When Julie Davey heard about a recently published study suggesting that expressive writing may improve quality of life in cancer patients, she was not shocked. In her seven years of teaching the Writing for Wellness class at City of Hope, Davey has seen the healing power of the pen firsthand in her students: cancer patients, survivors, caregivers and even health-care staff.
What surprises her is that the Wellness Community in Phoenix already adopted her concept of guided group writing, and similar plans are in the works at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, with further interest from hospitals in Alabama, Maryland, Ohio and Virginia.
The buzz started in fall 2007 with publication of Davey’s book “Writing for Wellness: A Prescription for Healing,” which included her own experiences with writing therapy, as well as stories and poems from her students and instructions and prompts for readers to produce their own works.
Davey has since been traveling across the country to sign books, give lectures and participate in tele-seminars to help train the next generation of “Writing for Wellness” teachers.
“It really has been my dream all along for this class to spread to other places,” said Davey. “It has been very effective in helping City of Hope patients and their loved ones heal, so I would like to see its therapeutic benefits help people going through the same ordeals and challenges nationwide.”
Meanwhile, Davey still regularly teaches at City of Hope, welcoming new and experienced writers alike. For more information or a class schedule, visit City of Hope’s online calendar at www.cityofhope.org/calendar. “Writing for Wellness: A Prescription for Healing” is on sale at City of Hope’s gift shop, and book proceeds are donated to City of Hope.