The original study of expressive writing by Pennebaker and Beall () supported the speculation that written expression of cognitions and affect associated with stressful and traumatic life events improves physical and psychological health. Since then, as noted by Reinhold, Bürkner, and Holling (), inspired researchers have conducted hundreds of studies on the effects of expressive writing, focusing on a variety of conditions and participant samples. Although this research has found that, in general, the improvements in physical and psychological health benefits associated with expressive writing are small, the findings are nonetheless remarkable given the consistency of the findings, the brevity of the procedure, and the variety of outcomes examined. It is also surprising that positive outcomes are generally observed, given the degree to which investigators have altered the expressive writing procedures across studies. These alterations have included, but are not limited to, the setting of the writing sessions (individual versus group; laboratory, classroom, or home), the method of expressive disclosure (e.g., writing by hand, typing on a computer, talking into a recorder), the number and duration of the writing sessions, and the instructional set provided to participants.Some studies have altered specific aspects of the expressive writing procedure to test
Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
Keywords: ; ; ;
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