The Story You Need to Tell

Writing to Heal from Trauma, Illness, or Loss
Narrated by: Allison Reilly
Length: 9 hrs and 37 mins
4.8 out of 5 stars (13 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A practical and inspiring guide to transformational personal storytelling, The Story You Need to Tell is the product of Sandra Marinella’s pioneering work with veterans and cancer patients, her years of teaching writing, and her research into its profound healing properties. Riveting true stories illustrate Marinella’s methods for understanding, telling, and editing personal stories in ways that foster resilience and renewal. She also shares her own experience of using journaling and expressive writing to navigate challenges including breast cancer and postpartum depression. Each of the techniques, prompts, and exercises she presents helps us “to unravel the knot inside and to make sense of loss.” 

©2017 Sandra Marinella (P)2019 New World Library

Critic Reviews

“One does not have to be a writer to gain insight from this book...especially relevant for those who are inclined toward journaling and putting their feelings on the page.” (Library Journal)

“Sandra Marinella brings keen research skills, a brilliant storytelling voice, and a distinguished teaching career to this cohesive guide for writing the unspeakable. Her vivid prose twines her own powerful cancer story with dozens of other courageous voices, each writing the road from devastation to reclamation.” (Kathleen Adams, LPC, director of the Center for Journal Therapy)

“In The Story You Need to Tell, Sandra Marinella inspires the vulnerable in all of us to be the strength in each of us. She has a unique form, transforming a sentiment of safety and empowerment through writing into healing. Her own story highlights the power of the written word and provides a guide to healing through writing. Her book and her work are transformational.” (Courtney Klein, cofounder and CEO of SEED SPOT)

What listeners say about The Story You Need to Tell

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Excellent Book and Resource

I bought this book after my father died from dementia. I have been journaling for some time and I’m drawn to writing about my life. I was interested in how others deal with loss and trauma. The Story You Need to Tell did not disappoint. It was full of compelling stories, terrific ideas for beginning a healing story, and the science to back up the claim that trauma can healed with writing. Writing can be a lifesaver. I’m so glad I listened to the book. More importantly, I have started to write the story I need to tell.

4 people found this helpful

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An excellent guide to greater self-understanding

Toward the end of this well-crafted work, a wise and courageous elderly gentleman, nearing the end of his life, tells the author he understands the value of writing, but “I just don’t like to do it.” He then proceeds to write several stories of key events in his life that his family now treasures. The Story You Need to Tell provides many such uplifting examples of the value of journal and story writing for those facing personal challenges, disease, loss, or trauma. But for those of us who, like the wise gentleman, understand the value of writing but dislike the actual process of writing, the author’s numerous ideas and prompts provide an excellent guide that can lead us to a higher level of self-understanding as we deal with the slings and arrows that life inevitably sends our way.

3 people found this helpful

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Nothing less than TRANSFORMATIVE!!!

There are dozens upon dozens of books on available on Amazon and in book stores regarding expressive writing, journaling, writing for wellness, mindfulness, and so on. Many say virtually the same things. They contain lists of why journaling or expressive writing is cathartic or therapeutic. Some even provide lists of subjects about which to write, while others provide a “structured” approach. However, finding one in which the author established the concepts based on hundreds of legitimate research studies addressing healing and promoting a healthy brain activity is another matter. As a writer, writing about chronic pain (which affects all biopsychosocial domains of life), I found this book a wealth of life-changing ideas and concepts, all of which are straightforward yet inspirational. Marinella shares real-life stories and examples that precisely illustrate the concepts she presents. Her style of writing is very readable and digestible. These two characteristic are essential considering the subject. The subtitle reads, “Writing to Heal From Trauma, Illness or Loss.” However, if anyone desires to share their story or create a legacy work to share for future generations, they too will realize great benefit. You need not be in the throes of life challenges to enjoy this work. Last, if any military leaders or government officials in state or federal leadership positions read this, please heed my next remarks. We lose 20 American soldiers per day to their own hand after being discharged from their service to our nation. Providing this work and encouragement to them would likely reduce that number to near zero. “The Story You Need To Tell” should be required reading for anyone who serves in a forward area at war or law enforcement, and definitely readily available in every VA hospital. If I had to describe “The Story You Need to Tell” in one word, that word would be TRANSFORMATIVE.

2 people found this helpful

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Get a physical copy

The story is moving and there are some great writing prompts, but personally I didn’t really do them because I listen to audible while driving usually. If you want to take the time to bookmark the parts with writing prompts and then go back to them later, this is a fine selection for you. If not, I’d recommend getting an actually physical copy of the book so you can work through the book at your own pace.

2 people found this helpful

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A Must Read

Something for everyone in this memoir of the author's road to healing through writing, including stories from others who also found solace in their own reflections and words, From years of experience teaching writing, Marinella includes guidance and prompts at the end of each chapter for readers to start their own storytelling journey. A wonderful read and listen!

2 people found this helpful

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Inspiring Book That Changed My Life

I loved this book. It changed my life. I had been writing stories of growing up with a mentally I'll mother, but the prompts and stories in this book gave me the motivation I needed to keep going and dig deeper. The author fills the book with her own personal story of dealing with cancer and how writing about it helped her manage the emotional roller coaster of that experience. She adds the stories of others and then she gives the reader a writing prompt at the end of each chapter. I did not connect with the narrator of this audio book. Her delivery was too perfect as if she was trying too hard to enunciate each word perfectly. it felt very staged and impersonal. Despite that, the content was so wonderful that I finished the book and I will recommend it to others.

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very insightful

I love this book and it help me think through a lot of things about my own writing!