Use Your Words: Writing to Heal

About This Intensive Workshop:

Based on the extensive studies of James Pennebaker, PhD, a professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, Use Your Words: Writing to Heal is a guided linguistic exploration of deep seated emotions and past traumas. Using Dr. Pennebaker’s guidelines, known as the Pennebaker Paradigm, as well as the award-winning literary experience of, New York Times bestselling author, Karrine Steffans, this four-day intensive workshop aims to help participants express and, then, heal themselves through the written word.

Intensive Workshop Instructor:

 Over twenty years of international studies have revealed that writing is not just cathartic, but physically and emotionally healing. Short-term focused writing can have a beneficial effect on almost everyone, from those coping with terminal illnesses, to victims of violent crimes, and those dealing with everyday stresses.

For over a decade, New York Times bestselling author, Karrine Steffans has known and proven these studies to be true. Best known for her first memoir, Confessions of a Video Vixen, the author has penned and published seven titles in the genres of memoir and self-help. Having been shamed for sharing her story back in 2005, Steffans forged onward and published several more memoirs, utilizing her writing to heal herself and her readership. A survivor of familial and domestic abuse, childhood rape, and public bullying, Steffans has emerged as a pillar of, both, strength and vulnerability.

As an accomplished and awarded author and editor, her understanding of linguistics, structured storytelling, and varied perspectives lend themselves to Dr. Pennebaker’s findings and teachings. As a keynote speaker and university class instructor for over a decade, Steffans possesses valuable teaching and oratory experience, with endorsements from professors and university presidents from around the country. It is Steffans’ personal and professional experiences that gives her a unique incite and advantage as a practitioner and instructor of the Pennebaker Paradigm.

Intensive Workshop Benefits:

There are a multitude of benefits associated with Use Your Words: Writing to Heal, benefits what include but are not limited to:

  • Boost of immune functions
  • Less doctor visits
  • Higher grade point average
  • Improved working memory
  • Better sleep
  • Improved social connections 
  • Better understanding of emotions
  • Learning from trauma and emotional responses
  • Better ability to evaluate one’s life

This writing course and its benefits can be compared to that of verbal guided exploration in psychodynamic psychoanalysis. When used in conjunction with or sansother therapies and treatments, Use Your Words: Writing to Heal has the ability to help students organize their traumatic experiences, as well as focus on their meaning, and develop a greater awareness of the positive aspects of stressful or traumatic events. By using language as a healing tool, students learn to express themselves more succinctly by first changing their internal rhetoric and, then, through structured storytelling.