Writing Therapy and PTSD: The Importance of Expression in Recovery

Writing Therapy and PTSD: The Importance of Expression in Recovery

In mental health, Treatment by Tree House Recovery

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects approximately 5.2 million people in the course of a given year. Many people with PTSD experience frightening flashbacks and nightmares, paranoia, agitation, anxiety, depression, and more, making it difficult to function in everyday life. As emphasized by the National Institute on Mental Health (NIMH), not everyone experiences PTSD; events such as assaults, natural or human-caused disasters, war, accidents, and other forms of violence can leave long-lasting physical and/or emotional damages. If you’ve been diagnosed with PTSD, you may feel that things will never get better. However, treatment is available, and recovery is possible.

Writing therapy in particular has been shown to be very effective in helping people release suppressed memories and emotions that may have otherwise been difficult to express through words. The American Psychological Association (APA) lists relief from stress, improved immune system functioning, and the ability to understand and learn from one’s emotions as just a few benefits derived from writing therapy. A 2017 review published in The American Journal of Psychiatry expressed the efficacy of cognitive behavioral (CBT) writing therapy, a type of writing therapy that incorporates both expressive writing and CBT techniques to help individuals alter their narratives towards one that incorporates strength, resiliency, and survivorship.

Although it’s hard for many people to talk about the painful events of their lives, writing it out can be a wonderful way to release it. After all, you have complete ownership of your story. When writing it down, you can write it however you want – you get to choose what words to use and how to explain everything. For many people, this gives them a sense of control because they do not have to be questioned or confronted regarding what they’ve written; writing therapy simply gives them a chance to get everything out. If you haven’t already, speak with a professional from a reputable treatment center today to learn more about adding writing therapy to your treatment regime. With so many writing prompts or even as a blank slate, writing can be extremely beneficial if done for the right reasons (recovery). Don’t give up.

Tree House Recovery is a men’s treatment program located in Portland, Oregon. Creating sustainable recovery through sustainable change, our programs help men learn how to live sober with adventurous lives. Call us today for information: (503) 850-2474