Sharon Bray, Ed.D.
I’m probably best known for my expressive writing workshops with cancer and heart patients. An early-stage cancer diagnosis in 2000 re-ignited my love of writing, and a few years later, I was also diagnosed with heart failure. Those experiences led me to leave a corporate career and focus on what I loved best: writing and teaching. For the past 20 plus years, I’ve focused on encouraging individuals’ stories of illness, loss and life, initiating several writing programs at major California cancer centers and non-profits, including Stanford Cancer and UCSD Moores’ Centers. Since returning to Toronto in 2017, I’ve led series of “Writing Through Cancer” workshop for cancer patients at Gilda’s Club in Toronto, and in 2019, initiated the first-ever expressive writing workshop for heart patients at Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research. I continue to lead workshops for Gilda’s Club and Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research, but, as the COVID-10 pandemic has dictated, virtually.
I’ve written of two books on expressive writing and health, co-edited an anthology of cancer patients’ writings, and written a number of articles on the health benefits of writing. I’ve been fortunate to be invited to lead workshops for other groups such as Young Adult Cancer Canada, as well as healthcare conferences in Canada and the US, including CURE Today forums, Writers’ Symposium by the Sea, University of Illinois, and the Omega Institute, among others. For a number of years, I was also was an instructor of creative and transformational writing for UCLA extension’s “Writers’ Program,” DeAnza College, and the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley. For 12 years, I was honored to have the privilege of leading the “Writers’ Workshop at Stanford Medical School” series (part of Stanford’s “Medicine & the Muse” program founded by Audrey Shafer), which included faculty, students and alumni until my husband and I returned to Toronto in 2017.
I earned a master’s degree at Mt. St. Vincent University in Halifax and my doctoral degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Toronto, and later, undertook additional studies in creative and transformative writing. I make my home in Toronto together with my husband and a small adopted dog named “Maggie.”
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