Re-Writing the Painful Past

Scientific research has long shown the benefits of expressive writing–the private kind of writing done to express emotions, not to please readers.

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Now, reports the New York Times:

“researchers are studying whether the power of writing — and then rewriting — your personal story can lead to behavioral changes and improve happiness. The concept is based on the idea that we all have a personal narrative that shapes our view of the world and ourselves. But sometimes our inner voice doesn’t get it completely right. Some researchers believe that by writing and then editing our own stories, we can change our perceptions of ourselves and identify obstacles that stand in the way of better health.”

We cannot change the past, but we can change how we think and feel about it. Telling the story, and modifying it — not to alter its reality, but your perception of it — can lead to a more positive and forgiving view of yourself. This can happen through the work of talk therapy. It also happens in EMDR therapy, where processing difficult experiences can help you to “rewrite” negative self-beliefs, replacing them with more positive — and more realistic — self-beliefs.

Recently trained in EMDR therapy, I am now accepting clients who would like to give this powerful therapy a try.

For more on rewriting your story, read the full article in the Times here.