A Conversation with James Pennebaker

Interviewed by Mark Matousek
October, 2013

Pennebaker, Jamie 2010James Pennebaker is an American social psychologist and the Centennial Liberal Arts Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin and a member of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers. His groundbreaking research focuses on the relationship between language, health, and social behavior, and his well known books include, Opening Up: The Healing Power of Expressing Emotions and Writing to Heal: A Guided Journal for Recovering from Trauma and Emotional Upheaval. He talked to Mark about the benefits of writing practice in difficult times and why he doesn’t write very often.

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Other authors include Tara Brach, Natalie Goldberg, Sharon Salzberg, Martha Beck, Mark Nepo, Esther Perel, Henry Grayson, Julia Cameron, Robert McKee, Adyashanti, and more.

About Mark Matousek:
Mark Matousek is the author of two award-winning memoirs, Sex Death Enlightenment: A True Story and The Boy He Left Behind: A Man’s Search For His Lost Father, as well as When You’re Falling, Dive: Lessons in the Art of Living and Ethical Wisdom: The Search for a Moral Life. A featured blogger for Psychology Today, Purple Clover, and The Huffington Post, he has contributed to numerous publications including The New Yorker, O: The Oprah Magazine, The New York Times Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, Yoga Journal, The Chicago Tribune, Details, AARP, Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, and The Saturday Evening Post. A popular lecturer, mentor, and teacher, he is on the faculty of The Omega Institute, The New York Open Center, and other institutions, as well as offering private workshops and classes internationally. He is the Creative Director of V-Men, an organization devoted to ending violence against women and girls, and the founder of Mark Matousek Media, a digital publishing company whose products and editorial services focus on transformational writing, self-inquiry, and creativity. His latest book is Ethical Wisdom for Friends.