clinician, has long been a powerful tool “for unpacking and making sense of our thoughts and feelings,” says , a licensed marriage and family therapist in New York.
Sometimes it can feel like the latest in mental health treatment is overwhelmingly tech-heavy or experimental—hello, and and post-traumatic stress disorder—but the recent rise in interest surrounding writing therapy feels refreshingly grounded and old school. “There are numerous studies linking journaling about our thoughts and feelings to a decrease in symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress,” says , a licensed marriage and family therapist in California. “Where else do we have a forum to be our most unfiltered, authentic selves?” Creating that space to be vulnerable and unfiltered in writing session with a licensed therapist—a.k.a.
therapeutic writing—may just be the form of therapy you need to process lingering feelings of anxiety, depression, or trauma. “It can be a great way to go deeper with the therapeutic work and to help clients continue processing, reflecting, and making progress between sessions,” Haigh says.
To understand what makes writing therapy so powerful, we asked three trained therapists to break it down. Writing therapy is the act of writing about a specific trauma or feeling under the guidance of a mental health professional. “If we are able to write about our thoughts and feelings and then process them verbally with a therapist, we are engaging multiple areas of our brain in our healing process,” Haigh explains. “Even if a client fully trusts their therapist, it is still a deeply vulnerable act to express everything that we think or feel.