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Opening Up: The Healing Power of Expressing Emotions Paperback – Aug 8 1997

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Opening Up: The Healing Power of Expressing Emotions + Writing as a Way of Healing: How Telling Our Stories Transforms Our Lives + Journal to the Self: Twenty-Two Paths to Personal Growth - Open the Door to Self-Understanding by Writing, Reading, and Creating a Journal of Your Life
Price For All Three: CDN$ 39.44

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 249 pages
  • Publisher: The Guilford Press; 1REV edition (Aug. 8 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572302380
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572302389
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 15 x 1.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #180,024 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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First Sentence
Long before the Spanish conquered the New World, the natives of what is now North and South America had elaborate confession rituals wherein tribe members disclosed their transgressions to others. Read the first page
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3.8 out of 5 stars
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S. Hill on Oct. 27 2003
Format: Paperback
In Opening Up Dr. Pennebaker discusses his research into the mind-body connection, and about how mental and physical health can be affected by how people express their deepest feelings about important life experiences. He describes the many studies he has taken part in and the case histories of individuals he has observed in the course of his career.
The bulk of Opening Up deals with the way in which writing (or verbalizing) the details of and emotions surrounding people's most traumatic (and occasionally most positive) life experiences can affect well-being. It is fascinating to learn how interconnected the mind and body actually are, and how effective the act of putting one's experiences into words can improve people's quality of life, or conversely how expressing the wrong kinds of feelings or expressing them inappropriately can do just the opposite. This book makes a quick yet intriguing read as Dr. Pennebaker expresses his observations in a way easy for the layperson follow and confines his notes to the end of the book so the reader is not distracted from the flow of the text.
That said, I have to add that the final chapter, "Beyond Traumas: Writing and Well-Being", seems superfluous. Diverse topics such as the use of in-class writing, note-taking, and the teaching of reading and writing to pre-school children are brought into the discussion and seem to have nothing but a tenuous connection to the rest of the book. These topics may have been better left out rather than brought up at the last minute and not really discussed at enough length to warrant their inclusion.
While the conclusion takes away from the book, I would still encourage anyone who is interested in psychology in general or the mind-body connection in particular to pick this book up.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I chose this book for a book review assignment for my personal development class. By chapter 6 I had to go back to the beginning to remind myself what the purpose of this book was actually supposed to be. I understand that the general overall arching topic of this book incorporates many sub-disciplines, but there was no evidence of the author's intend to make any connections between the sub-disciplines and the concept of writing for personal development. Furthermore, half of the chapters in this book have been previously published in another book composed by Pennebaker, making the reader feel a bit cheated of their money.
Generally speaking, there are a few very interesting and noteworthy points; however, for a reader not primarily interested in the methodology of his studies and experiments, the detailed descriptions of methods is distracting.
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By Tom Turvey on April 5 2011
Format: Paperback
Now that I have finished the book I feel very dissatisfied. If you're looking for a research based and that sort of style in a book, then this is the book for you.

This book does very little to nothing in relation to what the book's heading and topic is. That being opening up. It doesn't really enlighten you how to do this, just that in a variety of studies this author, psychologist and researcher conducted on students, he found that writing isn't what is helpful, it's the action of letting things out so you can organize your thoughts and problems and find ways to resolve them.

I was hoping this book would be tips and ways to talk to therapists if you have a difficult time discussing your own personal tragedies and traumas. Instead, this book was about various writing studies and findings the author and his student assistants discovered in trials with fellow students. I did get a few helpful things from the book, but overall it was a far cry from what the book claimed to be and do for readers.

I wouldn't buy this book, just borrow it. It's really only worth reading if you're studying human behaviour in regards to using writing therapies to see the benefits of self reflection and major self reflection and analyzing of one's problems stemming from traumas they experienced. A well written book, just not what it was marketed as gives it a low score in my mind.

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