Expressive Writing


Mrugank Patel

Australian Stnd. Psychotherapist & Coach

Writing therapy is a form of expressive therapy that uses the act of writing and processing the written word as therapy. Writing therapy posits that writing one’s feelings gradually eases feelings of emotional trauma.

In your writing, I would like you to really let go and explore your very deepest emotions and thoughts about the traumatic experience in your entire life. You might tie this trauma to other parts of your life: your childhood, your relationships with others, including parents, lovers, friends, relatives or other people important to you. You might link your writing to your future and who you would like to become in the future, or to who you have been, who you would like to be, or who you are now. Not everyone may have had a shattering traumatic incident but most people have had major conflicts or stressors and you can write about these as well. All your writing is confidential. There will be no sharing of content. Do not worry about form or style, spelling, punctuation, sentence structure, or grammar. The only rule is that once you begin writing, you continue until the time is up.

Please read these general guidelines completely before you begin writing. (a) Time: Write a minimum of twenty minutes per day for four consecutive days (10 minutes optional time for reading what you have written) (b) Topic: What you choose to write about should be extremely personal and important to you (c) Write continuously: Do not worry about punctuation, spelling, and grammar. If you run out of things to write draw a line or repeat what you have already written. Keep pen on paper. (d) Write only for yourself: You may plan to destroy or hide what you are writing. Do not turn this exercise into a letter. This exercise is for your eyes only. (e) Observe the Flip-out Rule: If you get into the writing, and you feel that you cannot write about a certain event because it will push you over the edge, STOP writing! (f) Expect heavy boots: Many people briefly feel a bit saddened or down after expressive writing, especially on the first day or two. Usually this feeling goes away completely in an hour or so.

This is a very simple and effective technique for mental well-being.

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