On writing as therapy

Journaling has been such a great help for me lately. It has slowly replaced most of the therapy in my life lately (and it’s a great thing). In many cases I think I needed therapy just to express what I think and feel and journaling allows me to do that without having to wait for a session, or pay for it.

I don’t mean to say that journaling is always a replacement for therapy, it’s just that at some point I realised that I can imagine what my therapist would suggest or say, or how she would show compassion and so on. And on the other hand, it makes sense to try to express what is the problem before the session, so that I don’t have to waste time on that during the session. So I started writing it down.

Turned out that in many cases the extension of working memory that writing gives, plus the rubber duck effect, meant that I knew what to do with the problem by the time I finished writing it down. If you ever had that thing, where you write a question to Stackoverflow, make it all nice with a minimal working example and then realise that you don’t need to post it anymore because you know how to fix it — apparently, it works with therapy too.

And I’m pretty sure that it wouldn’t work as a substitute before I did all the therapy before that, before I internalised that voice, and so on. But if you’re questioning whether you want to phase out your therapy, or if you don’t know if you want to start one (or if you don’t have the opportunity to do so just yet) — try writing all of your problems and questions down, it can only help.

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