Opening Up by Writing It Down, Third Edition: How Expressive Writing Improves Health and Eases Emotional Pain

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Guilford Publications, Jul 15, 2016 - Self-Help - 210 pages
Expressing painful emotions is hard--yet it can actually improve our mental and physical health. This lucid, compassionate book has introduced tens of thousands of readers to expressive writing, a simple yet powerful self-help technique grounded in scientific research. Leading experts James W. Pennebaker and Joshua M. Smyth describe how taking just a few minutes to write about deeply felt personal experiences or problems may help you:

*Heal old emotional wounds
*Feel a greater sense of well-being
*Decrease stress
*Improve relationships
*Boost your immune system

Vivid stories and examples yield compelling insights into secrets, self-disclosure, and the hidden price of silence. The third edition incorporates findings from hundreds of recent studies and includes practical exercises to help you try expressive writing for yourself. It features extensive new information on specific health benefits, as well as when the approach may not be helpful.
 

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Contents

Beginning to Explore the Connection between Confession and Health
1
Chapter 2 The Invention of the Expressive Writing Approach
13
Health Benefits of Verbal and Written Disclosure
27
Chapter 4 Dealing with Chronic Health Problems Using Expressive Writing
42
Expressive Writing in Learning and Education
65
Getting Past Obsessions Insomnia and Bouts of Stupidity
81
How People Differ in Coping with Trauma
96
The Audience on the Other End of Our Words
115
Chapter 9 How Does Writing Help Us Secure a Healthier and Happier Future?
135
Recommendations for Your Use of Expressive Writing
158
Notes
171
Bibliography
183
Author Index
199
Subject Index
202
About the Authors
210
Copyright

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About the author (2016)

James W. Pennebaker, PhD, the originator of expressive writing, is Regents Centennial Professor of Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Pennebaker conducts award-winning research and has published numerous books on the links between expressive writing and physical and mental health.

Joshua M. Smyth, PhD, is Professor of Biobehavioral Health and of Medicine at The Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Smyth has conducted extensive research on expressive writing and other innovative methods for promoting health and well-being and coping with stress.

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