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Amanda Taylor

Writing as Prison Therapy


It is astounding to me how few benefits people attribute to the simple act of writing a letter. The very fact that it's so involuntary to human kind should tell us something. The urge to write down thoughts and ideas is apparent in all of us.Why is it so hard then for so many to believe that writing is a healing art that can be used in rehabilitation.

Writing and reading written correspondence is still so effective that counselors recommend it to work out relationship problems and personality issues. Psychologists tout the benefits of journalling and writing letters to significant others, even if they are never read. It makes living easie, but also encourages the acceptance and understanding of death.

Letters, for the most part, have gone the way of the Dodo Bird. In this day and age of digital media and instant communication, inmates may be the only ones reading and writing letters on a regular basis anymore.In their life's restrictions from the world, culture and humanity, a letter from another soul is often their only learning tool.

Writing focuses the mind and serves as a momentary destressor by releasing tension. The act of creating something, especially a letter, releases chemicals in the brain that have the ability to change moods and establish new mindsets. Why don't we harness this energy, or at the very least, acknowledge its power?



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