Posted: 26 June 2019

National Writing Day 2019: 7 ways writing can help young people

To celebrate National Writing Day 2019, we wanted to explore how writing can help young people deal with difficult experiences and feelings.

Many of our services implement creative writing into their therapy sessions in order to encourage the young person to understand and work through traumatic events and complicated emotions. Here are some ways writing can help young people who are struggling:

7 reasons why writing can help young people:

1. It's a leveller

Some people are good at verbalising their feelings, some people find it more difficult. Writing can allow you more time and space to order your thoughts and this can often lead to a more accurate conversation with your counsellor or therapist.  

2. It's accessible

Writing is accessible to most people; all you need is a pen and paper. You can do it almost anywhere and you don’t need a therapist in the room while you do it.  

3. It's retractable

You are in control over who sees your writing. You don’t need to show it to anyone. Sharing your writing with your counsellor is a great way to work through certain feelings but this is completely your choice. If you write something and you don’t feel quite right about it, there’s no pressure to share it.  

4. It's editable

One great thing about having your thoughts down on paper is that it is editable. The way we see things will change with time. If you’re unhappy with a piece of writing then you can go back and edit it. This is also useful to visualise how your feelings have developed.  

5. It's cathartic

Many people keep journals and diaries, some simply to have a record but some to make sense of the day. The process of writing and editing can really help you think about and understand how you’ve been feeling. 

6. It's illuminating

Going over past experiences can be difficult but it can often make things clearer. Some practitioners encourage creative writing as it encourages young people to separate themselves slightly from the trauma and express it in a way they feel more comfortable.  

7. It's empowering

Writing encourages you to take control and overcome the powerlessness of certain feelings. It’s not always easy but it’s non-judgmental, no one will stop you writing what you want to write. 

Feel like writing? Set your timer for 6 minutes and don't stop writing until the time is up! 


By Kaja Zuvac-Graves

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