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Psychother Res. 2008 Jul;18(4):389-99. doi: 10.1080/10503300701691664.

Written emotional disclosure: a controlled study of the benefits of expressive writing homework in outpatient psychotherapy.

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Department of Psychiatry, Dean Medical Center, Madison, WI, USA.


The current study investigated the extent to which outpatient psychotherapy clients benefited from Pennebaker's expressive writing protocol (Pennebaker & Beall, 1986) adapted for use as a homework intervention. Participants were randomly assigned to written emotional disclosure or writing control conditions. Pre- and postintervention outcome measures were collected for three consecutive therapy sessions. Clients in the written emotional disclosure group showed significantly greater reductions in anxiety and depressive symptoms as well as greater overall progress in psychotherapy in comparison to the writing control group. Results suggest that emotional disclosure writing homework, in conjunction with outpatient psychotherapy, facilitates therapeutic process and outcome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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