Benefits of Expressive Writing

expressiveExpressive writing is personal writing that expresses and explores the personal feelings of the writer. Writing about our personal experiences helps us understand and communicate our own perceptions, interpretations and responses. Expressive writing doesn’t need to be informative or educational and it is not focused on proper spelling, punctuation and grammar. The first person is used and the writing must be directly about the writer.

People have used expressive writing for centuries as a means of personal discovery, catharsis, and giving meaning to their lives. At Optiminds, we have introduced Expressive Writing recently as part of our Cognitive Camp to give students yet another tool to improve their coping skills.

Often used in therapy, expressive writing allows a person to write about traumatic experiences in order to face them and express feelings and thoughts about the experiences. While possibly being difficult or even painful, studies show that in most cases the writing therapy helps increase psychological health and reduces stress.

Writing therapy can also help people with expressive writing disorder or dysgraphia. People with this learning disability may have difficulty writing logical sentences and may also have reading or language disorders.

Common forms of expressive writing include writing in a journal or on a blog, and writing poetry, forms that allow us to  really delve into the psychological and emotional aspects of an event rather than just writing about its superficial or surface qualities.

Expressive writing may work because it helps us make sense of the events of our lives, providing a way to process and think through the meaning of events and how we want to respond. It also can help us express pent up emotions about things that have happened. Sharing our writing with others is a way for us to get positive feedback or have others let us know that they have been through similar circumstances. But there is evidence that expressive writing is helpful whether or not you share it with someone.

Dr. Jane Stewart at Optiminds has earned a reputation for helping to improve the study, reading, math and cognitive skills of students of all ages. Learn more about Optiminds’ customized tutoring programs by calling Dr. Stewart today at (248) 496-0150 or email her at: And be sure to visit the Optiminds website at:


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