A Neuroscience-Proven Expressive Writing Protocol with Dr. James Pennebaker (225)

by | Feb 13, 2024 | Brain Science, Episodes, Guest Interviews, Neuroscience, Personal Growth, Therapy, Trauma | 0 comments

Show Notes

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Not your ordinary journaling… a science-backed technique that gets to the heart of bottom-up healing.

You may have heard about this protocol on the Huberman Lab Podcast. Co-hosts Ann and Sue discuss the power of expressive writing as a tool for physical and emotional healing directly with the original researcher, Dr. James Pennebaker. While his protocol is not a simple “elixir” to cure mental or physical illness, Dr. Pennebaker has dedicated years of research and found this kind of expressive writing to be an effective method of healing for many people. Writing without boundaries or expectations can allow us to enter a stream of consciousness and better process our feelings and experiences of trauma.

As the number of studies increased, it became clear that writing was a far more powerful tool for healing than anyone had ever imagined.” – Dr. James Pennebaker

About our Guest – Dr. James Pennebaker
James W. Pennebaker is Professor Emeritus of Psychology. He is continuing to explore natural language use, group dynamics, and personality in both laboratory and real world settings. His earlier work on expressive writing found that physical health and work performance can improve by simple writing and/or talking exercises. His cross-disciplinary research is related to linguistics, clinical and cognitive psychology, communications, medicine, and computer science. Author or editor of 12 books and over 300 articles, Pennebaker has received numerous research and teaching awards and honors.

 

Time Stamps for Neuroscience-proven Expressive Writing Protocol 

00:49 – Dr. Pennebaker’s background

3:31 – Secrets are unhealthy 

12:45 – Interesting findings from his writing experiment

17:46 – Dr. Pennebaker’s blood draw study

21:35 – One of the big problems with expressive writing

25:52 – Understanding executive function and working memory 

27:31 – Three of the most impactful psychological tools 

33:37 – The difference between standard journaling and these writing exercises

38:40 – The benefits of open-ended questions

46:16 – The emergent process of writing

59:03 – Anecdote about how Dr. Pennebaker’s analysis contributed to an exoneration

1:02 – What language can tell us about political leadership

Resources for today's episode – Expressive Writing Protocol

The Pennebaker Lanuage Lab

Linguistic Inquiry & Word Count – Text analysis tools

Publications – A list of Dr. Pennebaker's publications

Website – Dr. Pennebaker's UT website and information

Transcripts for A Neuroscience-Proven Expressive Writing Protocol with Dr. James Pennebaker (225)

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We support mental health access to those traditionally left out of mainstream healthcare and use a portion of the income we receive from corporate sponsors to do just that!  We can only do that with the help of our Patrons – joining as a TU Neuronerd Podsquad premium subscriber, you support this mission and get a dedicated ad-free feed plus occasional very cool and unique study opportunities, reading groups and who knows what else may come!  We invite you to join our community. Click here to join! 

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