeded in giving inspiration, advice, and examples in a wonderful mix. Her style and message are powerful encouragement to write our stories, whether we choose to share them or not.

Love this book

 on April 23, 2015
By Aword2You
Thank you for writing this book! Writing is indeed a tool for healing.

Another key book for me that I want to share …

 on August 27, 2014
By Lynne D. Fields Feldman
Another key book for me that I want to share with my own readers. I want others to learn that it is helpful to self and others when we write about our healing challenges. Writing my own healing memoir was key to true transformation and ultimate healing.

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