The Writing Cure: How Expressive Writing Promotes Health and Emotional Well-Being

Pages: 313
Item #: 431791A
ISBN: 978-1-55798-910-9
List Price: $19.95
Member/Affiliate Price: $19.95
Copyright: 2002
Format: Hardcover
Availability: In Stock
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The Writing Cure presents groundbreaking research on the cognitive, emotional, and biological pathways through which disclosure and expressive writing influences mental and physical health. Although writing has been a popular therapeutic technique for years, only recently have researchers subjected it to rigorous scientific scrutiny and applied it to persons suffering from physical illnesses such as cancer and hypertension.

Contributors present cutting-edge findings on expressive writing and health outcomes and point students and scientists to new avenues of research. The volume is rich in illustrations of clinical applications for this technique, as well as examples of how expressive writing can improve the immune system and lung function, diminish psychological distress, and enhance relationships and social-role functioning. It also includes discussions of alternative writing intervention formats, including workbooks and the Internet. Featuring a revealing epilogue by James Pennebaker, one of the pioneers of expressive writing intervention, this volume will be of interest to researchers and practitioners who explore and work with expressive-therapy techniques.

Table of Contents


I. Introduction

  1. The Writing Cure: An Overview
    —Stephen J. Lepore and Joshua M. Smyth

II. Writing and Adjustment to Life Stressors: Examples of Current Research

  1. Expressive Writing and Blood Pressure
    —Karina Davidson, Amy R. Schwartz, David Sheffield, Ronald S. McCord, Stephen J. Lepore, and William Gerin
  2. Emotional Expression, Expressive Writing, and Cancer
    —Annette L. Stanton and Sharon Danoff-Burg
  3. Writing for Their Lives: Children's Narratives as Supports for Physical and Psychological Well-Being
    —Collete Daiute and Ellie Buteau
  4. Effects of Written Emotional Disclosure Among Repressive and Alexithymic People
    —Mark A. Lumley, Tina M. Tojek, and Debra J. Macklem

III. Emotional, Cognitive, and Biological Processes

  1. Expressive Writing and Health: Self-Regulation of Emotion-Related Experience, Physiology, and Behavior
    —Stephen J. Lepore, Melanie A. Greenberg, Michelle Bruno, and Joshua M. Smyth
  2. Gain Without Pain? Expressive Writing and Self-Regulation
    —Laura A. King
  3. Stress, Expressive Writing, and Working Memory
    —Kitty W. Klein
  4. Emotional Expression and Health Changes: Can We Identify Biological Pathways?
    —Roger J. Booth and Keith J. Petrie
  5. Cognitive Processing, Disclosure, and Health: Psychological and Physiological Mechanisms
    —Susan K. Lutgendorf and Philip Ullrich

IV. New Directions in Clinical Applications of Expressive Writing

  1. Translating Research Into Practice: Potential of Expressive Writing in the Field
    —Joshua M. Smyth and Delwyn Catley
  2. Interapy: A Model for Therapeutic Writing Through the Internet
    —Alfred Lange, Mirjam Schoutrop, Bart Schrieken, and Jean-Pierre van de Ven
  3. Workbooks: Tools for the Expressive Writing Paradigm
    —Luciano L'Abate and Roy Kern
  4. To Everything There Is a Season: A Written Expression Intervention for Closure at the End of Life
    —Carolyn E. Schwartz and Elizabeth David

Writing, Social Processes, and Psychotherapy: From Past to Future
—James W. Pennebaker

Author Index

Subject Index

About the Editors

Reviews & Awards
When people write expressive essays about problems in their lives, they frequently experience beneficial outcomes. This is the conclusion from a convincing body of research studies carried out over the past decade. Lepore (Brooklyn College) and Smyth (Syracuse University) offer a much-needed summary of the findings to date along with important new developments. The positive effects that follow expressive writing are impressive…The book provides a wide-ranging discussion of possible theoretical explanations for the observed effects. The selections are well-written with useful bibliographies. Recommended.
—Choice Magazine