Write to Heal Trauma



Studies show writing improves health, sleep and wound healing.


I know this as a writer, mother and trauma survivor.

  • If it helps one person, just one, it was worth it, is what writers know and say. Maybe you are the one your words need to reach. Turning to the unconditional open page is an affordable way to reduce stress. You don’t have to worry about grammar, punctuation and sharing your writing to benefit.
  • The power of the pen need not be limited to those getting published or paid to write.
  • Writing expressively is done to help you unburden your body, let go of shame and help you feel better.
  • Writing expressively is free and takes little time. You can write, starting now, for ten to twenty minutes a day without censoring yourself or thinking too much. If you do this four days in a row and write honestly and with emotion you can expect positive results. It does not have to be a daily habit if you think, “I’m not the journal writing type.”
  • Studies show writing about trauma for four consecutive days in a row improves sleep, wound healing, reduces doctor visits, missed work or school days. You can make an appointment to write, with yourself and you don’t have to waste gas or fork over a co-pay. Or, you can share what you write in therapy and get more bang for your buck.
  • Sharing your deepest feelings is up to you. You may get added benefit by reading or showing someone what you wrote. But even if you stick in in a shredder you still get benefits. In fact, sharing is only helpful if you are not judged, shamed or criticized. If you might be it’s better to keep your words to yourself. Again, sharing is up to you. You are empowered and decide if, what and when to share. Or not.
  • James Pennebaker is the first to do this research but countless studies have been done since the late 1980’s.
  • Want to do it with support, guidance or coaching? You can go to workshops or classes if you like to write in a group or be instructed. You can come to the Heal Write Now Center. You can visit Nancy Slonim Aronie who teaches on Martha’s Vineyard, at Kripalu and Omega. You can learn about Laura Davis offers in person workshops and FREE online prompts.

We can’t change the past but we can limit the negative impact it has on our health, happiness and well being. You are entitled to joy and deserving of good health. Be a break-the-cycle person.

It is possible to HEAL WRITE NOW!

More on Why Writing to Heal Trauma is Necessary.

Adversity is Toxic 

I haven’t met one person with post-traumatic stress who said recovery was easy. None have said they were overwhelmed with too much support, hope, tools or resources.


Most have felt bad for failing to “get over it” faster, for struggling with anxiety, sadness, insomnia, aches, pains or serious illness. Many have battled addictions and self-destructive habits or patterns.

It wasn’t until I learned about the Adverse Childhood Experiences study and test that I understood why. And my compassion grew exponentially. If you want to better understand how and why traumatic stress causes so much damage here’s the link to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention discussing the findings of this important research.

The more adversity in childhood the more lifelong heath and social problems. In fact, extreme adversity in childhood causes early mortality of up to 19 years. Years.

Photo Credit: Margaret Bellafiore

Photo Credit: Margaret Bellafiore

The good news is that writing can help If you had a rough childhood you aren’t a failure or less resilient than others. Chances are you are carrying a heavier load and you might need to find n

This causes a burden to the body and I can give you a one or two-hour educational review to help educate you and so you can grow compassion for yourself as well as learn practical tools to deal with traumatic stress symptoms.

I’m not a therapist. I share as someone with the expertise of research and more importantly, lived experience. I share what I know and have learned.



The Personal is Political but…

It’s Not Enough

The only cure for trauma is prevention. We need to keep other people from being injured.

We need to support those who have been.

And we must be honest.

  • How about we tell the truth about living with developmental trauma?
  • What if we speak out about injustice so that we can advocate for ourselves and children?
  • What could we be doing for and in the world if our financial resources were not spent on therapy, self-help, symptom relief and soothing?

To change, we don’t just need an hour a week in therapy. Or medication. We need to change society and the medical system that shames people for being victims but doesn’t support efforts to break-the-cycle or support varied approaches to healing.

Let’s figure out how to heal from adverse childhood experiences so the next generation won’t have to.

Let’s document what we learn and make it easier for each others.

I have come out as a trauma survivor, abuse survivor and someone with post-traumatic stress because I love my life, know healing, happiness and joy are possible. But for years I didn’t.

The healing power of writing is available to everyone and especially powerful to those who have endured trauma(s).

Write to heal trauma because you have a right to heal trauma. You can start today, at home or alone, just by taking pen to paper. For more guidance, support or to do so in community please visit the HWN (Heal Write Now Center) offerings



  1. Tina Hahn says:

    Tina Hahn

    hi. I came to your website because I wanted to better know what you are looking for. I think I understand and have I had the same feelings and desire to change this system.

    I don’t know about anything particular and I am not a writer. However, on the home page of Aces in the video section is a video put up by Jane by Daniel Heimpel called Journalism for Social Change. I’m taking the pre-course now but I wonder if this work might not be something that would of interest to you.

    Thanks Tina

    • Cissy White says:

      Thank you for sharing this resource. I’m obsessed with all things related to ACE. And I’ve started to explore Danial Heimpel’s work. THANK YOU!

  2. It took me almost 30 yrs to even figure out what my “problem” is. The reason is that complex or developmental trauma is insidious and invades every cell of your being. As it occurs, you believe your life is “normal”, because it’s your normal. Then, you come to think all the parts of yourself that are different or puzzling mean you were born deficient. It is maddening.
    I finally started an earnest search to find all the pieces and put the puzzle together. I did it! While it felt unbelievably good to understand how I came to be the person I am, the pain of accepting childhood abuse is at best excruciating. I also started a voracious search for anything on complex or developmental trauma and sexual abuse. My life is nowhere near normal, but I’ve definitely grown. I think my next step is to find some sort of meaning from this but I’m still floundering.

    • Cissy White says:

      Dear Grace,
      What a journey, huh? Reading about the lifelong impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences has helped me realize that any and all of us with these suffer consequences and that they are all different, but quite physical and as you say, “invades every cell of your being.”
      I am a firm believer in making meaning because I honestly think for some things there is no inherent “good” or meaning but that we have to create the meaning. And growing is HUGE and even floundering, though difficult, means you are engaged in your life.
      Thank you for commenting. I hope you’ll keep coming back.

Speak Your Mind