Write From The Heart Joins Local Hospitals to Offer Hope to Cancer Patients
Jul 28, 2017 10:07AM
Melissa Greene, writer, teacher and owner of Write From The Heart Creative Writing Workshops, is now offering therapeutic writing workshops for cancer patients and caregivers, in collaboration with hospitals in Lancaster, Hershey, York and Gettysburg.
Workshops are free to adult cancer patients and caregivers, at Lancaster General Health/Penn Medicine’s Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Institute, The Penn State Cancer Institute at Hershey Medical Center, The Wellspan York Cancer Center, and Wellspan’s Gettysburg Hospital.
Taught in an atmosphere of warmth, whimsy, compassion and trust, Greene’s cancer workshops are gentle, non-intimidating and full of life. There are no grades or tests. Grammar, spelling and punctuation don’t matter. Sharing is optional. Patients learn techniques to relax, stay in the moment and write without fear. They discover how playfulness and humor relieve self-consciousness, perfectionism and self-doubt, opening the door to the fun of creating. They gain the courage to explore the feelings surrounding their cancer experience, while transforming fears and revelations onto the page in an environment of sanctuary and safety.
Greene recently spoke to 250 patients and their families at the Penn State Cancer Institute’s Survivorship Celebration on the healing benefits of writing. She also taught a month-long clinical study workshop at PSCI, led by oncologists researching the effects of creative writing on the mood of a study group of 15 terminal patients. The results will be published in a medical journal this October.
A cancer patient from one of Greene’s workshops wrote: “In class, there’s a connection between us all––a difficult one––yet through writing, it becomes uplifting and fosters courage. Creating together is healing to the very soul; it reminds us that we’re not alone in this.”
Greene teaches her year-round, private writing programs to adults, children and teens, both in groups and one-on-one. She also collaborates with Lancaster schools and therapists, inspiring all ages to love writing. “A little laughter smooths the way,” she enthuses.