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Writing Can Be Therapeutic And Here's Why

August 10, 2023

During my childhood years, I loved keeping a diary and writing poetry. It helped to enhance my creativity and balance my perspective about life as I got older.

And even though I ventured into various occupations linked to my creative talents like fashion design, interior decorating, and modern dance, writing never really left me. Now I understand why. Writing is extremely therapeutic.

When writing you're more honest with yourself. Realizations come to you that may have never manifested if it weren't for taking the time to write down your thoughts.

Below are excerpts from three articles citing the therapeutic properties of writing.

According to the article Writing to Heal from the American Psychological Association:

"A groundbreaking study of writing's physical effects appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association (Vol. 281, No. 14) three years ago. In the study, led by Smyth, 107 asthma and rheumatoid arthritis patients wrote for 20 minutes on each of three consecutive days--71 of them about the most stressful event of their lives and the rest about the emotionally neutral subject of their daily plans.

Four months after the writing exercise, 70 patients in the stressful-writing group showed improvement on objective, clinical evaluations compared with 37 of the control patients. In addition, those who wrote about stress improved more, and deteriorated less, than controls for both diseases. "So writing helped patients get better, and also kept them from getting worse," says Smyth."

According to the writeup in titled Writing Therapy Might Be the Key to Better Mental Health in 2023 (this article also emphasizes the difference between writing therapy and journaling) :

"Writing therapy is not the same as journaling, Dr. Plummer stresses. How a person journals can vary broadly—you might write about the details of your day, use that space to reflect on past events, or journal about goals you’re hoping to manifest for the future. “Sometimes people are journaling just for reflection,” Dr. Plummer explains. Journal therapy, however, is a therapeutic process focused on improving your mental well-being through writing about stressful experiences.

“Writing therapy is more targeted, exploring elements of our lives that have had greater effects on us,” says Dr. Plummer. Think less venting about a confrontation with your boss, and more doing introspective work around a major traumatic incident. “There are different intentions that go into the work,” she explains. "

The Power of Writing: 3 Types of Therapeutic Writing penned by the website states that:

"Some of us think that writing is only for writers. But writing is for all of us. As Julia Cameron notes in her book The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life, “I believe we all come into life as writers.”

Writing can be beneficial for all of us, because it can be therapeutic. One of the most powerful parts of therapy is cultivating the ability to observe our thoughts and feelings, said Elizabeth Sullivan, a licensed marriage and family therapist in San Francisco. And that’s what writing helps us do."

Have fun writing.........................................................................

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