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  • Writer's pictureNicole A. Tetreault, PhD

Beyond the Cell: Compassionate Healing & Transformation

Beyond the Cell is a transformative program dedicated to teaching and rehabilitation for incarcerated women using guided meditation, neuroscience, literature, and expressive creative writing for freedom of voice and healing.

Incarcerated women are invisible victims within our society. Nearly 79% of incarcerated women have suffered a traumatic brain injury from abuse, resulting in severe physical, mental, and emotional trauma. Inmates suffer social isolation with significant neurological, mental, emotional, and behavioral consequences. Exclusion activates the pain centers in the brain, is a risk factor for mental illness, and is a major cause of early death. Inmates can also experience challenges re-integrating into society.

“Transform our pain, transform our minds, transform our experience, transform our lives.”

Beyond the Cell offers compassionate education and life skills, involving emotional connection, positive reinforcement, and meaning. Guided meditation develops greater self-awareness, cultivates positive neural patterns, and increases compassion. Neuroscience foundational teachings including neuroanatomy, behavior, and emotional conditioning will assist the participants’ understanding of their experiences and reactions.

Curated literature focuses on storytelling, empathy, and imagination to enhance positive neural plasticity. Finally, self-expression through therapeutic creative writing offers a path to healing.

Ultimately, participants’ writings will be edited into an anthology, weaving neuroscience research through the participant’s stories. In the future, Beyond the Cell can serve as a model for transformative education to help rehabilitate incarcerated women across the nation.

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