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Written communication with survivors of sexual abuse. Use of letters in therapy.

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  • 1Mental Health Services, Holy Cross Hospital, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.


1. Written therapeutic communication with clients can have a lasting impact by enhancing themes of a therapy session, commenting on strengths, and highlighting changes. 2. Therapeutic letters can be used to validate the sexual abuse survivor's experience, offer commendation, provide information, normalize day-to-day living, encourage reflection, and seek clarification. 3. The use of therapeutic letters is consistent with a family systems nursing approach to practice, in which the nurse focuses on strengths and resources, interactions, and reciprocity during contact with the patient.

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