Title

Does Writing About Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings Reduce Them?

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-1-2002

Department

Psychology

Abstract

To assess whether writing with cognitive change or exposure instructions reduces depression or suicidality, 121 undergraduates screened for suicidality wrote for 20 minutes on 4 days over 2 weeks. They were randomly assigned to reinterpret or to write and rewrite traumatic events/emotions, or to write about innocuous topics. The three groups (N = 98) who completed pre-, post-, and 6-week follow-up were not different on suicidality or depression. All subjects reported fewer automatic negative thoughts over the 2 weeks; they also reported higher self-regard but more health center visits at follow-up. Suicidal thoughts may be more resistant than physical health to writing interventions.

Publication Title

Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior

Volume

32

Issue

4

First Page

428

Last Page

440