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Healing Workshops: The Power Of Words


Everyone has a story.  After Amy’s was featured on TODAY with Kathie Lee and Hoda, she was inspired to bring hers to the NYC stage in 2012.  Ever since, Amy hope to bring out the stories that unite us all.

Celebrating Life’s Beautiful Detours:  See Amy’s TEDx Talk

Build Identity, Cultivate Compassion, Create Inclusion

Why Every Writer Needs the Power of a Personal Story

How can the practice of writing from personal experience provide the tools needed to create stories that will reach an entire spectrum of individuals?  Can one unique story create the empathy and commonality needed to draw an entire society together? Expressive writing has the power to transform our lives, shape our world, and drive a community ethos toward inclusion with the magic of one word: Detours.  No one else can document the “detours” our own lives have taken, yet we’ve all experienced them.  Once we choose to become the authors of our own personal stories and detoured pathways, we find our place in the narrative that unites us all, enabling us to engage our community in a vital conversation on how we view obstacles.


Access the power of the personal narrative, and turn life’s many detours into a thrilling hero’s adventure, inspired by the archetypal framework of Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey. Writing not only reframes our own personal narratives. It transforms our individual life lessons into allegories that serve to empower an entire community with mastery over life’s challenges.  Participants need not be interested in penning a memoir, submitting an opinionated editorial or publishing a tell-all personal essay.  With creative tools, tips and exercises, you’ll discover how the ability to write from personal experiences expands your ability to reach a larger audience, no matter the genre, with the power of the universal stories waiting to be told.

Participants will:

  • Create a personal narrative using the twelve steps of the archetypal hero’s journey.
  •  Identify three tools to transform a personal narrative into a universal story.
  • Develop two non-personal pitches that have stemmed from writing a personal story
  • Analyze and interpret a critical theme that emerge from their personal narratives and apply this theme to a non-personal story
  • Describe how themes from personal writing serve to impact different cultures and societies

Storytelling for Diversity

Storytelling, since the beginning of time, has driven change, created movements, and launched careers. We all have the ability to change the world through our stories, through connecting to others on a deeply personal, universal level.  Through using creative expression to tell our stories, we feel connection and similarity, yet can also define our own uniqueness and create our own heroic path. Writing from personal experience, when guided by an archetypal framework can bridge gaps of communication between different cultures, create compassion, and bring marginalized voices to the center.

This workshop aims to bring people with various disabilities, ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientations and gender issues, together through personal stories that strive to answer:

  • How do we create a community that supports every individual in their own process of self-development?
  • What is the benefit of sharing our words with others? What is the benefit of hearing the words of others?
  • How do we heal when we start speaking up?
  • How do detours affect everyone differently, yet bring us all together?
  • How is resiliency is connected to personal power, empowerment and positive change?
  • How do we build strength through shared knowledge, life experience, inner and outer resources to not only survive, but to thrive?

Through the transformative power of words, we feel heard, gain clarity and can problem-solve. As authors listeners choose to create and interact with these words, they engage in a vital conversation on how society views obstacles, tackling issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion both within and outside of of our field, preserving our own personal experiences while creating a vibrant community.

For Writers and Non-Writers Alike

The goal of the workshop is to empower writers with the tools for bringing a diverse community together based on an individual story, so it is very welcoming for writers just starting off, mid-career writers who are seeing a new practice to reinvigorate their writing process, and for seasoned journalists aiming to reach a wider audience, in need of a new, innovative approach.  These are skills that all writers need to focus their craft and engage their communities in a civic dialogue.

Creativity Takes Courage

Learn about Amy’s other creativity workshops.

Amy shares her near death experience and unique personal story with humor, hunger and heart, highlighting the disappointments, struggles, triumphs, and gratitude in her life on a musical journey of hope, determination, and perseverance. A celebration of life through creativity, passion, and resilience, Amy shares what trauma can teach all of us.  Just as suffering is relative, healing is a human right as natural as learning, evolving and changing.  Amy will share how passion fueled her success and turned her hunger into an insatiable entrepreneurial drive   Amy will perform segments of her autobiographical one-woman musical, talk about the healing process of telling her story, and provide tools for others to do the same. “Your story is incredible, and I’m so inspired by how inspiring and uplifting YOU are. If there was a picture under the word POSITIVE in the dictionary it would be a picture of you!”
– Elizabeth, UK



Reframing Our Narrative: Turn Your Life into the Best Story You’ve Ever Read      

The spoken, sung and written word has the power to transform our lives, our community, shape our world, cultivate self love and compassion. Our stories transform our personal experience, enrich our community and teach others the lessons we have learned for ourselves.  Through expressing our stories, we reframe the seemingly random events in our lives by stringing them into a singular narrative, making meaning in the process.  Through sharing our stories, we embody our role as “author,” as we both uniquely define ourselves and create empathy through our common threads.  Learn emotional and persuasive power of telling an authentic story as an essential leadership, self-development and resiliency skill.

Turn Your Passion for Writing Into a Career

“I went from journaling in a notebook from my hospital bed to writing for Huffington Post, Washington Post, Cosmopolitan, and over 70 notable publications in just a few years.”

Learn the skills needed to turn your hobby into a career with invaluable secrets and practices to help focus your energy, hone your craft, utilize invaluable resources, and market yourself as a writer.

Amy leads interactive workshops  for groups of six or more, ideal for

  • hospitals, foundations, benefits, fundraisers
  • conferences, corporate meetings, team-building
  • retreats, expressive learning and growth opportunities
  • support groups
  • schools, universities, learning facilities
  • theatres, festivals

Themes include

  • The Power of Words and Telling Our Stories
  • Acceptance, Gratitude, Joy, Success – The Path To Aliveness
  • Navigating Your Beautiful Detours
  • Creativity:  Seeing Things Differently
  • Creating Anchors: Using Uncertainty as a Springboard
  • Stories that Connect – We Are Our Stories (how archetypes connect us with the human experience)
  • Performance as a transformative, connective, expressive tool
  • Letting Hunger Fuel Success

Workshops can be customized to each group setting.  Contact Amy for more information.

Listen to Amy’s interview on the power of sharing our stories with the Intentionally Wandering Podcast.

Amy Oestreicher not only shows us the power of the purest kind of perseverance, but she does so in song and dance, telling her astonishing story of surviving a daunting and lengthy medical nightmares without allowing her challenge to strip

Writing Your Narrative Will Change Your Life

It saved mine.

Learn more about Gutless & Grateful as an inspirational musical theatre performance, ideal for theatres, cabarets, fundraisers and more.  Read Amy’s reflections on bringing her story from a hospital room to the NYC stage in her Huffington Post.

Inspired by the my own discovery of writing as a means pf transforming adversity into creative growth, I developed a three-component program combining mental health advocacy, creative storytelling, mythology and writing craft to provide writers with an empowered approach to writing a personal narrative, and to creative inclusive communities through the power of the written word. I’ve toured this program internationally to organizations, conferences, hospitals and universities since 2012. This was originally devised for the Annual Transformative Language Arts Network’s “Power of Words” Conference.  It was also the keynote presentation at the 2016 Pacific Rim International Conference on Diversity and Disability in Hawaii, and will be the featured keynote at the 2018 International School of Social Work Conference in Ohio. See a full booking history.

Interesting in a writing, storytelling or creativity workshop?  Contact Amy today.








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