Creative Writing Therapy

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This ties in with my Social Science Research Methods class. We have to do a literature review about a topic that deals with our major. I actually had no idea that Creative Writing (also known as Narrative Therapy) could be used as a type of therapy. It's relatively new, so there hasn't been a lot of testing done about it (that and the fact that no one is really sure how you would conduct a study about it). However, there are more than enough articles that explain what it is and how it can be helpful. This is one such article. It's kind of a lengthy article so I'll just give you a brief summary about this therapy.

Creative Writing therapy was first developed by Michael White and David Epston during the 70s and 80s. It was used in family therapy because it was an alternitive way for family members to explore their feelings. It was later used with trauma victims and people with terminal illnesses because it had the potential to help them come to terms with whatever it was that they had experienced.

Besides the testing criticism mentioned earlier, another criticism is that people aren't necessarily willing to write about whatever it is that's troubling them. They can write about what they had for breakfast but when it comes to deep and personal issues, some people actually shut down (freeze or refuse to participate) in a way.

So now you know a little bit about this fascinating type of therapy.

2 Comments

Kaitlin Monier said:

This is a really interesting topic; I wish I had known about this article earlier! I had to give a presentation about how my field of study contributes to human happiness and was looking for how writing works as a therapy. Although I didn't find any solid research, it was still easy to explain how writing helps.

Also, I think that even though people are unwilling to write about what troubles them, they still do it--except not directly.

Kayla Lesko said:

Most of the research I found was on Sage Journals Online which is a database for Psychology articles. Your last point is brought up frequently in some of the articles. Sometimes the people who run the writing workshops have to modify writing topics so that the person is lured into thinking that they aren't actually writing about what it really is that's troubling them. There are even times when the patients find themselves writing about stressful things that happened years ago.

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