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Opening Up: The Healing Power of Expressing Emotions [Paperback]

Our Price $ 14.41  
Retail Value $ 16.95  
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Item Number 118520  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   249
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.9" Width: 5.9" Height: 0.7"
Weight:   0.8 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 8, 1997
Publisher   The Guilford Press
ISBN  1572302380  
EAN  9781572302389  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Anyone who has ever entrusted a troubling secret to a journal, or mourned a broken heart with a friend, knows the feeling of relief that expressing painful emotions can bring. This book presents astonishing evidence that personal self-disclosure is not only good for our emotional health, but boosts our physical health as well. Psychologist James W. Pennebaker has conducted controlled clinical research that sheds new light on the powerful mind body connection. This book interweaves his findings with insightful case studies on secret-keeping, confession, and the hidden price of silence. Filled with information and encouragement, Opening Up explains: Why suppressing inner problems takes a devastating toll on health How long-buried trauma affects the immune system How writing about your problems can improve your health Why it's never too late to heal old emotional wounds When self-disclosure may be risky--and how to know whom to trust Written for a general audience, Opening Up is also widely used as a text in undergraduate-level courses in general psychology, social psychology, the psychology of emotions, and/or the connections between writing and healing.

Publishers Description
Anyone who has ever entrusted a troubling secret to a journal, or mour ned a broken heart with a friend, knows the feeling of relief that exp ressing painful emotions can bring. This book presents astonishing evi dence that personal self-disclosure is not only good for our emotional health, but boosts our physical health as well. Psychologist James W. Pennebaker has conducted controlled clinical research that sheds new light on the powerful mind body connection. This book interweaves his findings with insightful case studies on secret-keeping, confession, a nd the hidden price of silence.

Buy Opening Up: The Healing Power of Expressing Emotions by James W. Pennebaker from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781572302389 & 1572302380

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More About James W. Pennebaker

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! James W. Pennebaker is the chair of the Department of Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of Writing to Heal and Opening Up: The Healing Power of Expressing Emotions, which has been translated into a dozen languages. You can analyze your own language at his website,

James W. Pennebaker currently resides in the state of Texas. James W. Pennebaker has an academic affiliation as follows - Southern Methodist University.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A book that can truly help you help yourself  Feb 6, 2007
Many people believe that it is easier to hold in their feelings, but nothing could be further from the truth. In ancient Greece, Hippocrates, the father of medicine, stressed that emotional factors could be a contributing cause in disease as well as a factor in recovery. In more recent times, research psychologist James Pennebaker and others have found a mountain of evidence that demonstrates that disclosing our pain when we're suffering through a major upheaval can greatly improve our physical and mental health. Conversely, holding it in can lead to recurrent health problems as serious as colds, flu, high blood pressure, ulcers, and even cancer.

So this self-help book which explains how opening up and confiding in others actually improves your physical health as well as your mental well-being. This can happen in a support group or through journaling. If you are not already in a support group, you will want to join one after you read this fascinating account of the author's life work. If groups aren't for you, then you may be inspired to start journaling.

--Robert A. Naseef, Ph.D., author of Special Children, Challenged Parents and co-editor Voices from the Spectrum.
Special Children, Challenged Parents: The Struggles and Rewards of Raising a Child With a Disability
Readable, fun detective story  Sep 6, 2005
If you are a scientist you may enjoy the story of how James Pennebaker pieced together his theories as much as you enjoy the theories themselves. Once he validated the worth of writing about emotional events that you had not previously talked about, he explored many other variations of disclosure. Two big surprises I found: 1) we need to write about happy things, too, and 2) by writing about an emotion, you diminish its passion -- as in love letters.
Confirmation of the Benefits of Self-Expression  Oct 27, 2003
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.

I do have one caveat to make and it is directed to those who are under the impression that this book is a self-help book. While the subtitle, The Healing Power of Expressing Emotions, leads to potential reader to think that this book will show them how to use writing to heal themselves, this is not the case. If you are looking for a book to direct you I would recommend something like Louise deSalvo's Writing as a Way of Healing as a companion to this volume. deSalvo's book is largely based on Dr. Pennebaker's research but offers concrete advice on how someone looking to begin a writing practice could start out, providing exercises and checklists to ensure that the writing experience is beneficial to the writer.

Opening Up  Jul 5, 2001
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. Thank you for sharing this information.
Scientific validation for the benefits of journaling  Oct 27, 2000
Pennebaker's studies of people who wrote about their deepest traumas and hurts demonstrate that expressing feelings is helpful and healing. People who participated in the studies showed improved immune function as measured by doctor visits compared to controls groups who didn't journal or who journaled about daily events and omitted their feelings.

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.


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