I came across this article today via Psychology Today’s twitter feed. Sometimes I just re-tweet the interesting articles I find, but I wanted to add some additional commentary. Steve Almond writes in his article “Why Talk Therapy is on the Wane and Writing Workshops are on the Rise,” about the growth of interest in creative writing in the last two decades and his own cathartic experiences as he began to explore his inner world through writing. He highlights the wonderful aspect of literature as an exploration of experiences and struggles of the author–perhaps not his or her exact struggles, but often linked to personal experience. The demonstration of someone else’s struggle is why I find the books and articles I bring to you to be so rich for exploration as they provide a mirror of individual’s own struggles. The hope being that it will lead to personal reflection.
As a trained counselor, I would point out that the history of counseling is broader than simply talk therapy as described by Almond, and there are actually many modalities (psychodrama, empty chair techniques, letter writing/journaling, among others) used alongside the “talking cure” of the therapy room. However, I enjoyed his exploration of the cathartic and healing aspects of writing. I hope you take a moment to read, enjoy, and consider what needs exploring in your own life–whether in the counseling office or on paper!