Focused expressive writing as self-help for stress and trauma

Joshua Smyth, Rebecca Helm

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


In the therapy process, the process of disclosing about stressful or traumatic events is often considered essential. One such manner is through focused expressive writing (FEW) about stressful or traumatic experiences. FEW is related to improvements in health and well-being, across a wide array of outcomes and participant characteristics. As FEW requires limited involvement of other individuals, is relatively low cost and portable, it has tremendous potential as self-help. In particular, FEW may be an effective means to reach populations unwilling or unable to engage in psychotherapy. A case illustration of FEW is presented. Evidence and future directions for FEW as self-help are reviewed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-235
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of clinical psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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