Wise Words and Comforting Suggestions

I have been planning to share a range of ideas about writing as therapy for some time. The links below lead to diverse opinions concerning the benefits of therapeutic writing although none of them provide conclusive evidence that therapeutic writing is an effective therapeutic tool.  I hope you enjoy them.

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  • JR White points out in this first link that therapeutic writing is useful because, ‘instead of turning to others for wise words or comforting suggestions, your inner wisdom has a chance to voice itself.’ See what else White has to say at: Writing Away Your Worries
  •  Margarita Tartakovsky’s main point is that ‘writing helps us track our spinning thoughts and feelings.’ For more information go to: The Power of Writing: 3 Types of Therapeutic Writing 
  • This article by Gina McColl points out that whether or not it is ‘the inky cousin of selfie culture or long tail of the creative writing mania, writing as therapy is having a moment.’ More about the healing power of writing can be found here: Writing as therapy: how blogs and memoirs can help the sick and traumatized. I also suggest you follow McColl’s link to Jane Turner Goldsmith’s useful summary of research into therapeutic writing.
  • Although the next article is about creative writing, I’ve included it because I’m interested in the connection between brain plasticity and therapeutic writing. While, as Stephen Pinker comments at the end of the article, ‘creativity is a perversely difficult thing to study,’ I found this New York Times article fascinating. I wonder what researchers would find if they scanned the brains of therapeutic writers as they wrote? See what you think at: This Is Your Brain on Writing
  • Finally, Tara DaPra’s Writing Memoir and Writing for Therapy An Inquiry on the Functions of Reflection is moving and beautifully written.

MES5X81ZYII’d love to know of your reactions. Do you find writing therapeutic, and how would you describe its benefits, or do you think therapeutic writing has had its ‘moment’ and is just a fad?

 

10 thoughts on “Wise Words and Comforting Suggestions

  1. I absolutely believe in therapeutic writing. I think when we keep our honest feelings locked inside because we’re a) not brave enough to share them with others, b) HAVE no one trustworthy to share them with, or c) have a hard time admitting them even to ourselves, they can make us sick, plain and simple. Writing out my feelings, opinions, whatever, is a little like role-playing with your teenagers about what to do when someone offers them a drink. If I can speak my truth to myself often enough on the written page, perhaps when the time comes I’ll be able to speak them out loud when needed. And truthfully, some times I plain don’t KNOW what I think or how I feel about something till I free-write and just let the words come.

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    1. Btw, the article by Zimmer was interesting because I just read about how they finally decided there was actually something real about fibromyalgia by doing the same sort of brain scans.

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    2. Oh, yes, all of what you wrote, Raili, and more. Therapeutic writing, is used in hospitals and prisons and aged care facilities. The scope is broad and I think it needs more research (but I’m happy to hand that task onto younger researchers!) Cheers.

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