Opening Up, Second Edition: The Healing Power of Expressing Emotions Paperback – Aug 8 1997
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"...There is something freeing about getting things ¿off one's chest.'...According to Pennebaker's book however, confession is good not only for one's soul but for one's blood pressure, insomnia, psychological well-being, and immune function. In Opening Up: The Healing Power of Confiding in Others, Pennebaker summarizes findings from his 10 year research program on the consequences of confiding one's secrets and offers advice regarding how to use confession to enhance psychological and physical health...Pennebaker buttresses conclusions based on his extensive research with case studies, which include not only cases of individuals but of entire cities....I found them to be engaging and useful...He does an exemplary job of walking the fine line between a professional volume and a trade book...Pennebaker's research has already made a valuable contribution to the study of psychological processes in health, and this book pulls together his findings and speculations about this fascinating line of work. Opening Up is an engaging, provocative book that will be of interest to lay readers, behavioral researchers, and therapists alike." --Mark R. Leary, Contemporary Psychology
"..Superb book." --Henry Dreher, Natural Health
"Written more for general consumption, Pennebaker gives a gripping look at how psychological science is best done. He makes his results relevant and exciting, but the science seems solid. Pennebaker provides substantial empirical support for significant mental and physical health effects arising from religious practices such as confession, reconciliation, and forgiveness."
--Robert J. Lovinger, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Central Michigan University
"Dr. Pennebaker has demonstrated that expressing emotions appears to protect the body against damaging internal stresses and seems to have long-term health benefits." --Daniel Goleman, in The New York Times
"This book is the very best that scientific psychology has to offer. Pennebaker has made remarkable discoveries that show how disclosing our deepest secrets can make us well...throws open new doors of understanding and offers new hope for gaining control of our lives." --Daniel M. Wegner, author of White Bears and Other Unwanted Thoughts
"Some of the most important findings published in psychology in the past decade. This work, if followed, would change the lives of millions of people." --Robert Ornstein, PhD, co-author of Healthy Pleasures
About the Author
Since receiving his doctoral degree in 1977, Pennebaker has taught at the University of Virginia and Southern Methodist University. His recent honors include an Honorary Doctorate degree from the University of Louvain (Belgium), the Pavlov Award, and the Hilgard Visiting Professorship at Stanford University. He lives in Austin with his wife, Ruth (a writer), and two children.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
If you've kept a journal and written about what troubles you, you know how much this unloading can improve your mood. It's nice to have someone listen to you, or to have the compassionate attention of a paid therapist who can help you see your patterns. But it's also comforting to know that science has shown that journaling can be a way for you to be your own therapist. In this book, the author shares stories of people and their writing. This is a good book to point to if anyone thinks journaling is just narcissistic scribbling.
~~Joan Mazza, psychotherapist and author of DREAM BACK YOUR LIFE; DREAMING YOUR REAL SELF; WHO'S CRAZY ANYWAY? and 3 books in The Guided Journal Series with Writer's Digest Books/Walking Stick Press.
Most recent customer reviews
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... Read morePublished on Nov. 26 2013 by Jenn
This book is wonderful and easy reading for the just average person. It is filled with information about the inner healing we experience when we journal our most inner thoughts. Read morePublished on July 4 2001 by PHall
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