Writing can be a therapy after a traumatic stress

April 4, 2013

This study demonstrates that writing therapy resulted in significant and substantial short-term reductions in post traumatic symptoms (PTS) and comorbid depressive symptoms. Writing therapy is an evidence-based treatment for PTS, and constitutes a useful treatment alternative for patients who do not respond to other evidence-based treatments.

A group of Dutch investigators has summarized the that are concerned with the effects of writing after a traumatic stress.

Face-to-face have difficulty meeting today's growing mental health needs. For the highly prevalent posttraumatic stress (PTS) conditions, accumulating evidence suggests that writing therapy may constitute an efficient treatment modality, especially when administered through the Internet.

A group of Dutch investigators therefore conducted a meta-analysis to investigate the efficacy of writing therapies for PTS and comorbid depressive symptoms. The literature was searched using several structured and unstructured strategies, including key word searches of the PubMed, Web of Science, PsycINFO, and PILOTS databases. Six studies met eligibility criteria and were included in the analyses. These studies included a total of 633 participants, of which 304 were assigned to writing therapy. Across 5 direct comparisons of writing therapy to waiting-list control, writing therapy resulted in significant and substantial short-term reductions in PTS and comorbid .

There was no difference in efficacy between writing therapy and trauma-focused , but caution is needed since this finding was based on only 2 direct comparisons.

Writing therapy is an evidence-based treatment for PTS,and constitutes a useful treatment alternative for patients who do not respond to other evidence-based treatments. Internet adaptations of writing therapy for PTS may be especially useful for reaching trauma survivors in need of evidence-based who live in remote areas or who prefer to retain their anonymity.

Explore further: Review: Few effective, evidence-based interventions to prevent posttraumatic stress disorder

More information: van Emmerik A.A.P. et al Writing Therapy for Posttraumatic Stress: A Meta-Analysis. Psychother Psychosom 2013;82:82–88.

Related Stories

Review: Few effective, evidence-based interventions to prevent posttraumatic stress disorder

April 2, 2013
Millions of adults are exposed to traumatic events each year. Shortly after exposure many experience symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) such as flashbacks, emotional numbing and difficulty sleeping.

New hope for trauma sufferers with addictions

August 16, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- A world-first study of an integrated treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance use, led by researchers from the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at the University of New ...

New therapy may help people with unexplained symptoms of pain, weakness and fatigue

July 27, 2011
A new type of therapy may help people with symptoms such as pain, weakness, or dizziness that can't be explained by an underlying disease, according to a study published in the July 27, 2011, online issue of Neurology, the ...

Health benefits of expressive writing do not apply equally across all cultures, study finds

April 12, 2011
(PhysOrg.com) -- Freud practically invented it and Oprah has made a career out of it, but not everyone embraces talking their way to mental health. The role that culture plays in determining whether or not treatment will ...

Recommended for you

New study rebuts the claim that antidepressants do not work

August 18, 2017
A theory that has gained considerable attention in international media, including Newsweek and the CBS broadcast 60 minutes, suggests that antidepressant drugs such as the SSRIs do not exert any actual antidepressant effect. ...

Should I stay or should I leave? Untangling what goes on when a relationship is being questioned

August 17, 2017
Knowing whether to stay in or leave a romantic relationship is often an agonizing experience and that ambivalence can have negative consequences for health and well-being.

Kids learn moral lessons more effectively from stories with humans than human-like animals

August 17, 2017
A study by researchers at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto found that four to six-year-olds shared more after listening to books with human characters than books with anthropomorphic ...

History of stress increases miscarriage risk, says new review

August 17, 2017
A history of exposure to psychological stress can increase the risk of miscarriage by upto 42 per cent, according to a new review.

Study finds children pay close attention to potentially threatening information, avoid eye contact when anxious

August 17, 2017
We spend a lot of time looking at the eyes of others for social cues – it helps us understand a person's emotions, and make decisions about how to respond to them. We also know that adults avoid eye contact when anxious. ...

Communicating in a foreign language takes emotion out of decision making

August 16, 2017
If you could save the lives of five people by pushing another bystander in front of a train to his death, would you do it? And should it make any difference if that choice is presented in a language you speak, but isn't your ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

jeff_eastman_543
5 / 5 (1) Apr 07, 2013
"A veteran dies by suicide every 80 minutes." Mother Jones.

There's a website, PTSDSTRESS.COM that has an anonymous interactive computer program that reduces the symptoms of PTSD for the user. Developed in part by an NIH PTSD researcher/ doctor, the site uses eye movement. It's confidential, costs $10 per session and accepts credit cards but does not require a cardholder name adding further confidentiality. It has been used by military and non-military for over 4 years.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.