Proof That Writing Therapy Is Exactly What You Need in 2021

Proof That Writing Therapy Is Exactly What You Need in 2021

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Last Updated on April 27, 2021 by Mileva Stankovic

Have you ever considered how powerful it is that your mind can put words on paper? You can create a shape in someone’s mind just by typing characters. If you’re an author, can tell stories and immerse a reader into any realm. 

Your readers use your books to escape. You can use your writing for the same thing. Writing therapy is a wonderful way to get rid of negativity and empower the most important person in your life – yourself. 

Writing as a Therapy 

Writing is therapeutic. It can be used as a form of expressive therapy where you utilize the act of writing and processing of the written word. If you ever had a journal, you know how therapeutic it was to just jot down how you felt. It relieves tension, establishes self-control, and helps you better understand the situation you’re in. 

The words on paper suddenly don’t feel like a part of you anymore and you can analyze them easier. You can allow yourself to distance from what is happening and see it from another angle. 

Writing therapy can occur in a group setting, but you can practice it on your own as well. You can practice it online and offline, and remain anonymous if you need to. 

Writing therapy is considered to be a safe intervention. According to a study done in 2012 writing therapy is also related to an increase in short-term distress and negative effects. Still, it may be unfit for people suffering from PTSD, anxiety, grief, eating disorders, relationship issues, or chronic depression

As always, other forms of therapy, such as CBT are preferred, yet writing therapy can be more cost-effective. Benefits of writing therapy include: 

  • Healing effects
  • Improved immune system
  • Reduced stress
  • Better memory
  • Stronger emotional functions 

Therapeutic Journaling

Journal writing therapy is actually different than just journaling. It involves specific exercises and prompts to increase your awareness and improve mental health.

writing therapy
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Journal therapy came alive back in 1960 with Dr. Ira Progoff’s Intensive Journal Method. Before him, journals were kept only to record significant events. Today, keeping a diary is considered a special form of writing. Therapists go through programs so that they become educated on the topic and recommend journaling to their patients.

Journaling as a therapy can be implemented at the start of each session as a short writing moment where the patient expresses their concerns and desires. It can also be used as a form of communication between the therapist and the patient.

Therapeutic journaling prompts and exercises include:

  • photographs
  • letter writing exercise
  • timed journal entries
  • sentence stems
  • list of 100
  • dialogue 
  • therapeutic writing activities

Which of these writing therapy exercises and therapeutic writing prompts will be used depends on the patient and the therapist. 

Journal Therapy Prompts Examples

These are some writing therapy examples that you might hear from your therapist:

  • 10 things that annoyed me today
  • What do you feel when you look at this photo
  • The things I’m most worried about are…
  • Writing a letter to your loved one
  • I wish people knew this about me
  • The thing that makes me cry is…

How to Start Journaling

If your therapist recommended journaling, you can start by purchasing a journal that you like. Make sure you have some privacy first. Make sure you can write freely. At first, it may seem strange if you’ve never journaled before. still, as you move on you’ll get used to it. Make sure to remain honest with yourself. Experience your emotions and let them run free on paper. Finally, don’t criticize yourself for grammar and style. Chances are, you’ll be rushing while journaling, so mistakes will happen.

Creative Writing Therapy

Therapeutic creative writing is similar to therapeutic journaling. However, it has slightly different writing therapy techniques. These techniques are:

  • free writing
  • poetry
  • writing a letter

Where free writing and letter writing are the same techniques applied in journaling. Poetry writing can be intimidating for some. Regardless, the process usually turns out to be quite therapeutic. 

With poetry as a writing therapy exercise, the therapist will usually guide the patient and teach them how to organize their thoughts into verses. 

In all cases, therapeutic writing must never be judged. Whatever is on the paper represents the thoughts of a person, and it should be taken as such. 

Limitations to Writing Therapy

The basic limitation to writing therapy is that you should know how to read and write. Thus, writing therapy may not be suitable for people with intellectual challenges. Depending on the events, writing them may increase the negative emotion. This is why it’s essential to consult with your therapist first, to check whether you’re ready to apply writing as therapy. 


writing as therapy can be a wonderful method to release tension and explore your inner self. You can let a therapist guide you or you can do it on your own. writing therapy is simple, yet effective and can easily be combined with other methods like CBT or even medication. 

Even though there are some limitations for people with cognitive issues, writing therapy is a great way to feel better mentally, physically, and emotionally. 


Is writing a good therapy?

Writing is a good and simple way to distance yourself from the situation at hand. It’s recommended by therapists and can be combined with other methods. it improves the immune system, provides psychological relief, and boosts your mood. Anyone can take the time and utilize journaling therapy to feel better. 

Can creative writing be used as therapy?

Creative writing therapy is an intervention that marries writing with healing exercises. There are instances where creating poetry is used to lead the patient into a better state of mind. Free writing is also another form of writing therapy that allows for more space to express your thoughts. 

How does writing help mental health?

When you write down how you feel and explain the situation that made you feel a certain way, you’ll be able to move away from it and see it with a fresh perspective. Often, that’s all you need to change how you feel about something. Writing can also provide relief, even if you don’t solve your problems. it increases happiness and reduces stress as well. 

How to journal for therapy?

Don’t be afraid of writer’s block. During journaling therapy, you’ll be writing for yourself. Be honest about why you want to start writing therapy in the first place. Then proceed to find a peaceful environment. Select a pretty journal and think whether you’ll use a journaling prompt or a free writing method. Move on to writing for as long as you feel is good. Don’t judge your style and stay consistent. 

How to start writing therapy?

you can start writing therapy on your own, or consult with a therapist. If you do so alone, you’ll probably keep writing at home. if you decide on a therapist, you might also experience writing therapy sessions with a group of people. Know that writing therapy is different than other methods, and you can use it for as long as you need it. write as much as you need, even if it’s just one line per day.

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