Writing for wellbeing: Theory, research, and practice

Katrin Den Elzen, Reinekke Lengelle

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Writing can support our wellbeing even under the most difficult life circumstances, helping us to adapt to significant change, make sense of loss, improve our physical and emotional resilience, and foster personal growth. Numerous studies of Expressive Writing have confirmed this, and there are other established methodologies for practice. However, to date, few accounts have offered detailed descriptions showing how and why putting pen to paper can be so beneficial. This book delves deeply into the landscape of Writing-for-wellbeing and demonstrates the transformative power of writing in a wide range of contexts. Topics include personal trauma narratives within the Humanities; a participatory Writing-for-wellbeing study that demonstrates the effectiveness of writing in the context of grief and loss; surprise as the hidden mainspring of poetry's therapeutic potency; the empowerment and healing potential offered by Black women's blogs; playwriting positioning LGBTQIA+ identities as positive through stories of belonging; how writing workshops have helped newly literate Indigenous adults and other participants in the Australian outback; and how the smuggled writings of Behrouz Boochani have enabled global witnessing of the stories of refugees held in offshore detention. This resource sets out the theory and research at the foundation of Writing-for-wellbeing in close relation to full and engaging accounts of practice. It aims to make the topic accessible and affirms its place as an effective reconstructive practice alongside other expressive arts therapies, providing a holistic and inspiring resource for anyone wishing to practice, teach, or research Writing-for-wellbeing.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages282
ISBN (Electronic)9781000886696
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jul. 2023


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