What are the Benefits of Expressive/Therapeutic Writing?

Mental Healing:

The mental healing that comes from writing about stress, trauma and confusing events is one of the most noted benefits. Anyone who has been through a tough situation and writes about their feelings and thoughts will learn to let go of the negative emotions that are harming the mind. Even more than simply letting go of the mental anguish, the writing will help put things in perspective and allow trauma to slip firmly into the past where it belongs rather than haunting the present.

Psychologically, writing about problems and trauma is shown to have major benefits to the mind. Those who write out the situation and their feelings about it a few times will have better coping strategies than those who do not.

Healing the Body:

While writing might not seem useful in healing the body, studies have shown tremendous benefits to personal health when writing about problems. The act of writing helps reduce stress levels by eliminating the anxiety and feelings from the mind. That provides the ability to let go mentally and creates a reduction in the production of harmful stress hormones.

The reduction of stress will also help improve the heart health by bringing down blood pressure levels and will have an impact on the immune system. Those who write about their problems will find that overall health and vitality increases.

Personal Discovery:

Writing is not always about eliminating the stress and mental anguish of trauma. In some situations, it will also aid in finding out more about a personal mind and thought process.

Self-discovery is a major benefit that anyone is able to enjoy. This is possible regardless of whether stress has built up, a traumatic event occurred or the mental health is in a negative state.

The ability to learn more about how the mind works and personal beliefs by writing down thoughts about daily events will ultimately result in feeling more confident and happy. Understanding the personal mind is an important part of growing mentally and spiritually.

Improving Creativity:

Writing regularly helps improve the creative aspects of the mind. Whether the goal is getting past a traumatic event or it is a matter of simply working toward self-discovery, the act of regularly writing opens the mind to new ideas and allows creativity to flow.

The ability to improve creative thinking and clarify the thoughts of the mind will ultimately result in the ability to apply that creativity to other areas of life. Creativity is a useful skill for work, home life and interacting socially.

Writing for therapy is not only about problems that are faced in life or the negative situations that happen. It is a matter of freeing the mind and opening the eyes to possibilities that are often overlooked. Writing is a useful way to let the mind work, free the emotions and open the creative floodgates that are potentially blocked.

About the Author of this Article

Trained by such luminaries as Kay Adams, Christina Baldwin, Stephanie Dowrick, Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Carol Pearson Joanne [Martin] uses expressive writing & story-telling as a developmental vehicle, offering a variety of imaginative and engaging writing workshops. See