The main problem I see with “therapeutic” writing is how necessary (or, at least, strongly encouraged) it seems to be to focus on the negative you’re trying to deal with/process.
The implication is that you must define and identify it, I suppose.
But for me to do this I must submit myself to the negative feelings that pull at me (both now and during “real-life”), and that seems dangerous. Who surrenders to the mini-whirlpools that pull at their ankles when swimming in unfamiliar waters? Isn’t that just foolishness?
I am experiencing emotions I want to process, I do want to understand myself and be understood, but the cost of (potentially) becoming mired in them still seems greater than the cost of pushing, however muck-footed, through them.
A lot of wordless prayers these days.
Hmm, I’m not sure if the swimming analogy is quite the same. I find that once I put my negative feelings into words, my body is released of a great deal of the stress and I can begin to look at the situation rationally again. Sometimes it even comes out in my writing. Even though I may still be disappointed, I can recognize that and create ways to deal with it. Oftentimes I get encouraging remarks that suggest coping methods.
Some hurdles may be too big to overcome in one therapy session, though.
Yes, I’ll agree your processing style can have a lot to do with how dangerous dwelling on the negative can be. And I have known times when identification of specifics is very helpful.
(Have I said on this blog yet one of the best ways– one of my favorite ways– to kill something is by dissecting it?)
In this instance I knew it wouldn’t be healthy because it would have involved criticizing my husband.
I am a negative-needs-a-purpose person, and as wrung out as I was, I knew complaining just to vent would by counter-productive if anything.
It was shortly after the birth of our third child, and Jay was home full-time having to take care of everybody and everything. In his own way he was just as stretched as me, thrown into “covering” for me.
That he was already doing (nearly) everything he could was something God gave me grace to see– which helped some, even though I still had unmet needs.