There was an article in the New York Times recently about the waning interest in psychotherapy and the growing interest in writing workshops. The author (both of whose parents are therapists) claimed that what people are yearning for is a venue for telling their stories. He refers to the “writing cure,” a nod to the old “talking cure” phrase.
After giving it some thought, I’ve decided to wholeheartedly agree and disagree with him. For me, it’s a both/and, not an either/or. As a writer and therapist who often incorporates writing and other forms of creative expression into the process, I am fully in agreement about the power of storytelling, and of having one’s story heard and affirmed. However, if people begin flocking to writing workshops as a substitute for psychotherapy, that’s going to present a different problem for writers and writing teachers.
People need safe venues and safe people with whom they can be fully themselves. Therapy can be one of those places, though it is not the only place, and writing is one venue, though it is not the only venue.
When and with whom can you share your story? How is your story evolving? What allows you to hear others’ stories more fully?