Sandra Marinella is a writing teacher and during her professional career she has taught thousands of students and presented hundreds of workshops.
In a recent interview she explained that 'There are well over 200 studies that demonstrate how writing our personal stories can help to heal us physically, psychologically, and even socially. Some studies indicate that writing can lower our stress, improve our moods, reduce symptoms of depression, and give us a feeling of greater psychological well-being."
For those suffering internal turmoil and pain this sure sounds like a powerful tool
A Successful Project
After researching and writing her book, The Story You Need to Tell, Sandra founded the Story You Need to Tell Project at www.storyyoutell.com — an organization whose mission it is to create a place "...where individuals who want to write or tell their stories can discover life-changing stories and learn the power of reworking and editing their personal life stories with the goal of finding hope, inspiration, and a better way of living."
Writing about your situation seems to initiate a natural healing process and those who have directly benefitted over the years from her deep understanding of its therapeutic benefits includes war veterans suffering from trauma and cancer patients seeking a way to mitigate the effects of their illness.
Five Stages of Healing
In her book Marinella explains that there are five stages to writing and healing.
Stage one requires experiencing the grief and pain related to the personal trauma. This may not involve writing but more a sense of feeling.
Stage two invites us to share our story with someone or to release pent up emotions through writing
Stage three is total acceptance of the sadness and pain associated with the experience
Stage four encourages us to step back and view our experience subjectively
Stage five is the point at which we rewrite our story and then move on in our lives
In The Story You Need to Tell Marinella provides all the tools necessary to follow this five stage process. These are woven around personal stories of her own path back to healing using writing as a therapy as well as accounts by some of her students who have found great benefit from following her system.
Ways to Heal
The author acknowledges that there are as many paths to healing through writing as there are number of stories to be told. Some approaches call for a direct evaluation of one's life and its more significant events. Others reference a deeper understanding of human psychology and some event investigate those life paths that reflect grander mythological themes.
For those readers who are keen to start writing but who have no clear idea how to approach it — or even what to write about, Marinella provides trigger questions which can help to kick start the process. Whilst these are effective sometimes other techniques prove to be even more effectual; such the creation of a collage of drawings, pictures and photos; or by finding a symbol or metaphor by which to represent ourselves and our lives.
In the end it does not matter how we approach writing from a therapeutic angle — we simply need to get pen to paper and write! The healing comes as a result.
Our Review of The Story You Need to Tell by Sandra Marinella
There is a Chinese proverb that states; "Write your sorrow in sand and etch your joys in stone."
Somehow this adage seems particularly applicable to the central themes in The Story You Need to Tell by Sandra Marinella; for this is a book about establishing the right to make a statement to the world that is powerful and redeeming.
As a workbook this is a wonderfully skilled piece of writing in its own right. It leads mainly by example and the clear benefits that writing has brought to so many is testimony to the efficacy of the author's powerful approach to self-healing.
As a title The Story You Need to Tell just about sums up a powerful statement of intent which we should all follow irrespective of whether we need to healing deep trauma or not. As Marinella so eloquently and brilliantly demonstrates in her book, we all need to evaluate ourselves and our lives from time to time and what better way to do it than through the written word.
The Story You Need to Tell is a powerful tool of self-transformation and rebalance. Buy it, read it and apply its wisdom wisely.