Writing is often thought of as either a solo pursuit done in private or something undertaken in a group setting, such as a creative writing class. Working with writing in a therapeutic context can marry these two ideas, allowing your writing or experience of it into the therapy space to become a source of collaborative exploration. This might draw on any number of forms, including journaling, free-writing, poetry, prose, lists, letters, dialogues, and word associations.
Depending on the individual client, therapy sessions using writing might consist of some combination of talking, writing, sharing and reflecting on what has been written – for others, the writing element might be more of a tool to dig deeper between appointments (e.g. by journaling), with the sessions themselves more centered around traditional verbal exploration but perhaps informed by the client’s writing.
I might introduce you to specific creative/reflective writing exercises and techniques that I think you may find beneficial. We might also draw on an existing published work that has resonated with you as a springboard for writing and reflection, or home in on an intriguing, impactful metaphor that captures the essence of your experience. Like writing itself, this type of therapy allows for a fluid, creative approach, drawing on a medium you are already familiar with and are perhaps passionate about.
And maybe writing isn’t for you at all, and of course that’s okay. I use writing in therapy as a potential tool for change but it is always the client who decides how much or little we use that tool, if at all. If you’re intrigued by the idea of journaling though, you can download below some introductory guidelines I’ve put together: