Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Creative writing-Therapeutic use, Narrative therapy, Depression, Mental-Treatment, Eclectic psychotherapy, Therapeutic alliance, Expressive writing, Rumination, Depression, Relational-cultural theory, Writing therapy


This theoretical thesis offers considerations for expressive writing as an adjunct to talk therapy, particularly for adults with depressive disorders and ruminative thoughts. This thesis asks: how do theories and empirical studies inform the use of expressive writing as an adjunct to talk therapy in adults with depressive disorders to decrease ruminations, and how can clinicians integrate this treatment intervention into practice? The primary aims of this thesis are to expand upon the limited knowledge about the therapeutic effects of expressive writing, to offer direction for further research, and to propose a model for the implementation of expressive writing into session time. Narrative Therapy and Relational-Cultural Theory serve as clinical orientations to interpret and implement the intervention. The effects of the writing exercises on the therapeutic alliance are discussed throughout the thesis. Direction is offered for further research on expressive writing to diversify clinicians' repertoire of techniques to treat adults with depression and ruminations. The thesis concludes with a proposed model for implementing expressive writing into practice that may serve as a feasible and therapeutic intervention.




iii, 117 p. : col. ill. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, 2013. Includes bibliographical references (p. 94-116)