Writing and Healing: A Path of Spirit

Pamela Post 2003

Groups for Cancer Patients

After eight surgeries and two rounds of radiation for breast cancer, I took my work, using writing as a therapeutic tool to create writing support groups for those who have experienced cancer. I put in what I knew to be healing:

  • Creativity: Why not just write in journals? That’s great, but creating a “story”, a written response to a meditation or “Prompt” (a picture or an object, etc.) engages the imagination. A small story that has a beginning, middle and end and has a character in it (even if the character is a pinecone) offers a form to hold feelings. The metaphors of creative writing dip into the unconscious, and often reveal and release us by giving form to those things we did not consciously know about ourselves. Creativity enhances Life Force.
  • Community: To gather together to write and share our stories. As one creates and then shares, the “voice” becomes stronger.
  • Voice: Those who are going through, or have finished, cancer treatment are often trying to unburden themselves of negativity and to claim hope. To find a voice while or after facing death is to be resilient to what comes.
  • Witnessing: Our sharing is really witnessing. There is no criticism, no trying to fix another, instead there is a loving “holding” of another’s words. To hear a story is to open windows and let another’s words drift in. To hear a story is to open a door into oneself. To hear a story is to hear how someone’s life counts — to know that all that they might say could be true for you, too.
  • A Spiritual Path: My session themes follow a spiritual path beginning with “Safe Place” and ending eleven sessions later with “Gratitude”- with other aspects of the spiritual journey in sessions along the way.

The above is taken from excerpts from articles and talks given by Pamela Post about the use of Writing as Healing.

Pamela Post leads writing groups and is on the faculty of Lesley University, teaching Writing as a Therapeutic Modality.