Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Eventually, put it into words

". . . in a recent study, students were randomly assigned either . . .
  1. to express a traumatic experience using bodily movement, 
  2. to express a traumatic experience first through movement and then in written form, or 
  3. to exercise in a prescribed manner for 3 days, 10 minutes per day (Krantz & Pennebaker, 1996).  

Whereas participants in the two movement-expression groups reported that they felt happier and mentally healthier in the months after the study, only the movement-plus-writing group showed significant improvements in physical health and grade point average

The mere expression of trauma is not sufficient.  Health gains appear to require translating experiences into language."
Writing about emotional experiences as a therapeutic process
James W. Pennebaker (1997)
American Psychological Society, 8(3), 162-166.

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