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Sandra Dean – Registered Member

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Creative and Expressive Writing Therapy – write yourself better, healthier and happier!

I have enjoyed writing short stories since I was very young. When I read some of them now, I wonder where my ideas

Me as a child

Me as a child

came from; a very young child writing about a scary place in the woods…

I now know that my stories probably came from fear and stress, and at the age of thirteen I began writing a diary. I kept my diaries under lock and key, save anyone EVER reading them, as they were secret, spilling my inner thoughts, feelings and behaviours at times. I could ‘talk’ to my diary about family life, where I’d been, what I’d done, what clothes I’d worn, and most of all if any adversities came my way – like my mum causing issues, boyfriends taking advantage, my brothers’ behaviours’, rape, self-harm, eating disorder and so on – they were all written down, which kind of ‘saved’ me at the time.

I found that by writing what was happening in my life, it was like talking to a friend – an unbiased friend who would never say a word against me. Like a good counsellor. Therefore, I felt less lonely in my family life, I got to express myself, and leave my troubles behind in writing on the paper. I felt relief from my troubles and the next day I could start afresh.

I have written ever since, via diary, journal, blogging, letters sent and unsent and more.

Grab a new notebook!

Grab a new notebook!

I then wrote a couple of memoirs, and in doing so, I had to write and re-write various events. Some were traumatic, and brought about very strong emotions. Some were forgotten about; one in particular because of the trauma it caused. That was dissociation. But, what I found was, the more I wrote and re-wrote and edited, the less the issues bothered me. I became almost numb to some of them and they couldn’t hurt me anymore.

So, I thought I would share with you some of the benefits I found from creative and expressive writing myself over the years:

  1. The way to talk to someone without worrying about what others’ think.
  2. The way to explore how I feel and think and, ultimately, behave – gaining insight and revelations on how I can change things.
  3. I can look at my writing the next day, week, month or years later, and see how far I have come – how much happier I am or how much I have achieved.
  4. It can help me to see things from other people’s points of view – a more rounded opinion.
  5. It built my self-esteem.
  6. Writing has been self-therapy for me – very cathartic
  7. I have been able to look back and remember things I would never have usually recalled, good and bad – a bit like taking photos and finding them again.
  8. I wrote unsent letters to people passed and alive, and told them everything I wanted to get off my chest, positive and negative, any apologies and anything I wanted to tell them or even ask them. The main point was that I wasn’t going to send them, so I disclosed totally.
  9. Writing unsent letters helped me to see who I was through my writing; to find myself and what is important to me.
  10. Writing letters was like having a chat with them, but disclosing much more than I would have had we really been having a chat.

I have started writing an expressive writing self-help book for those suffering with PTSD, depression, anxiety, other mental health issues, or individuals who want to free their mind from their troubles in the comfort of their own home, and will let you know when it’s published! 🙂

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