Therapeutic Creative Writing as a Treatment Intervention

Therapeutic Creative Writing as a Treatment Intervention

In this 2003 article published in the Therapeutic Recreation Journal, Charles Gillispie emphasizes that creative writing can be used as an alternative coping skill to help individuals avoid ineffective, self-destructive coping behaviours. Gillispie demonstrates that creative writing gives individuals a chance to articulate their inner experiences openly and without restraint, and to encourage this, it is particularly important for workers to create a growth-promoting environment in which the client’s writing will be met with empathy, authenticity and unconditional positive regard. In addition, Gillispie notes that it is important to direct the writer to outstanding aspects of his or her work in order to affirm personal strengths.

Though Gillispie focused his findings on one-on-one therapeutic creative writing experiences in a clinical setting, he did strongly suggest at the end of his article that creative writing, when employed in a group setting, could help individuals develop fuller and more meaningful relationships with others.

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