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How to use therapeutic writing for empowerment without revisiting trauma

By Elizabeth Bolton Cartsonas, Assistant researcher, Literacy Education, Department of Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto
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Writing about trauma can affect us profoundly.

A 1986 study found that students asked to write about traumatic memories reduced the number of times they visited a health centre for illness, injury, a check-up, psychiatric or other reasons in six months following the study — but that writing about trauma consistently caused emotional and physical upset immediately afterwards.

Such unpleasant after-effects are now widely…


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