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Healing Through Writing at Passages Addiction Treatment Centers

By Susan Finley, Ed.D., NCC


“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”              -Ernest Hemingway

Writing can be a healing process for those struggling with substance use and addiction. By reflecting on and reframing life events, the act of writing can assist in a more positive outlook and overall enlightenment.

5 Ways to Use Written Expression:

  1. Journaling—Set aside a time each day to quietly reflect in your journal. You will want to include any significant or memorial aspects of your day. Write freely and without hesitation. Be sure to include at least 1 positive interaction, good deed, change in perspective, or otherwise successful task completed each day. Keeping a balanced perspective is a large part of addiction treatment. Date your entries. Some individuals find healing comfort in reviewing previous entries.
  1. Keep a Running Log or Bullet Journal—Have a journal with you at all times and you can easily jot down your thoughts and feelings anywhere. Sometimes getting those nagging, repetitive thoughts out of your head and onto paper does the trick. In addition, when a brilliant idea or noteworthy occurrence takes place, jot that down as well. Date your entries so you can easily keep track of patterns, growth, and changes.
  1. Gratitude Lists—be creative here. Do not limit yourself to the obvious. By looking deeply within ourselves, we learn to see and appreciate the little gifts in our everyday lives. This will assist in keeping a healthy perspective and outlook on the day and overall future. If gratitude lists are new for you, begin with at least 3 things you are grateful for each day. You may choose to do this in the morning, or at night reflecting on the day’s events.
  1. Write a short story—This is a fun way to imagine different scenarios. We control the setting, characters, and outcome. You may choose to write about a past event that occurred in your life or rewrite/create the details and outcome of an event entirely. There is no standard for how long your story should be. Beginning with 1 page is a good place to start.
  1. Write a poem—Poetry is also an excellent way to focus our thoughts and feelings on specific topics. Begin by choosing one topic or subject and explore everything that comes to mind when writing about this topic. Poems range from haiku (3 phrases 17 syllables) to many pages. There is no standard for length. Begin with shorter poems and work your way up.

At Passages Malibu, our philosophy offers a genuine solution to end your addiction permanently. You deserve something different. Something better. Something that works.

How to Contact Passages Addiction Treatment Centers:

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

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Susan Finley, Ed.D., NCC is an educator, published researcher, and social media consultant. She is a National Certified Counselor (NCC), Distance Credentialed Counselor (DCC) (e-therapy) and Suicide Prevention Instructor (QPR) under the National Board for Certified Counselors.

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