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In Dialogue: How Writing to the Dead and the Living Can Increase Self-Awareness in Those Bereaved by Addiction

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posted on 13.01.2022, 14:37 authored 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.

History

Published in

OMEGA - Journal of Death and Dying

Publisher

Sage

Acceptance Date

31/10/2020

Publication Date

30/11/2020

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Citation

Thatcher, 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

Print ISSN

0030-2228

Electronic ISSN

1541-3764

Cardiff Met Affiliation

  • Cardiff School of Education and Social Policy

Cardiff Met Authors

Christina Thatcher

Copyright Holder

© The Authors

Language

en