Transform Your Health: Write to Heal

Join John Evans, MAT, MA, EdD for a transformative 6-week workshop using his landmark approach to healing. Discover opportunities for renewed health by accessing your inner healing voice.

Do you know that writing can help you to heal?

Research tells us that expressive writing has the power to help us transform our physical, mental, and spiritual health. In fact expressive writing (1) has been shown to:

  • Decrease the heart rate
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Enhance breathing
  • Strengthen the immune system so that it can better fight off infection
  • Improve self-esteem
  • Help manage stress

Writing can help us face our most difficult challenges with past or present experiences and even future challenges.  Put another way, when we write we can gain perspective on our circumstances, we provide provident information to our body, and we engage our internal healing resources.

During this 6-week workshop, John Evans will coach participants through a simple progression of exercises he has developed from his more than 25 years of working in the field.  Participation requires neither any prior writing experience nor any aspiration to become a writer.  In fact, the practices simply cultivate your natural and easy ability to express the ideas that define who you are and how you experience your life.

Weekly sessions build on previous sessions to provide a progression of experiences for you to develop your natural style of writing-to-heal.  Evans will guide you through a variety of modes of writing that enhance health in different ways, including:

  • Expressive Writing: moving beyond what you thought you could not get over.
  • Transactional Writing: communicating your desires with compassion, empathy, forgiveness and gratitude.
  • Poetic Writing: expressing your "rites of passage" with metaphor, story, poetry and creative nonfiction.
  • Affirmative Writing: discovering your gifts and describing your best possible life by writing it forward.
  • Legacy Writing: sharing your values and the life lessons you have learned for those you love.

Comments from previous workshop participants:

    • "I was finally able to get the thoughts out of my head and put them down on paper instead of fighting with the difficult thoughts that kept recurring."
    • "This has been one of my highlights at Duke Integrative Medicine."
    • "(The workshop) gave voice to something I always knew was important, but didn't know how to approach."
    • "My experience was excellent, empowering, and fun."
    • "I'm still benefiting months later."
    • "I believe I sleep better, and I certainly feel much less stress about this issue that I have been dealing with for a very long time."

    (1) Pennebaker, J.W. & Chung, C.K. (in press). Expressive writing and its links to mental and physical health. In H.S. Friedman (Ed.), Oxford handbook of health psychology. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.


    John Evans, MAT, MA, EdD is a writer, speaker, and workshop leader, focusing on the health benefits of writing, as an outgrowth of his own health challenges.  His research on writing and healing, prompted him to create and direct Wellness & Writing Connections, providing an interdisciplinary forum for writers and health care professionals interested in the wellness and benefits of writing. His most recent publication (2010), Wellness & Writing Connections: Writing for Better Physical, Mental, and Spiritual Health, is a collection of essays from the previous Wellness & Writing Connections Conferences.  Evans received a scholar-in-residence and post-doctoral fellowship award in Expository Writing from New York University, a doctorate in post-secondary literature and writing pedagogy studies from North Carolina State University, and an MA in English from Middlebury College.