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In dialogue: how writing to the dead and the living can increase self-awareness in those bereaved by addiction

Thatcher, Christina ORCID: 2022. In dialogue: how writing to the dead and the living can increase self-awareness in those bereaved by addiction. OMEGA - Journal of Death and Dying 86 (2) , pp. 434-456. 10.1177/0030222820976277

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This article examines how writing can increase the self-awareness of a socially isolated and often stigmatized population: those bereaved by addiction. Writing about a traumatic event has been shown to increase self-awareness which can improve health and regulate negative behaviors. Using narrative analysis on the writing of individuals bereaved by addiction, this study found that participants were able to increase their self-awareness through writing to the dead, the living and themselves. Participants’ writing also demonstrated their attempts to make sense and make meaning out of their loss which are both strong predictors of positive health outcomes. All participants in this study demonstrated increased self-awareness as well as sense-making and/or meaning-making which can lead to improvements in behavior regulation, psychological health and physical heath. This suggests that writing may be a uniquely beneficial therapeutic intervention for those experiencing disenfranchised grief as a result of bereavement by addiction

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 0030-2228
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 10 January 2023
Last Modified: 05 May 2023 15:13

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