An interview with author and social psychologist, Jamie Pennebaker about his research into the benefits of confiding painful experiences. Jamie discovered that childhood traumas resulted in far greater long term health and psychological difficulties if they were not confided in others. He suggests that one of the reasons that childhood sexual abuse may be so destructive, is because it is so often kept secret. He describes experiments where people are invited to write for 20 minutes each day for four days about their most emotionally troubling experience. In study after study, the writers who are able to explore the depth of their emotions and express different perspectives on the event tend to show health benefits years after the experiment. He also describes new research into how our unknowing use of pronouns in speech reveals a great deal about our personalities, preferences and relational compatibility.
An interview with Dr. Diane Morrow about writing and healing. Diane describes the ways that writing was healing for her in coping with her mother’s severe depression. But she also talks about how writing can be healing as a process or ritual in itself, how writing fiction can be create enough distance from pain to allow the listener to resonate with it. Diane describes the way that the blank page itself may be the best listener to a difficult story, and the painful need to let go of our longing for a specific person to hear our difficult stories.