1st Edition

Re-Write A Trauma Workbook of Creative Writing and Recovery in Our New Normal

By Duygu Balan, Yener Balan Copyright 2023
    266 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    266 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    266 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    Attachment theory-based treatments including depth psychology, somatic psychology, holistic therapy, and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) are becoming even more popular and desired by clinicians, health systems, and the patients they care for. Up until recently, cognitive behavioral therapy and medication management were the mainstays for trauma-informed care, although we are witnessing a demand for a more somatic, holistic, and, therefore, deeper level of treatment to target attachment injury and change/re-write the trauma narrative. This book provides the response and tools to meet this current need.

    Due to the pandemic, lockdowns, and significant changes in our stability, the economy, sense of belonging, and community, there is a heightened level of triggering which has resulted in multifactorial trauma responses. The devastating traumatic impact spans nations, ages, and socioeconomic statuses. Unfortunately, domestic violence, child abuse, substance use, medical trauma, self-injury, suicide, and violence turned outwards have all increased significantly in the past two years.

    This workbook focuses on the healing journey of the trauma survivor, utilizing easy-to-use methodologies for long-lasting effects. It includes various exercises, writing prompts, coping mechanisms, and soothing techniques with the intention of allowing the person to create an individualized experience. This empowers the person to go in the order they choose, experiment with different techniques from different modalities, and find the ones that meet their needs the best. The authors also address generational trauma, societal trauma, and trauma at the family and individual levels, and their work can be used in conjunction with a clinical treatment plan or by the end user.

    Re-Write: A Trauma Workbook of Creative Writing and Recovery in Our New Normal employs practical strategies using evidence-based methodologies with psychological theory within a human-centered design framework.








    1 Intro and Current State

    2 Identifying and Treating Trauma


    3 Value of Treatment

    4 Balan 3-2-1 Method


    5 Language of Mind and Body

    6 Brain–Body Connection


    7 Family, Children, and Resilience

    8 Culture, Identity, and Society

    9 Gaslighting and Other Betrayal Traumas

    10 COVID, Disasters, and Loss


    11 Safety Planning

    12 Long Haul to a New Normal, Our Path Forward





    Duygu Balan, LPCC, LMHC, MS Ed, CCTP is a psychotherapist and certified trauma professional, and for over a decade has cared for individuals and couples dealing with childhood trauma, attachment injuries and grief. Duygu has extensive background in writing, studied at the Gotham Writers Workshop and Nina LaCour’s The Slow Novel Lab and has recently contributed a chapter for the bestselling medical textbook Big Book of Emergency Department Psychiatry, CRC Press 2018. Yener Balan, MD, DFAPA is a board-certified psychiatrist and is currently the Vice President of Behavioral Health and Specialty Services for Kaiser Permanente, Northern California. He provides health plan oversight and direction to the NCAL Behavioral Health Program and Specialty Services as they develop an integrated model of 21st century health care – investing in technology, people and research to drive market leading performance; engaging members and families in quality improvement efforts; implementing processes that focus on proactive intervention and prevention; and engaging with organizations in the community to help shape the growth, education, and training of the behavioral health and specialty services workforce. Yener received his medical degree from Albany Medical College and completed his residency at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He has been recognized as a distinguished fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. Yener is a graduate of the KP Executive Leadership Program. He also serves on the board of directors for Health Right 360, has extensive years of experience working in high volume community emergency departments, is an expert on hospital operations, and has given lectures and workshops worldwide. He is the bestselling author of the Big Book of Emergency Department Psychiatry: A Guide to Patient Centered Operational Improvement, CRC Press 2018.

    "The Balans have created an especially useful workbook on recovering from trauma in our post-pandemic world. It is comprehensive, eclectic, interactive and highly educational."

    Bruce J. Schwartz, MD
    Deputy Chairman & Professor of Psychiatry
    Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine

    "This timely, interactive book on trauma addresses our current mental health realities in the context of the pandemic and provides hope in the healing journey. Re-Write explores adverse childhood experiences, intergenerational trauma, and gaslighting in a culturally sensitive framework that will resonate with readers. Inspirational and accessible, the Balans have produced another must-read book."

    Arpan Waghray, MD
    Chief Executive Officer, Well Being Trust
    Chair, Behavioral Health Committee, American Hospital Association

    "This book brings the perspective and skills of two mental health professionals with expertise in
    the science and treatment of trauma and adversity. Their approach blends mindfulness,
    thoughtful reflection, narrative writing and creativity supported by clear explanations, easy to
    follow steps, and interactive exercises. This book is a practical guide for anyone on a healing

    Brigid McCaw MD, MPH, MS, FACP
    Clinical Advisor, California ACES Aware Initiative

    "Duygu and Yener Balan have written a must-read primer for clinicians and comprehensive self-directed treatment manual for individuals who have experienced trauma all in one. Please read this book - and learn practical approaches you can take to support yourself or others on the path to recovery."

    Anton Nigusse Bland, M.D.
    Associate Professor of Psychiatry
    University of California, San Francisco

    "Balan and Balan, as therapist and psychiatrist, bring their diverse experiences and wealth of knowledge to an expertly put together and easy-to-understand book on trauma. Re-Write provides a timely, evidence-based view on healing and recovery, in the context of empathy and mindfulness. The creative prompts and interactive exercises are designed for individuals and clinicians alike."

    Neil Leibowitz, MD, JD
    Chief Medical Officer, Beacon Health Options
    Former Chief Medical Officer, Talkspace

    "With so many treatments available to address trauma, it is understandable to be confused as to which treatments are the most effective and where to go to get them. Re-Write helps the reader become an informed consumer of mental health treatments which is key in supporting shared decision making. We know that individuals who are knowledgeable about treatment options and engage in a shared decision-making dialogue with their clinician show improved adherence and satisfaction with treatment."

    Andrew Bertagnolli, PhD

    Assistant Professor, Alliant International University

    "Re-Write, by Balan and Balan, is a comprehensive book on trauma related stress, and offers expert case examples and writing prompts that invite the reader to reflect and rewrite their own trauma narrative. A must have in every clinician's library, this workbook written with compassion and humor, will bring new insights to many in need."

    Carlos Rueda, MD, MBA
    Chairman of Department of Psychiatry, St. Joseph’s Healthcare System

    "Re-Write comes at a time when expectations of ourselves, healthcare, and the economy, are rapidly shifting. Trauma is ubiquitous and trauma-inducing shocks (from climate change, political instability, economic disruptions) are projected to increase in frequency. We need to prioritize our minds and brains. This book intertwines evidence-based medicine with self-guided writing prompts and creative exercises. It is a novel approach, and we desperately need new strategies for mental health. Cultural sensitivity and the relevance of trauma-informed care are highlights of this must-read book. Let us hope that it's therapeutic value can achieve impact far and wide. Humanity needs it now and into the future".

    Harris A. Eyre, MD, PhD
    Lead, Brain Capital Alliance

    "This a great book! Balan and Balan harness the power of narrative to help patients and their caregivers access the healing process. A must read for families, clinicians and anyone who has struggled with trauma."

    Noam Fast, MD

    "Surprisingly innovative: I remember experiences I was forced to forget, I forgot trauma I kept remembering and I chose to re-write the memories of who I am."

    Yannis Angouras
    International Healthcare Executive

    "A practical blend of evidence-based insights, personal and professional experience, and helpful guidance and exercises, Re-Write is an important and innovative addition to the toolset for those recovering from trauma."

    Patrick Courneya, MD
    Chief Medical Officer, HealthPartners

    "Re-Write is an excellent workbook by Duygu Balan and Yener Balan that is timely, practical, and informative - the years of experience, passion and research culled into one power-packed book. A must read for practitioners as well as individuals affected by trauma."

    Uli K. Chettipally, MD, MPH
    Founder & President, InnovatorMD

    "Re-Write balances clinical case examples with theory, and grounds it on experiential and thought-provoking healing techniques. The writing prompts and resources can be used at the individual level, to support loved ones, and clinically as a teaching tool. I recommend this book to anyone interested in gaining an introspective view on self-growth and healing past traumatic pain."

    Jennifer Christian-Herman, PhD
    Vice President, Mind Body Medicine/Behavioral Health, Blue Shield California