BENEFITS OF THERAPEUTIC WRITING
- Writing heals and mends the wounded soul.
- Writing taps your inner wisdom.
- Writing eases the pain of a memory by bringing a retrospective perspective.
- Writing your journey is encouraging to others whom you may never meet face to face.
- Writing scriptures is good for soul meditation.
- Writing is a great way to connect with your thoughts, emotions and feeling.
- Writing is free, no limitations on how much you can write! Expressive writing is such an Easy, low-cost technique, much like taking a good brisk walk, that it may be worth trying. It will cost to publish should you wish to though!
Memories are not the problem. A memory is just a thought, and a thought has no power or meaning whatsoever, unless you give it power or meaning. You have many thoughts about things that happened long ago, and these thoughts cause no problems. But some thoughts are sticky. You have an emotional reaction to them and you think them over and over. You may even have beliefs related to them, for example,
“I am justified in thinking this. It was my fault” or
“I cannot just forget what happened, so need an apology so I can move on.”
This keeps the memories very much alive, affecting your ongoing experience.
If you want to be free of the past, lose the paralysing effect of those sticky thoughts. Know that it does not serve you to repeat them and that thinking they are justified only delays your freedom.
We can use therapeutic writing in constructing your story about a traumatic event, to help break free of the endless mental cycling more typical of brooding or rumination.
Be expressive, write about something that evokes an emotional response, something traumatic or upsetting, something wonderful, exciting.
For those of you who are still stuck in your past to some degree together we will use writing to help you find closure and a peaceful letting go.
So how is writing therapeutic?
Well, obviously, you can write expressively and therapeutically alone to start, as people have done for centuries, keeping diaries and journals. Think about the range of writing you do, and how it affects your feelings. Even writing a humble shopping list or to do list has an effect on your mood. It makes you feel in control.
It’s not about the piece of writing. Whatever you have written, whether it’s a memory that makes you smile, or a jagged little poem that shares your brokenness with the world, the point is not the form or the punctuation or anything else. The point is that you wrote it. The point is how you felt when you wrote it, and when you read it out loud.
Therapeutic writing is not a gramma exercise. It is a thought processing exercise, an untangling of conflicting emotions and thinking patterns. The process is more important than the outcome.
Writing for yourself and reading it back can put an experience in perspective – it can distance the pain, can draw a line under it, or can help you explore how others in the situation perceived it. Let me show you how I wrote myself out of suicidal pain and giving up on life…..