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Therapeutic Writing

Check out the research behind the healing qualities of writing, and try it out for yourself.


pen in a journal with script writing

About This Guide

The difference between Expressive or Therapeutic Writing, and Creative Writing, is a focus on process, rather than the final product. Expressive Writing aims to provide means for one to process emotions and heal through the act of writing.

The two are in no ways mutually exclusive, many writers choose to write because it the act of turning memory and idea into story can be extremely cathartic and satisfying.The difference though, is that Expressive or Therapeutic Writing does not emphasize perfect grammar, publication, or revision as means for success. It suggests that success is achieved through emotional breakthrough, improvement of symptoms, and empowerment. 

This guide aims to provide key research on the field, as well as prompts for engaging in therapeutic writing.

Much of the resources and knowledge shared here are drawn with gratitude from Marian Mesrobian MacCurdy's course "Therapeutic Writing", taught at Hampshire College until 2014.