Endorsements & Reviews

Sandra’s book, The Story You Need to Tell, Writing to Heal from Trauma, Illness, or Loss is inspirational to anyone who reads it, but especially to those fortunate enough to read it in a group facilitated by Sandra. I have been co-facilitating such groups with Sandra for several years on Zoom and I have watched people gain confidence and heal through their writing, and through the community that Sandra creates.  Sandra’s organization and warmth create a safe space where participants very quickly gel into a community of compassionate writers and listeners. Everyone has a story that needs to come out. Sandra  sees the potential in each person and has the gift of drawing it out.

Sandra Marinella has written a wonderful guide for all those struggling to make sense of  the story of their lives!  It can serve as the perfect prescription for real healing.

The Story You Need to Tell is a beautifully written book with stories that inspire the readers to make their way through trauma, illness, loss, and hardship. This work is unique because it teaches the stages of writing and healing and shares meaningful writing exercises.  Sandra Marinella deserves our recognition for her years of dedicated work with writers, veterans, and cancer patients. Her incredible research, her networking, and her gift for words should carry this book into the pantheon of books on writing.

Using her work with cancer patients and veterans, as well as her own experience, Sandra Marinella guides the reader through the dark and lonely times of illness, trauma and loss to the healing power of writing. With writing prompts designed to lead you deeper into self-reflection, she shows how you can discover your own strength through writing the story you need to tell. And most important of all – she offers the empowering realization that you can choose how you tell the story and what it means.

Sandra Marinella is clearly enthusiastic about her passion for writing.  She used her journal writing in her personal journey through difficult times when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her upcoming book, The Story You Need to Tell, shares how she used writing—how anyone can use writing—to help with their own healing.

Recently Sandra presented a series of three workshops at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center.  Her series, “Pathways to Wellness and Writing—How to Live Fuller Lives,” was filled with such inspiration and love that she truly touched the audience.

Janis L. Frazee

As a healthcare provider now for over 40 years I have taken care of many people. We all have wounds. Some are visible on the body, while many others are trapped deep inside the person’s body—in their mind and spirit. Daily I encounter individuals who have traumatic stories locked inside. These psychological wounds are the ones begging to be healed, but not knowing how to make that happen. I believe Sandra’s book is a prescription for using writing to release these deep, hidden wounds. All humans have a unique and special story, their story, waiting inside them to be released. This book is an exquisite tool for assisting anyone who wishes to explore and transform their life by writing their story. I highly recommend it.

This book is gripping and the anecdotes are stunning.  I love the questions the author asks that help the reader ‘find’ their story. I am ecstatic because I believe this work is a conduit of healing for everyone.

“In The Story You Need to Tell, Sandra Marinella does just that — recounting her own personal and professional experiences with skill, wit, and bravery. She reaches out and tells the stories of others, too, weaving a strong safety net for any of us who need a nudge toward paper and pen. This book is a testament to the author’s courage, strength, and heart and a love letter to the power of words.”

Healing from trauma, illness, and loss are top priorities for the millions of people dealing with depression, anxiety, and other emotional distress. What can help you heal? Writing your story is one powerful approach. Sandra Marinella does a beautiful job of helping you author your own healing story in her poignant and important new book The Story You Need to Tell. Highly recommended!

In The Story You Need to TellWriting to Heal from Trauma, Illness, and Loss to Transform Your Life, author Sandra Marinella creates a beautiful illustration of how writing truly can heal. She honestly shares her own profound healing journey, and she shares stories of her students and their journeys through pain to healing through writing. From these anecdotes of her high school and college students to her work with veterans and cancer patients, she illustrates the power and profound changes that can occur for people willing to commit to using writing as a healing tool.

The most important part of the writing process is to DO IT.  Marinella teaches and guides us through the process. Follow her guidance; find a comfortable spot to write, bring your water, tea or coffee and write as “often as much as you dare. Give it your best.” This is an authentic journey showing how writing can change us.

Sandra Marinella has been a healing force at Mayo Clinic over the last several years by bringing the concept of writing to heal to patients and staff alike. Participants consistently respond to how much her sessions help with stress, overall wellbeing, mood, and even pain. Sandra is a wealth of knowledge and remarkable teacher of writers at all levels.

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. User-friendly writing prompts and affecting case studies offer accessible portals for safe expression of stories of woundedness and ultimate triumph…. Moving and inspiring.

Through clear and honest writing Sandra Marinella takes us gently by the hand and leads us on a journey into the place where the heart of our stories beat. Using her own personal experiences, anecdotes of her high school and college students, veterans, and cancer patients, and the research of experts, she shows us how our writing our stories of trauma, illness, and loss, can transform us. Marinella’s practical direction and inspiring narrative invites readers to become writers. “Our stories create us,” she writes, “And our writing can re-create us.” The Story You Need to Tell is an important and beautiful book that I cannot wait to share with my students and others whose stories are aching to be told.

​Everyone has a story. With a delicate hand, Sandra Marinella guides those who have experienced trauma to channel their experiences into an outlet that serves healing, closure and acceptance in The Story You Need to Tell.  With precision, she encourages readers that instead of drowning in our difficulties, we can struggle to tread water, and we can learn to swim. Thoughtfully written, deeply encouraging and profoundly personal, Marinella uses her own story as the inspiration for others who have faced insurmountable odds to rise up to their challenges, assess them and conquer them.

Sandra Marinella’s passion and enthusiasm for writing shines through this poignant and insightful book. With the skills and experience of a seasoned writing teacher, she shares with us the tools to tell the stories we need to need and reminds us of the healing power of writing.

In The Story You Need to Tell author 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.

In The Story You Need to Tell, author Sandra Marinella firmly establishes her voice. Anyone who reads this book is going to fall in love with the author and will be better for having known her–even if only through her words. The candor with which she expresses her own struggles from loss to cancer to depression makes her work relatable and trustworthy. The bright red I HAVE CANCER journal is unforgettable.

But the strength of this book lies in the anecdotes.  The stories of her writing students weave effortlessly in and out of the narrative and add real depth to the overall theme:  expressive writing can save us. Readers will appreciate the academic rigor of the book, the solid research, and the thoughtfulness of where this was included. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Marinella is such an inspiring, compassionate, and beautiful human being–and her work shines here. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

The Story You Need to Tell inspires, uplifts and teaches people who need to address the power of their memories and their stories how to stand in their truth and how to find words to express what is often inexpressible. It’s a must-read for anyone working past a traumatic experience, an illness, or a painful loss, and demonstrates the techniques of expressive writing that have been proven to be healing in research by John Evans and Dr. James Pennebaker and others. Words heal, and Sandi will help you find yours