The Power of Therapeutic Writing
It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, and I’m just discovering how much I’ve missed it. Now that my first trimester of sleeping during my writing time has passed into my second trimester of renewed energy and the holiday activities are almost over, today I launch this blog into the new year. Without further ado, this first post is from a guest contributor named Patrick Bailey.
I’m going to use the subject of this post in helping me come up with some New Year’s resolutions. Maybe you can, as well.
The Power Of Therapeutic Writing
Stress, anxiety, frustration, irritation, anger, happiness, gratitude, excitement, and more are all feelings people want and need to express. For some people, healthy emotional expression doesn’t come easy. They may have grown up learning to hide their emotions from themselves and others. Unfortunately, there is a connection between people who hide their emotions and those who end up with an addiction.
The good news is many addiction rehab centers, and other professionals offer writing therapy. This type of therapeutic writing helps people to express themselves in ways they don’t feel comfortable doing out loud. Writing therapy has been used to treat anxiety, depression, PTSD, stress, addiction, and more.
Defining Writing Therapy
Writing therapy or therapeutic writing is just that. It is a type of holistic therapy that uses advanced journaling to benefit the patient. Generally, writing therapy doesn’t cost much at all, and it is easy to start up. It is also very easily adapted to fit the needs of the writer. Someone can do this on their own with just a pad of paper and a pen. It can also be done with the help of a professional counselor, as seen in addiction rehab centers. Many group therapists offer writing therapy to help their patients as well. Sometimes writing therapy is offered along with other types of therapy.
No matter what format is being used, this type of therapy can allow the patient to grow personally, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. It allows the person to express themselves safely and freely. Many patients who utilize writing therapy gain more control over their life and feel more empowered too. There is so much potential with writing therapy. Many storytellers and poets state that writing has the power to heal past and current emotional wounds. Even with just a few minutes of writing, you could gain tremendous benefits.
Writing Therapy is More Than Just Writing
Generally, writing is just putting something down onto paper. Writing therapy is usually directed by a mental health professional. The patient is given exercises or prompts as motivators to write. Normal journaling is done to record something that has occurred in one’s life. Writing therapy is more focused upon analyzing things that have happened and the feelings associated with those events. There are usually goals associated with writing therapy, while normal writing is just to put something on paper.
Benefits of Writing Therapy
Do you suffer from past trauma? Are you constantly anxious or stressed? Do you find yourself struggling to get through each day? Are you recovering from an addiction or trying to overcome an addiction? If you can answer yes to any question mentioned here, you might benefit from writing therapy.
There are many benefits of writing therapy. Many recovering addicts, trauma survivors, war veterans, and others have used writing therapy as a recovery tool. It has helped them tremendously and might help you too. Writing therapy has been known to:
- Ease pain associated with trauma
- Relieve symptoms of some illnesses
- Boost the immune system
- Understand an event in one’s life better
- Improve self-expression
- Build self-confidence
- Make amends
- Clear the mind
- Find peace
- Relieve anxiety or stress
These are just some of the many benefits associated with writing therapy. Whether you are recovering from an addiction, anxiety disorder, trauma, or anything else, you may find writing therapeutic for your recovery process.
Writing Therapy and Treating Mental Health Disorders
As you just read, there are many different benefits that come from writing therapy. It is also important to know that writing therapy can help with the treatment of mental health disorders. There are many recovering addicts and others who struggle with a mental health disorder. Some people have a co-occuring disorder. A co-occuring disorder means the patient has a mental health diagnosis and an addiction to drugs or alcohol. It is essential those who struggle with an addiction and a mental health disorder, or even one or the other, get the help they need. Writing therapy is one recovery tool that has been proven to be helpful in many cases.
Treating Anxiety Disorders
Do you suffer from any type of anxiety disorder? There are 40,000,000 people in the United States who have an anxiety disorder. The good news is there are treatment options for those who are suffering from an anxiety disorder. One of the treatments available for these disorders is writing therapy. This type of therapy can be helpful because it allows those with an anxiety disorder to get their thoughts down on paper. This essentially declutters the mind. It allows those with anxiety to write down their concerns, fears, thoughts, and feelings. Many anxiety sufferers find a sense of calm after writing therapy sessions.
Do you suffer from depression? There are so many different types of depression. Some of those include post-partum, seasonal, bipolar disorder, persistent depressive disorder, and more. There are 16.2 million people in the United States who have a minimum of one reported episode of depression a year. Writing therapy is often offered to help patients who suffer from depression. This type of therapy can help to clear the mind of the person who is depressed. It can help boost mood, improve results from therapy, increase awareness, give a sense of control, change perspective, and much more. If you suffer from depression, it might be helpful to talk with a therapist to see if writing therapy could be beneficial for you.
Do you suffer from PTSD? There may be many reasons why someone has PTSD. They may have experienced a traumatic childhood event, been to war, been assaulted, or had another traumatic event in their life. Car accidents are often a source of PTSD as well. Treating PTSD can be tough. It takes time and patience to overcome PTSD. One of the things that has helped many patients overcome PTSD is writing therapy. This type of therapy can help the patient to express their feelings, improve cognitive functioning, relieve stress, reduce anger, and much more. If you suffer from PTSD, talking to a therapist about attending writing therapy sessions might be a good idea.
Do you suffer from addiction? Are you in recovery from an addiction to drugs or alcohol? Writing therapy is often offered to those who are recovering from an addiction. Dealing with and treating an addiction is not a perfect science. Not everyone will recover in the same ways, and not one treatment helps everyone to overcome an addiction. However, writing therapy has been shown to benefit many recovering addicts. It can help the writer to learn more about themselves. It can reduce cravings, help with organization, and help deal with withdrawal symptoms as well. If you need to recover from an addiction or get help in your recovery, you may want to check into writing therapy. It might be a tool that helps you overcome the addiction and addictive behaviors too.
There is a lot of power behind therapeutic writing. Whether someone suffers from anxiety, depression, PTSD, or an addiction, writing therapy could be the tool they need. There are so many benefits of this type of therapy. If you need treatment for one of the above mentioned disorders, writing therapy could be the solution for you.
Patrick Bailey is a professional writer mainly in the fields of mental health, addiction, and living in recovery. He attempts to stay on top of the latest news in the addiction and the mental health world and enjoy writing about these topics to break the stigma associated with them.
You can touch base with him at the following:
Email: [email protected]