Effects of structured written disclosure of trauma on physical and mental function : Examinations on adding of assumed letter writing and the written content.
assumed letter writing
The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of the structured written disclosure of the trauma on physical and mental functioning, adding “assumed letter writing”. In this method, individuals write letters assuming others who understand their feelings and thoughts. It is expected to further distance from the traumatic events. In addition, it was also examined whether the written content related functioning. The participants were randomly assigned to three groups and received three times of writing sessions of 20 minutes once a week: the structured disclosure group(n=6), the free disclosure group(n=7) and the control group(n=7). Results indicated that the degree of the distancing in the structured disclosure group tended to be significantly higher than that of the free disclosure group, but significant interaction was not obtained. Although all participants in groups improved mental and physical functioning after two-week of disclosure, the differences on groups and effects of the interaction were not significant. The written content analyses suggested that the more insight words tended to increase, the better the physical health was in only the structured disclosure group. To summarize the above, it was suggested that the procedures related to the “assumed letter writing” to take the distance from the traumatic events in this study were not enough. Further examination of the instruction of structuring is needed in future. The result of this study was discussed by theoretical framework.
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