Am J Psychother. 1995 Spring;49(2):225-36.
This paper illustrates how programmed writing lessons to be completed as homework assignments can be used in conjunction with traditional verbal psychotherapy. Each patient was involved in a symbolically enmeshed relationship. Special benefits for patients from the combination of programmed writing lessong with traditional psychotherapy were: (1) increased couple communication; (2) possibly more rapid change; (3) possibly shorter-term therapy; (4) increased forgotten trauma discovery; (5) and increased explicit and specific instructions. Patients were informed from the outset that the use of programmed writing lessons would or might: (1) help the therapist get a better idea of what was going on in regard to the development, values, rules, etc. of their symbiotic relationships; (2) decrease the time spent in therapy, and (3) encourage self-realization through self-directed assignments between sessions. For psychotherapists there are advantages of: (1) putting the responsibility for change on the shoulders of patients rather than on themselves; (2) using programs of theoretical and therapeutic approaches that may not be well known to the therapist; (3) reducing the frequency of sessions and administering written homework assignments when the therapist is on vacation; and (4) increasing the number of patients that can be seen for unit of therapist’s time.