Individual differences matter: Commentary on “Effects of expressive writing on depressive symptoms—A meta‐analysis”

Individual differences matter: Commentary on “Effects of expressive writing on depressive... During the three‐plus decades since Pennebaker and Beall's () seminal study we have witnessed an explosion of research on expressive writing. The impact of this simple, self‐administered intervention on important outcomes ranging from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms to immune system functioning has caught the imagination of the field. Interventions based on the expressive writing (EW) paradigm have found their way into diverse clinical settings and researchers have explored benefits of EW in a variety of clinical and nonclinical contexts.A substantial body of research, including multiple meta‐analyses, supports the effectiveness of expressive writing in bringing about both physical health benefits and self‐reported psychological benefits. However, evidence for the latter category of outcomes—psychological benefits—has been less dramatic, and the number of studies reporting null or, occasionally, adverse effects of expressive writing has remained just large enough to sustain doubts about its efficacy.In this context, Reinhold, Bürkner, and Holling's () meta‐analysis is timely and important. Given burgeoning evidence for the disease burden of depression worldwide, as well as the ubiquity of depression symptoms even in healthy individuals, it is important to determine what benefits EW may have for alleviating symptoms of depression. It is perhaps especially important to determine circumstances in http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice Wiley

Individual differences matter: Commentary on “Effects of expressive writing on depressive symptoms—A meta‐analysis”

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 Society of Clinical Psychology
ISSN
0969-5893
eISSN
1468-2850
D.O.I.
10.1111/cpsp.12230
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

During the three‐plus decades since Pennebaker and Beall's () seminal study we have witnessed an explosion of research on expressive writing. The impact of this simple, self‐administered intervention on important outcomes ranging from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms to immune system functioning has caught the imagination of the field. Interventions based on the expressive writing (EW) paradigm have found their way into diverse clinical settings and researchers have explored benefits of EW in a variety of clinical and nonclinical contexts.A substantial body of research, including multiple meta‐analyses, supports the effectiveness of expressive writing in bringing about both physical health benefits and self‐reported psychological benefits. However, evidence for the latter category of outcomes—psychological benefits—has been less dramatic, and the number of studies reporting null or, occasionally, adverse effects of expressive writing has remained just large enough to sustain doubts about its efficacy.In this context, Reinhold, Bürkner, and Holling's () meta‐analysis is timely and important. Given burgeoning evidence for the disease burden of depression worldwide, as well as the ubiquity of depression symptoms even in healthy individuals, it is important to determine what benefits EW may have for alleviating symptoms of depression. It is perhaps especially important to determine circumstances in

Journal

Clinical Psychology: Science and PracticeWiley

Published: Jan 1, 2018

Keywords: ; ; ;

References

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