Does writing about suicidal thoughts and feelings reduce them?


Journal Article

To assess whether writing with cognitive change or exposure instructions reduces depression or suicidality, 121 undergraduates screened for suicidality wrote for 20 minutes on 4 days over 2 weeks. They were randomly assigned to reinterpret or to write and rewrite traumatic events/emotions, or to write about innocuous topics. The three groups (N = 98) who completed pre-, post-, and 6-week follow-up were not different on suicidality or depression. All subjects reported fewer automatic negative thoughts over the 2 weeks; they also reported higher self-regard but more health center visits at follow-up. Suicidal thoughts may be more resistant than physical health to writing interventions.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Kovac, SH; Range, LM

Published Date

  • January 2002

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 32 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 428 - 440

PubMed ID

  • 12501967

Pubmed Central ID

  • 12501967

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1943-278X

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0363-0234

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1521/suli.32.4.428.22335


  • eng