July 19, 2016 – For people with cancer and their families, it is often hard to express all the emotions associated with diagnosis and treatment.

Weekly writing workshops sponsored by the Georgetown Lombardi Arts & Humanities Program enable people with cancer, their family and medical caregivers, to experience the health benefits of writing about thoughts and feelings. Writing sessions take place in the arts program office in the Lombardi Clinic on Tuesdays at noon. All members of the Georgetown Lombardi community are welcome to attend. Sessions last about twenty minutes.

Nancy Morgan, Georgetown Lombardi Arts & Humanities Program writing clinician and director emeritus, leads these workshops.

Morgan served as director of the Arts & Humanities Program from 2001 until 2014. After retirement she joined the adjunct faculty, focusing exclusively on teaching and researching expressive writing.

Expressive Writing as a Tool

Morgan learned about the therapeutic effects of writing when her husband and mother were diagnosed with cancer. Writing helped her cope with the stress caregivers often experience. Before joining the Lombardi staff she completed a Master’s degree in Transformative Language Arts at Goddard College. She is trained to use the written and spoken word to bring about change. At Lombardi, that entails expressing emotions to reduce the psychological and physical impact of a health crisis.

“Writing about universal topics like nature, family and identity can gently release feelings,” Morgan explained. “Responding to the simple prompt, ‘What do you need?’ opens channels of communication that may be blocked by illness concerns.”

Workshops for Healing

The lunchtime writing group attracts regulars and newcomers each week.

“Everyone can benefit from the practice of writing for self expression,” she stated.

She has presented her writing workshops to women’s cancer support groups at Lombardi and other area hospitals as well as healthcare centers in Northern Ireland and Japan.

The Poetry Café, an event initiated by the Pastoral Care Department in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Program, showcases the poetry of the MedStar Georgetown and Georgetown Lombardi community. Plans are underway to make this an annual event.

Lombardi Voices, a literary publication of the Arts & Humanities Program, is accepting submissions for its Fall 2016 issue. All submitted work should be sent to Nancy Morgan at 2nmorgan@gmail.com. by August 31.

To learn more about The Writing and Health Initiative at Georgetown Lombardi, click here.

Christie Maillet
Georgetown Lombardi Communications