New Research: Expressive Writing Can Impede Emotional Recovery Following Marital Separation



Taken from:


David A. Sbarra, Adriel Boals, Ashley E. Mason, Grace M. Larson, and Matthias R. Mehl

Expressive writing (EW) is a therapeutic exercise in which individuals write about their deepest thoughts and feelings related to a trauma. This study examined the effectiveness of a new form of expressive writing called narrative expressive writing (NEW). Recently separated individuals were assigned to complete a traditional EW, a NEW, or a control writing exercise. Results indicated that participants in the EW and NEW groups with high levels of rumination who were judged to be actively searching for meaning in their separation reported more separation-related distress than did those in the control condition. This suggests that it may not be advisable for all individuals to complete EW exercises as an intervention for dealing with stressful life events.


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March 15, 2013

For Immediate Release

Contact: Anna Mikulak Association for Psychological Science


Read about the latest research published in Clinical Psychological Science.

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