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Does writing about your pains help heal them?

28 April 2003

'There is an idea current in the prevailing culture that writing about something that pains you heals the pain. I was not, when I began writing my life story, and am not now, healed of my mother. But you do gain a small distance from anything by keeping it in suspension in your mind while you work at finding the words to fit it. The process is so slow and incremental that you don't notice its effect, but the point is that it is a process. This relief to the individual is justification enough for self-revelation in some cultures.'

Nuala O'Faolain in the Guardian