Elizabeth Maynard Schaefer, Ph.D.


From Schaefer's writing students:

There is NO doubt in my mind that being in Dr. Schaefer's writing class has been one of--if not THE--most significant parts of my recovery."
--Roberta I.

"I believe if a person trusts the process of self-disclosure that happens naturally in writing, it can also lead them to treatment and healing. In Dr. Schaefer's writing group we do this together and it has become a wonderful form of therapy."
--Diane W.

From book review: Lisa Guidarini, www.bluestalking.typepad.com --

"... by writing, we can learn to hope - to believe that things will improve, that life still offers rewards."

I was sent a book recently, Writing Through the Darkness: Easing Your Depression with Paper and Pen. I've been reading every book with this theme I can get my hands on, so I have a lot of background knowledge on this sub-genre. And this book? So helpful, so useful, so full of compassion and ideas I haven't found in any other book.

What I find especially helpful are the chapter summaries and writing exercise suggestions at the end of each chapter. Though I read with attention, having main points repeated is always helpful. As for the suggestions, you can take them or not, as you think they'll help you. The book is never preachy, always kind and concerned with self care above everything else. It's obvious the author truly cares about the knowledge she's imparting. It's obvious she is sympathetic.

The book is written by a very highly educated Ph.D., one who's also battled bipolar and depression. She knows of what she speaks. She's been there. Her advice is sound, backed up by research, and empathetic. This is one of the finest books on the subject I've read so far. I recommend it especially for anyone struggling with depression issues, but also for those seeking to put down on paper emotions and everyday problems. There's no one who can't be helped by that.

Writing can ease the difficulty of depression. It takes some amount of dedication, that's true. But even if you write only now and then, as you're able, it helps. A little guidance in writing a healing journal is a wonderful thing. This is one book that can help you get to that healing.