Mental Health Monday Expressive Writing as a Tool for Healing

Expressive Writing helps us understand ourselves and make sense of life events. It can support resilience, foster self-expression, and provide a creative way to cope with stress.
In this VMHM, UAB Arts in Medicine Artists in Residence, Elizabeth Vander Kamp and Salaam Green, will discuss Writing for Healing, a program they facilitated during the pandemic for individuals with spinal cord injuries as part of a nation-wide telehealth research study. Writing for Healing draws on the research of James Pennebaker and examines expressive writing as a strategy for health and wellness. Join us as we discuss the study and present some writing prompts and exercises to support your overall well-being.

Salaam Green, M.S. is an award-winning Poet and Author, 2020/21 Eco Poetry Fellow, A Reimagining Justice Fellow with the Southern Poverty Law Center, the 2016 Poet Laureate for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and TEDx speaker Birmingham alum, social entrepreneur, and daughter of Alabama’s Black Belt. As owner and founder of Literary Healing Arts and Red Couch Writers, she can be found helping others write to heal on red couches across the city as an expressive writer, Racial Healing Facilitator, and healer. She is a New Economy Coalition Climate Solutions Fellow and an advocate for environmental and restorative justice in rural Alabama. A writer and storyteller, who facilitates writing to heal workshops as an Artist in Residence with UAB Arts in Medicine her work has appeared in The Birmingham Times, Scalawag, Bust, Feminist Review, Black Youth Project, Elephant Journal, Southern Women’s Review,, Birmingham Arts Journal and more.
Elizabeth’s practice as an Artist in Residence began in the fall of 2013.  She brings decades of writing, performing, and storytelling experience to her primary work of bedside storytelling. As a visual artist, Elizabeth offers workshops in lettering and the meditative art of Zentangle as she became a Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT) in 2015. She also facilitates Expressive Writing work.  Her educational background includes a BS in Psychology from Spring Hill College and she is a Certified Behavior Change Specialist through the American Council on Exercise. Elizabeth completed the coursework in TimeSlips, an engagement tool for people living with dementia.  To further her work with older adults, she became a UAB Medicine geriatric scholar. Elizabeth’s great passion is listening, and she facilitates Compassionate Listening courses as she believes what Mr. Rogers once said, “listening is where love begins.”

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