Following a divorce or separation, many people are encouraged by loved ones or health-care professionals to keep journals about their feelings. But for some, writing in-depth about those feelings immediately after a split may do more harm than good, according to new research.That is why I do not write in-depth about my divorce feelings on this blog.
In a study of 90 recently divorced or separated individuals, psychological scientist David Sbarra of the University of Arizona and colleagues found that writing about one's feelings can actually leave some people feeling more emotionally distraught months down the line, particularly those individuals who are prone to seeking a deeper meaning for their failed marriage.
The findings, forthcoming in Clinical Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, came as a surprise to Sbarra, who initially set out to compare the effectiveness of two different styles of expressive writing on the emotional healing of recently separated or divorced individuals.
As usual, those who listen to advice from shrinks end up worse off.