Writing and Talking about Negative Events

Posted on 1st March 2015 | Category: CBT, Useful Tools

Sometimes people say you should write a letter to those that have upset you – even if you don’t actually plan on sending it. Why is this? Well a group of psychologists think that they might have the answer. This recent article in the popular blogging press discusses how writing and talking about traumatic and painful events can actually help us process difficulties that we have been through and can even help us come to a point where we are no longer adversely effected by these happenings.

Writing and talking about negative events can help an individual deal with the traumatic after-effects by creating dissociation from the event. This process can also give you a certain distance and allow you to view troubling times and episodes from an almost neutral standpoint where you can allow your rational mind to come to terms with trauma and residual anxiety as a passive observer in your own life.

Whilst this may sound too good to be true, or worse still, a little impossible, all you have to do is picture how you might console someone close to you in times of difficulty and think what it would be like if you could do this for yourself.

When we imagine, recreate and rehearse negative events we persuade ourselves that our actions will also have negative outcomes. This can all too often lead to anxiety and depression. Conversely the rehearsal and revisiting of positive and happy events can allow us to reframe certain events as a rite of passage or even a difficult episode that it was necessary for us to pass through in order to become the person that we want to be.

Whilst this process can definitely help you come to terms with some of the darker events in your life, it is important that you work through a qualified CBT therapist or you may end up doing yourself more harm than good. Without the correct framing and weight being applied to the different aspects of the experience it is possible to make the situation seem worse than it actually might be – something that we have all done through worry at some point in our lives.

If you would like to explore how writing down and discussing such episodes in your life could make a difference to your current situation, then why not book an appointment where we can go through how such a therapy could help you. This will give us an opportunity to focus on the outcomes you would like to see and the positive benefits on your life.