In Dialogue: How Writing to the Dead and the Living Can Increase Self-Awareness in Those Bereaved by Addiction
journal contributionposted on 13.01.2022, 14:37 by Christina ThatcherChristina Thatcher
This article examines how writing can increase the self-awareness of a socially isolated and often stigmatized population: those bereaved by addiction. Writing about a traumatic event has been shown to increase self-awareness which can improve health and regulate negative behaviors. Using narrative analysis on the writing of individuals bereaved by addiction, this study found that participants were able to increase their self-awareness through writing to the dead, the living and themselves. Participants’ writing also demonstrated their attempts to make sense and make meaning out of their loss which are both strong predictors of positive health outcomes. All participants in this study demonstrated increased self-awareness as well as sense-making and/or meaning-making which can lead to improvements in behavior regulation, psychological health and physical heath. This suggests that writing may be a uniquely beneficial therapeutic intervention for those experiencing disenfranchised grief as a result of bereavement by addiction.
Published inOMEGA - Journal of Death and Dying
VersionVoR (Version of Record)
CitationThatcher, C. (2020) 'In Dialogue: How Writing to the Dead and the Living Can Increase Self-Awareness in Those Bereaved by Addiction', OMEGA - Journal of Death and Dying DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0030222820976277
Cardiff Met Affiliation
- Cardiff School of Education and Social Policy