James pennebaker in regards to expressive writing and health

Their Connection from the Perspective of Cultural Sociology, with Special Regards to Fiction Justus-Liebig-University Giessen Giessen Center for the Study of Culture Using the perspective of cultural sociology, this theoretical paper examines the circular interrelation between narrative, emotion, and cultural meaning.

James pennebaker in regards to expressive writing and health

Posted on Nov 9, by Diane Morrow InJames Pennebaker, a psychologist, then at Southern Methodist University, conducted, along with one of his graduate students, Sandra Beall, a study of forty-six college students.

Students in one group—the experimental group—were instructed to write continuously for fifteen minutes about the most upsetting or traumatic experience of their lives. Their instructions included the following: In your writing, I want you to discuss your deepest thoughts and feelings about the experience.

james pennebaker in regards to expressive writing and health

You can write about anything you want. But whatever you choose, it should be something that has affected you very deeply. Ideally, it should be something you have not talked [about] with others in detail. It is critical, however, that you let yourself go and touch those deepest emotions and thoughts that you have.

In other words, write about what happened and how you felt about it, and how you feel about it now. In essence, these students were being invited to write about a time when something had fallen apart. Students wrote sitting alone in a small cubicle in the psychology building. They wrote on four consecutive days and did not sign their names to their pieces.

These were not students who had been recruited because they were experiencing emotional or physical problems. These were ordinary college students recruited from introductory psychology classes.

They wrote about the divorce of parents, about loss and abuse, about alcoholism and suicide attempts.

james pennebaker in regards to expressive writing and health

They wrote about secrets. And in interviews conducted after finishing the four writing sessions, students actually reported feeling worse than they had before the writing.

But four months later, these same students, compared to students who had written about trivial topics, reported improvements in mood and in outlook on life, and, perhaps most surprisingly, improvements in their physical health.

Reviews of the Expressive Writing: Words That Heal

When data came in from the student health center, it revealed that this same group of students had in fact visited the student health center for illness, on average, only half as often as their peers.

Since that early study inexpressive writing has been tested in a wide range of settings. All of the evidence would suggest that writing brings about a general reduction in biological stress. That is, when an individual has come to terms with an upsetting experience, he or she is less vigilant about the world and potential threats.

This results in an overall lowering of defenses. Given the broad range of improvements in health outcomes, it would be prudent to conclude that writing provokes a rather broad and nonspecific pattern of biological changes that are generally salutary.

I find this research on writing and health a reason for hope. That is, writing about such fragments can lead to health benefits on the other side. At the same time, I feel like each person of course gets to make that choice: Well, one way to deal with being unsure is to write the question at the top of a blank sheet of paper.

The question itself can become a kind of title:Exercises will include James Pennebaker’s ‘writing to heal’ exercises, journaling with a purpose, narrative integration, self-compassion and gratitude exercises.

Your level of writing skill is unimportant and there will be no pressure to read out what you have written. In an afterward to The Writing Cure, a compilation of research and theory published nearly twenty years after Pennebaker’s first study on expressive writing and health, he reflects on some of the implications of the body of research in the field.

Relief can be as simple as free-writing for 20 minutes a day, four days in a row, says James W. Pennebaker, a professor of psychology at the University of Texas. “Across multiple studies, people who engage in expressive writing report feeling happier and less negative than they felt before,” he writes in his book, Expressive Writing: Words.

James W. Pennebaker of University of Texas at Austin, TX (UT) with expertise in: Personality Psychology, Social Psychology and Health Psychology. Read publications, and contact James W. Expressive writing is a form of writing therapy developed primarily by James W.

Writing about emotions may ease stress and trauma - Harvard Health

Pennebaker in the late s. The seminal expressive writing study [2] instructed participants in the experimental group to write about a 'past trauma', expressing their very deepest thoughts and feelings surrounding it.

As Dr. James Pennebaker wrote in his book Writing to Heal: “People who engage in expressive writing report feeling happier and less negative than before writing. Similarly, reports of depressive symptoms, rumination, and general anxiety tend to drop in the weeks and months after writing about emotional upheavals.”". Expressive writing is a form of writing therapy developed primarily by James W. Pennebaker in the late s. The seminal expressive writing study [2] instructed participants in the experimental group to write about a 'past trauma', expressing their very deepest thoughts and feelings surrounding it. Dr. James W. Pennebaker, currently chair of the psychology department at the University of Texas, Austin, has conducted much of the research on the health benefits of expressive writing. In one early study, Dr. Pennebaker asked 46 healthy college students to write about either personally traumatic life events or trivial topics for 15 minutes on four consecutive days.

Much of the work on expressive writing has been led by James Pennebaker, a psychology professor at the University of Texas. In the ’s, Pennebaker found that writing about life’s stresses helped people heal from both physical and emotional ailments.

Expressive Writing | Psychology Today