Write Out Loud Workshop

Write Out Loud: Reconnecting Military Families currently exists as a three or six hour presentation for professionals and military family members in a PowerPoint presentation. This workshop has been presented twice for the National Trauma and Loss in Children Institute in Michigan (2010 and 2012). The content has been approved for 3 CEU's with the State of Michigan Social Work Association. If you are interested in a workshop in your area, contact Linda

Write Out Loud provides a outline for facilitators to conduct a six week writing/art/music workshop for all members of a military family. The writing approach in WOL is based on Operation Homecoming which was conducted by the National Foundation of the Arts for deployed and reintegrating soldiers and their families. The experience of writing to decrease depression, PTSD, and other war wounds is currently being tested using PET scans by the Air Force. Our warriors are returning with record high traumatic brain injuries and disabilities. Families left behind report increased child abuse and domestic violence upon reunification. Family intervention is needed and requires a specific skill set. Write Out Loud describes the unique culture of the Military Family and includes a list of Do's and Don'ts for this population. Self examination is advised for facilitators to determine whether they have the moxie to do the work required!

Write Out Loud includes structured writing, art, and martial arts activities that connect all family members (including children). The film Muse of Fire is introduced to normalize the use of writing for helping soldiers and families; a video of the British Military Wives Choir emphasizes the value of group activities; clips from Good Will Hunting capture the philosophy of the Warrior experience as an Initiation. PTSD is considered a natural consequence to the brain and body enduring the experience of combat. In fact, the D (disorder) can be deleted for warriors with PTS!

The events borne in military action are often an affront to the values and identity of the soldier. The work of Edward Tick, as introduced in his book War and the Soul, is advised. How to deal with moral and emotional wounds from the perspective of warrior, spouse and child/children is the objective of WOL intervention. Trauma intervention tools include Emotional Freedom techniques, guided imagery, and cognitive restructuring: each of which shows sensory integration efficacy for all races and socio-economic classes.

The secret of artists and other creative people throughout millennia, whether they are conscious of it or not, is that they know how to collaborate with chaos. Yet, oftentimes it is the very presence of chaos and confusion that leads to fear of failure and instills resistance in us at the very beginning of the creative process.

The most oft-cited characteristic of creative people (aside from popularly being thought of as slightly crazy) is their ability to remain open during the rain of uncertainty, to embrace the difficult states of paradox, opposition, and ambiguity that are the gateways of opportunity.

— Jack Elliott Meyers

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