Talking about some experiences is far more difficult than writing it on a piece of paper or a blank screen. Neither the paper nor the screen are going to be judgmental, or talk back.
Encountering difficult questions while writing are far less threatening. Reviewed by an anonymous therapist or even just someone willing to read without comment, can allow the beginning of healing.
This became somewhat popular as a therapy in the ’80s, by Dr. James Pennebaker. Expressive writing is just without rules. The only thing that matters is getting down what you’re feeling about incidents. Not what you did or didn’t do, rather what’s going on inside.
Imagine the freedom of putting it on paper or on your computer, never having to reveal your innermost secrets to a living soul. Things you would never feel comfortable sharing with the most intimate friend, can be lifted off your shoulders in a heartbeat by writing about it.
Maybe all the trauma won’t be solved so fast, because the healing process is unique to everyone, like fingerprints.What is certain would be the beginning of that process. The only question might be whether to use pen and paper, or keyboard and computer?
The jury is out as to the therapeutic value of pen on paper or tapping away on a keyboard, simply because some may not be so adept at typing. However, my handwriting gets way to excited and difficult to read, where typing is far more legible and for me, faster than writing.
Deciding which is best for you should be easy. Typing or writing? Camps are somewhat divided as to one over the other in terms of therapeutic value. Try both if there is any doubt one way of the other. Finding what works for you or anyone and getting involved is what really counts.
Writing offers no confrontation with another’s opinion. Allowing you to take as much time to deal with your issue as you can handle. Taken in small increments expressive writing only deals with individual feelings directly related to the trauma or events. Grammar, spelling or style has nothing to do with it.
Freedom to open up emotions that have been blocked out are far more likely when there is no other intimidating factor to activate the thinking mechanism or subconscious mind. Writing continuously for 15 to 20 minutes is the goal for four days.
The mind is capable of using thoughts and words which don’t always find a place in someones vocabulary when trying to explain feelings. Expressive writing offers this as an additional way to reach deep where attempting to put words in play fall short.
Realization that this applies to more than those who have experienced devastating events, traumas, life changing moments, comes as somewhat of a surprise for some. While memories of unpleasant experiences have been shoved into deep recesses where there may be hope of eternal forgetfulness, they will always surface at the most unexpected moments until finally dealt with.
Expressive writing can start the real process of erasing those, freeing up the seemingly weightless burden that now can actually be felt as it lifts from your mind. Feelings buried alive never die, but once resurrected they can finally be laid to rest.
Alan is a charter “Boomer”, a Vietnam veteran, married 47 years, grandfather of 13, resides in Florida and Ecuador, committed to roasting his own coffee and writes about whatever pops into his mind. He loves to build and ride recumbent bikes, play racquetball, writes almost daily, travels Ecuador, and talks to anything that does not move fast enough! The twinkle in his eye is a combination of the sun, and an active sense of humor.
The desire to encourage others is being answered through writing on the Internet.