Conference Presentation: The Other Side of Fire: Toward An Embodied Pedagogy for Trauma Writing (Iowa City, IA)

  • University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine Iowa City, IA

Writing can be healing. But writing can also re-traumatize, making it difficult to tell the stories that make us who we are. As teachers, how do we host spaces that help people approach these experiences without harming themselves?

In this workshop at The Examined Life Conference in Iowa City, IA, participants will learn the importance of discussing the physiology of trauma with writers, helping students assess their readiness and connect to resources. We’ll discuss how a focus on the craft of writing trauma enables participants to access their experiences differently, turning a brittle, sympathetic nervous system-triggering story into something flexible, complex, communal, even beautiful. We’ll talk about incorporating body awareness into class, from embodied prompts to snacks. We’ll underline the importance of being well-regulated facilitators. And we’ll wrestle with the fact that, though we’re not mental health practitioners, humans have always experienced healing outside clinical spaces—and that writing workshops remain a place people choose to encounter their darknesses.

TIME HAS NOT YET BEEN DETERMINED (the current time of this event is a stub). Details will be updated as they become available.