Archive for December, 2008

Writing Exercise 2: Increasing skills by exploring explanatory styles with a current situation that feels hard.

December 31, 2008

Based on the work of psychologist Martin E. P. Seligman. See Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life. New York: Vintage Books, 2006.



What happened or is happening?


What am I telling myself about this?


Is this about my whole life, or just one area? (are there areas of my life that are better)


Will this hard thing be happening forever, or is it temporary? (will things shift on their own, or is it possible for me to change it in some way)


Is this hard experience based on something fixed in me, or is it because of either external circumstances or something I can change in myself? (develop skills)





Writing exercise 1: I am resilient.

December 31, 2008

Reflecting on an experience of bouncing back


What happened?


How did I feel?


What helped me bounce back?


What would I like to remind myself about this so I can be most resilient?



Write to Heal online workshop–introduction

December 31, 2008

There is a power in words. In the Jewish tradition, the world is spoken into being. An advantage in writing words down is that it is easier to examine them.


I believe we all have a fundamental Right to Heal, and we need to encourage all of our healing and growth. Writing can be a powerful self-help tool that is easily accessible and very low-cost in materials.


Writing to Heal can include many aspects. Expressing emotions frees up energy that was used to hold them in and can reduce stress. We can go a step beyond that to reframe situations and gain perspective. We can choose to examine our self-talk and consciously shift it. We can also affect outcomes in our lives by writing the script of our lives as healing adventures, a form of the hero’s journey. Part of that can include preparing to interact with others orally or in writing, from personal to business communication to writing for publication.


We are starting by focusing on increasing resiliency. We all encounter setbacks, from the major ones such as losing a job, ending a relationship, or experiencing the death of a loved one, to the more everyday variety such as missing out on a work opportunity, having a car break down, or being turned down when we ask someone out. We can’t avoid these discouraging things to save ourselves from stress; instead we need to learn how to more readily bounce back from disappointments, to learn whatever we may need to learn from them, and then to persevere and take new actions.


The first writing exercise is one to remind ourselves of the abilities we’ve already developed to bounce back. I suggest giving yourself 10 minutes to do it; you can go longer if you like.


The second exercise is designed to help in increasing resiliency. Plan to give yourself 10 minutes for that one as well.


In workshops, people have appreciated the opportunity to share some of their writing. Feel free to post your work on the blog, and remember the focus here is writing for healing, so don’t be concerned about your writing skill level.


For information about current workshops or to inquire about scheduling one for your group, see: