Did you know that a writing therapy program can be instrumental in addiction treatment? If you’re struggling with chemical dependency right now, you’re probably wondering how this modality can help. Most importantly, how does it tie in with other therapeutic approaches? We’ve got answers.
The idea of having to write makes many people nervous. They concern themselves with grammar, spelling, and style. But writing is not just about how well you write. In addiction treatment, writing therapy gives you an outlet for self-expression that helps you recover.
Writing therapy during rehab is an extension of talk therapy. This type of therapy pairs well with art or music therapy, two other creative forms often used in treatment. Writing is a conversation with yourself that gives you the chance to explore negative thoughts. Even better, you never have to share your writing with others to benefit from this therapy.
How Writing Therapy Helps People with Addiction
Writing therapy is an extremely private means of expressing yourself, your emotions and thoughts. Instead of bottling these up, you relieve yourself of them in a personal and safe way.
Writing provides a different way for your brain to process thoughts, using the same area of your brain as athletes use during sports. But creative writing activates different areas of your brain than simple tasks, like jotting down a list. Creative writing engages vision-processing and memory retrieval.
Keeping a journal, creating stories or composing poetry forces your brain to work in ways it does not typically work. This activity gets you out of the mental ruts you live in when using drugs or alcohol. You actually introduce new thoughts into feeling familiar to your brain. This helps your brain let go of the familiar patterns it has known and relied on for your months or years of substance abuse.
Kemah Palms Recovery® therapists routinely work with people just like you, who want to kick a drug or alcohol habit. Maybe you’re realizing that your alcohol use is getting out of hand. Others are struggling with a painkiller addiction. No matter what your condition might be, evidence-based modalities are at the heart of recovery.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy, which assists with dysfunctional pattern recognition and change
- Dialectical behavior therapy that empowers emotional control in situations that defy changes
- Family therapy as a way to involve loved ones in healing and supporting your treatment decision
- One-on-one and group therapy sessions for targeted therapeutic interventions
- Trauma treatment, which benefits program participants who deal with unresolved situations that can affect addiction
A Writing Therapy Program Help Addicts Express Themselves
Writing therapy enables your brain to process its thoughts in new ways. This therapy also helps it process emotions differently than in the past years of substance abuse. Instead of masking your feelings as you did with alcohol or drugs, you process your hidden emotions through writing. You feel your emotions and release them with just the push of your pen or tapping on a keyboard.
For most people, digging into emotions is scary. You fear this because you fear what lies under the shroud of substance abuse in your thoughts. Writing allows you to safely clear your feelings onto paper where you realize, examine and organize them, then perhaps throwing those emotions away with the paper on which you wrote them.
A popular Kemah Palms Recovery® writing therapy program is journaling. Journaling works together with cognitive-behavioral as well as dialectical behavior therapy. It provides you clarity of mind and an opportunity for introspection.
Because you spend a lot of time focusing on emotions, journaling gives you an outlet. Clarify what you’re experiencing. Hold yourself accountable for following through on commitments that you made during one-on-one talk therapy sessions. Due to the introspective nature of the activity, you may also uncover additional talking points for other therapy sessions.
A creative writing therapy program is another offering. It provides a cathartic outlet that lets you put complex emotions into words. Almost all clients undergo group therapies that include some type of role-play. Narrative writing can be an extension of this experience.
You learn how to process your feelings and thoughts without judgment. Instead, you incorporate impressions into stories that let you expand on them. As you do so, you try on different approaches and attitudes. In this way, writing therapy enables you to overcome regret, guilt, and worry.
Other Benefits of Writing Therapy for Substance Abuse Disorders
Other benefits of writing therapy include how this action makes your journey to addiction recovery easier and faster through productive time management. You also benefit from the exploration of your subconscious, giving yourself an emotional outlet, staying accountable to your thoughts and relieving anxiety through writing.
Writing therapy lets your thoughts and feelings go in a private setting where you control who sees them. In a journal, you can go back and review these thoughts and ideas. This reminds you of your growth and progress, how you have changed in recovery. It helps you see your successes and gives you greater hope for even more improvement.
Psychotherapy frequently fuels the progress you make in addiction counseling. It helps you unveil the reasons for developing a chemical dependency. You learn more about yourself and the choices you make. Writing down your discoveries reinforces personal growth.
When you write things down, you internalize them. Therefore, it becomes a part of who you are. In the same vein, it provides a method for letting things go. For Kemah Palms Recovery® clients who’re struggling with forgiveness, this exercise can be one of empowerment.
As a result, a writing therapy program is a standard tool for trauma treatment participants as well. It sets the stage for continuing the journey of life. Flesh out what you want it to look like. Create a verbal bridge that outlines the way of getting from where you are to where you want to be.
Writing Therapy Helps in Rehab Even If You Aren’t a Great Writer
Many people shy away from this therapeutic approach because they don’t feel up to the mechanics of writing. They feel self-conscious about problems with spelling, grammar, or punctuation. However, it’s important to recognize that you’re probably the only person to see these writings. They’re not for your therapist.
Moreover, you typically don’t share them in groups or individual therapy sessions unless you choose to. Therefore, it really doesn’t matter if your prose isn’t up to par. What counts is your willingness to express yourself in the moment. Also, participation in the process is invaluable for healing.
Some clients start with a journaling approach and switch gears in mid-stream. They may add prose, poems, and even just quick thoughts. In this way, a journal becomes a personal expression of your journey in recovery.
Because of this highly personal connection, it can provide you with a form of accountability. You can look back on the different thoughts and impressions to realize how far you’ve come. For many, this motivational tool spurs them on in the rough spots.
Writing and Other Types of Holistic Therapy for Addiction Recovery
Holistic therapies are those helping you heal your entire self–your body, mind, and spirit. Through a mix of these holistic approaches, you touch on different areas of yourself, healing more completely. What benefits you in talk therapy expands through what helps you in writing. The stability and peace you can achieve are limitless through a healthy mix of therapies.
Kemah Palms Recovery® in Kemah, Texas provides writing and other types of therapy for your fullest recovery. Accredited programs of Kemah Palms Recovery® include:
- Residential and outpatient rehab program
- Medical detox program
- Music, art, nutrition, fitness and yoga therapy
- Individual counseling
- Neurofeedback, acupuncture, meditation and massage therapy
- Family and group therapy
For yourself or someone, you love who needs healthy recovery after drug or alcohol addiction, call Kemah Palms Recovery® now at 855-568-0218. Through writing therapy and other forms of treatment, you can achieve your brightest future. Make the call now.