Did You Know? Expressing Yourself

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October 20, 2021 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

with Gayle Danley, CEO, Poetry Pros and James Pennebaker, PhD (University of Texas, Austin)

Did You Know?

Smith Center is pleased to announce the launch of a special series of talks designed to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the founding of the center. Each of the talks will highlight one of eight healing practices that research and practice tell us is important to the health and well-being of cancer patients/survivors, and their loved ones.

The topics include: Eating Well, Moving More, Managing Stress, Sleeping Well, Creating a Healing Environment, Sharing Love and Support, Exploring What Matters Now, and Expressing Oneself.

For each topic, we will have two expert speakers. One will provide a clear and concise review of the science behind the given topic: what we do and do not know about the topic, the impact of this practice on cancer-related quality of life and mortality specifically, and national recommendations for action. The second speaker will “translate” this information into an action plan (e.g., provide user-friendly tips about how to integrate this aspect of healing into your daily life). At the end, there will be time for a question and answer period.

Did You Know? will be hosted Monthly on Wednesdays from 6:00-7:30pm ET.

Upcoming Dates: 

  • October 20 – Expressing Oneself
    • with James Pennebaker, PhD (University of Texas, Austin), and Gayle Danley, CEO, Poetry Pros

In honor of our 25th Anniversary in 2021, we are suggesting donations for this series in fractions or multiples of the number “25.” E.G. $2.50, $12.50, $25, etc.

About Gayle Danley, CEO, Poetry Pros

Gayle Danley

Soon after crushing the competition at Asheville’s National Poetry Slam in 1994, Gayle Danley entered America’s classrooms teaching thousands of children how to access their emotions through the force of words. She performed and taught her way from Maryland Young Audience’s Artist of the Year, to National Young Audience’s Artist of the Year. She’s also both a former national and international poetry slam champion. CBS 60 Minutes profiled her work with middle schoolers as well as the Baltimore Sun, Washington Post and New York Times.

For the past five years, Gayle’s Grieffriend sessions have helped women who are living with AIDS, widows, incarcerated youth and those struggling with drug addiction and recovery use poetry to cope and bravely face life’s challenges.

Gayle was recently named Maryland Library Association Poet of the Year.

About James Pennebaker, PhD

Jamie Pennebaker is the Regents Centennial Professor of Liberal Arts and Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. His early research dealt with physical symptoms and health which eventually merged into the discovery of expressive writing.  He and his students discovered that when people were asked to write about emotional upheavals for 3-4 days for 15-20 minutes a day, their physical and mental health improved compared to controls. Over 1,000 studies on expressive writing labs around the world continue to show the value of this method. For the last 25 years, he has focused on computerized text analysis as a way of understanding and measuring people’s social behaviors and psychological states. His text analysis program, LIWC, is well known in psychology, business, and computer science. 

Pennebaker has been continuously funded by NSF, NIH, and other federal agencies since 1983. He has published over 300 articles and written or edited 12 books. He has received many awards and honors for research (e.g., Honorary Doctorate, Social and Personality Society’s Distinguished Scholar, Health Psychology Distinguished Scholar, APA’s Distinguished Contributions to Applications in Psychology, the Pavlovian Award, APS’s William James Fellow Award) and teaching (UT Austin’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers). He served as Chair of UT’s Psychology Department from 2005-2014 and President of the Society of Personality and Social Psychology in 2014. His most recent books are The Secret Life of Pronouns: What Our Words Say About Us (Bloomsbury, 2011) and Opening Up by Writing it Down (Guilford, 2016).

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