One of my favourite parts about the IAJW is our Journal Council – a group of experts, authors and change makers who make a difference with their respective work in the journaling, creative and expressive writing fields and more! They also make a difference in our IAJW community by sharing their writing tips and wisdom, and are often featured guests on our monthly IAJW telechat.

This month I am thrilled to be honouring and introducing IAJW Journal Council member Lucia Capacchione in our IAJW Member Spotlight.

I have been inspired by the writing and teachings of Lucia Capacchione for many years now. Her books were some of the first I read on the healing power of writing and creativity!

Meet Lucia Capacchione, IAJW Journal Council Member

What country do you live in? USA

Why did you join the IAJW Journal Council? To support the value of journaling and be part of a community that values journaling.

What do you like best about journal writing? Journal writing and drawing saved my life – literally – when I was struggling with a mysterious illness Dr.s and medication could not cure. I use is for self-therapy, creative expression, reflection, spiritual awareness, psychological work supplementing other methods I use for good mental and emotional health

As a leader in the journal writing and healing/expressive arts fields for many years, what is one piece of advice do you have for those who are using or want to use writing to heal and/or enrich their lives? Add spontaneous or guided (through prompts) drawing. Add the use of the non dominant hand to maximize use of both sides of the brain and the limbic system where emotions are stored (this is my method of inner dialogue).

What is one of your favourite books on journal writing or creative inspiration? The Creative Journal, The Power of Your Other Hand (my titles). Letters to a Young Poet by Rilke is my favorite. Also the writings of Hafiz and Rumi.

The one thing I would like you to know about me is… I like to push the envelope and get out of the box. I learned to skate board at 39, the same year I authored my first book. I like to defy stereotypes and live from the inside out.

What is one project or initiative you are most proud of in your large body of work?

The work I have done in schools is perhaps the work I am most proud of. Raising reading and math scores for K – 6 is a research project using The Creative Journal in 1981-82 east of East LA with traumatized children (Garvey Schools Basic Skills Using Arts).

Also the work I’ve done in So. Texas in a research project with the University of Texas in the Edinburg Schools (2014) in the Rio Grande Valley on the border of Mexico with high risk kids (mostly hispanic population). Results: 6 academic Distinctions in the Jefferson (pilot) School as well as greatly reduced behavioural problems in the classroom, and no kids in the nurses office on standardized testing day (compared to all other schools in this, the largest geographical district in the US). This is the area near McAllen where children are being kept in cages. In fact, we have worked in the McAllen Schools and have a cancer support group (5 years) in the McAllen Public Library.

I am proud of the cancer support groups using Creative Journal in CA and in McAllen, Texas. Other legacy: my Creative Journal Expressive Arts International Training Program for professional certification. This is our 20th year. We have over 70 active professionals members teaching and counseling with journaling around the world.

So far, my favourite part of being an IAJW member is…being an example of someone whose journaling is part of life and is the key tool I use for centering, sorting our problems and facing challenges as well as celebrating successes

Anything else you would like to share… I’ve dedicated my life to sharing the value of journaling (using writing and drawing) to all age levels and in many venues because I believe in it wholeheartedly. That goes for educational settings, recovery programs medical centers, community venues, retreat centers, spiritual growth centers, and more.