How writing works: self-directed change

writing authentically about one’s own lived experience helps construct a coherent, consistent narrative and assists in finding meaning in life’s challenges and difficulties (Pennebaker 1986, 1989, 2004; Smyth 1998; Frattaroli 2008; Poon and Danoff-Burg 2011). My own research indicates that expressive writing also offers clarity and insight, promotes emotional management through safe, effective catharsis, accelerates resolution of difficulties, and helps manage stress (Adams 2006a). In my therapy practice, I have found again and again that the journal represents an important resource for self-directed change—the process of growing oneself out of negative, painful, destructive patterns, beliefs, and circumstances.

Kathleen Adams

from “Your Brain on Ink”

(pp. 25-26).