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Writing and Healing Go Hand in Hand

Healing Wounds of Both the Mind & Body Through Writing | ParadigmMalibu.com

Whether you’re a male or female teen, writing can be your best friend. When it feels like the entire world is at your back, when it seems like everyone you know is holding something against you, or when it feels like no one is really getting you, open the notebook and you can practically feel its complete acceptance of who you are.

It might sound a little corny, but it’s true. The thing is  – the notebook will take anything! No matter what you write, it won’t judge. It won’t grimace. It won’t ask you stop. It is there to receive all of the worst and best of your experiences. It is there to hold all of you, your pain, your problems, and your passions. Writing it all out – whatever it is – can be a sort of letting go as the notebook listens and receives. Paradigm Malibu capitalizes on the benefits of teen written therapy.

For this reason alone, writing can be healing. But let’s take a look at a few more therapeutic reasons to write.

By sitting in a designated place each week or each day, writing can become a healing practice. Really, it’s not the writing that is healing; instead, it is the relationship that you build with yourself as a result of having a writing practice. As you write down your experiences, another part of you is listening and offering compassion and a hug. For example, the notebook is a place to be completely honest, access your emotions, and open the heart. Each time you write, the heart opens more and more and a certain appreciation develops. It’s a sort of appreciation for yourself, for the whole experience of being alive, for the process of looking inward, and for giving yourself this special time to write.

And let’s face it – being an adolescent isn’t easy. You are reaching for your independence, uniqueness, and the adult role you will play in life. However, doing this in the midst of other confused teenagers, family conflicts, and the lingering need to hang onto your childhood is the mountain you climb. Not to mention the presence of drugs, the pressure of new romantic relationships, and maintaining good grades! It’s a wild journey you are on!  There’s a nagging sense of insecurity, the pressure to fit into society, the need for acceptance, and the social experimentation you must do to find yourself.

All of this practically calls for the need to write. During this essential stage of life developing a strong identity and finding your direction in life, the notebook and pen (or sketchpad and colored pencils) are virtually essential.

Besides, writing can foster a sense of control. Because adolescence is often an experience in which control feels just out of your reach, writing about particular emotions and experiences can bring back some of that power. By investigating and being curious about emotions or experiences, you lead them by riding on their energy. Let me explain.

Let’s say a certain feeling is coming up inside. You can begin to question it. Becoming a bit like Socrates, you can get curious and ask some questions about it right while you are feeling the intensity of the emotion. You write out a question about sadness, for example, because you’re feeling it right in the moment. “Why do I feel so sad?” Perhaps, an answer arises like, “I feel this every time I am not true to myself.”

With this sort of questioning, gaining insight, and befriending emotions, a deep relationship forms within. This is where the true healing is! Loving yourself in the writing process is by far the most therapeutic reason to write.

Here are the ways writing and healing go hand in hand:

  • develop a loving relationship with yourself
  • access emotions
  • explore the inner world
  • evoke a sense of being heard and acknowledged
  • foster a sense of control
  • open the heart
  • develop trust in yourself
  • reveal inner depth
  • discover what is important – for you!
  • nurture courage
  • build self confidence
  • enhance creativity
  • encourage spontaneity
  • invoke the imagination

Next time you’re really feeling the intensity of being a teenager, pull out some paper and a pen. Let it rip. The notebook’s got you.

Paradigm Malibu is an adolescent mental health and drug treatment center dedicated to identifying, understanding and properly treating the core issues that impact teens and their families.

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