Blog, Teaching, Writing

Need a Therapist? Try Writing

writingI’m not a therapist, nor will I ever be. I’m not even the type that gives advice and counsels others well. I can’t solve world problems, let alone my own problems.

 We all have problems that inconvenience our daily lives – problems with work, school, and home. Significant others, parents, children, friends, and family members test our patience, tempers, and will. Health problems plague many of us, financial woes are in full swing, and the uncertainty of our future path makes life stressful more often than not.

 What we all need, though, is an outlet – a place to vent frustrations, celebrate joys, humor ourselves, and relax. What we need is more writing in our lives.

 Writing is a strong form of expression. Writing is a chance to escape from reality, confront trauma, and spark creativity. Simply put, writing offers freedom for our souls.

 As an English instructor, I find that too many people (primarily my students) have had negative experiences with writing. Whether it was a grade school teacher’s harsh words (“You can’t spell”) or a peer’s cruel observations (“You’re writing sucks”) or even a family member’s disparaging words (“You’ll never be a writer”), too many people doubt their abilities to write.

 What many don’t realize, though, is that writing does not have to be evaluated. Writing does not have to be something you share with others. Writing doesn’t have to be “perfect” or even good. Writing is a personal act – for you and only you. More importantly, writing can be that very outlet you need when stress beckons and life is off balance.

 Trust me, I know – that’s why I write.


– Shannon Philpott
Blog Entry: Aug. 3, 2009

 © Shannon Philpott, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Shannon Philpott and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


3 thoughts on “Need a Therapist? Try Writing”

  1. I’ve always had trouble distinguishing between writing that is meant to be shared and writing that is purely personal. In my own case, everything ends up being something to be shared. I might write something akin to a journal entry, but then I edit it, alter the word choices, and end up with a piece I wouldn’t mind sharing. It’s still honest, still straight from the heart, but odds are good that I’ll share it with friends even if it never gets submitted to anything. I’m known in some circles for, rather than giving someone my thoughts on a subject, sending them something I wrote a little while before. This is true of anything, whether it be how I felt on a given day or the recent political environment.

    I have a friend, however, who is the opposite. She writes, but I have never read a single word of it. For her, it’s all personal. Sometimes she’ll tell me she just wrote something an my automatic response will be ‘Great, when will it be ready for me to read?’ The answer, of course, is never. I’m still not used to that.

  2. Great post. I have always felt writing to be a type of therapy—a way to vent, create, live in my own world, and so on. It wasn’t too long ago I actually considered taking the long road to get published. Having said that, your site is a good resource for new guys like me. May I place your site on my blogroll?

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