Books to reflect, heal, and be inspired
in the midst of transformative trauma

Three women explore the secrecy, silence, and shame of having an alcoholic parent, bringing pain to light for acceptance, mutual recognition, and comfort. For Transforming Memories, lead author Liz Crocker collects their writing and invites others to use spontaneous writing to integrate difficult memories with clarity.

Privileged Presence, co-authored by Liz Crocker and Bev Johnson, showcases stories from patients, families and health care providers on respect, compassion, collaboration, communication, family, and responsiveness—and explores the difference those essentials make to our well-being and confidence in recovery.

The Healing Circle, by Dr. Rob Rutledge, MD and Timothy Walker, PhD and edited by Liz Crocker, helps people face a cancer diagnosis with science, wisdom, and a compassionate and practical approach to caring for body, mind and spirit—with reflection for loved ones, medical professionals, and the community.


"This was our first telechat since our newly re-launched IAJW, and it was a great event—inspiring and informative! A special thanks to Liz Crocker, our guest expert and author who taught us about Transforming Memories With Spontaneous Writing Using Loaded Words, based on a book she co-authored by this same title. To listen to the telechat, simply click here."


June 27, 2017

Liz Crocker and coauthors Polly Bennell and Holly Book curated a collection of their writings and created an invitation to others suffering in their book, Transforming Memories: Sharing Spontaneous Writing Using Loaded Words. Liz joins hosts Andrea and Lisa to discuss the book, as well as share six tips to heal trauma through spontaneous writing:

  1. Sit down and write.
  2. Overcome your need to be perfect.
  3. Write about events you associate with stress or trauma.
  4. Write continuously for a short period of time.
  5. Use loaded words and phrases as writing prompts.
  6. Establish a ritual around writing.

Book Review: Blogcritics,
March 20, 2017


Transforming Memories soothes old wounds that cut deep. The method is writing, but it’s not writing for the sake of executing a piece of fine prose. Without judgment or standards to hew to, the writer is free to tell her story and reclaim her past.

Chapter by chapter, as the authors reveal their own memories, candidly sharing how the process of writing to prompts helped them soothe old pain, the reader is brought into a kind of literary safe space. It is intensely personal, intimate, and yet open-hearted. The pieces in these pages are shared as an act of faith—that readers will feel inspired to write their own and, in turn, share them with others.”

—Patricia Gale for Blogcritics, March 20, 2017

Book Interview:
April 1, 2017


WhY is spontaneous writing therapeutic?

"I first learned about it in a writing group. We’d open the dictionary at random, putting a finger on the page, and then write from whatever word appeared below our finger. We’d set the timer for ten minutes, then write something about that word. These spontaneous catalysts took our minds and memories to places we couldn’t have planned. Often, without forethought, we created writing gems.

...When my coauthors and I began to talk about writing a book on recollections of living with alcoholism, we thought we’d try the same technique. It isn’t terribly demanding in terms of time, and it’s something that might take us where we couldn’t have imagined, triggering images rather than long, sequential narratives. The technique is therapeutic because it unlocks the mind. It takes one quickly to mental images, and from there to feelings. The words and memories flow onto the page. Then, as someone said, “The weight is on paper, not on your heart.”

Article: 6 Tips to Healing Through Spontaneous Writing

Radio Interview: Middle Age Can Be Your Best Age, Web Talk Radio, April 25, 2017


Interview: KVTA’s Kim Pagano's
'Brighter Side of Life' show


Liz Crocker is the author of Transforming Memories, a collection of Liz’s, Polly Bennell’s, and Holly Book’s writings and an invitation to use the technique of spontaneous writing to reveal difficult memories more clearly. From different families and childhoods, these women speak out about the secrecy, silence, and shame of having an alcoholic parent.

Book Review: BizCatalyst, April 24, 2017


“You will be sad but expectant, enraged but forgiving, heartbroken but hopeful, devastated but optimistic because you see the origins of these beautiful women and how they turned tragic circumstances into a journey of opportunity and personal development.

Thoughts weigh a ton, and feelings are like boulders, aren’t they? Whether dealing with consequences of the past or making choices now to avoid consequences in the future, put pen to paper and start writing. This book is an excellent resource and guidebook. Learn the process of pouring out your heart and finding the path to a peaceful life.”

—Jane Anderson for BizCatalyst, April 24, 2017

A conversation with author Liz Crocker, Huffington Post, May 16, 2017


What does SPONTANEOUS WRITING do for people needing to process trauma from their pasts?

"When we carry painful memories inside, there’s a weight that can drag us down. Sharing memories of shame, fear, neglect, or abandonment, even on paper, can lighten the load. It can lead to all sorts of unexpected results—allowing you to sleep, giving you perspective and understanding, helping you make sense of what happened in the past.

When traumatic memories are trapped inside us, we often play the same tape over and over, creating deeper ruts in our emotions. Using what we call 'loaded words' as prompts—Fear, Gifts, Hope, Humour, Shame, Surrender—we write down what comes to mind, see them in the light of day. In seeing the memories they evoke, we have a chance to honour and love ourselves for what we’ve lived through and to create a new tape."