Expressive Writing

D. Arigo, J. M. Smyth

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Expressive writing, or written emotional disclosure, is a brief writing activity that encourages the expression of one's deepest thoughts and feelings about a personally important or stressful experience. Participants who write in this way, relative to those who write about emotionally neutral topics, often show meaningful improvements in physical and mental health outcomes, including healthcare utilization, immune functioning, and depressive symptoms. Characteristics of participants and the writing procedure have been shown to moderate the effects of expressive writing, and the mechanisms of action are not yet clear. As such, expressive writing has the potential for clinical utility, but its use must be carefully considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Mental Health
Subtitle of host publicationSecond Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9780123970459
ISBN (Print)9780123977533
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Psychology


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