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Digital Subscriptions > Fertility Road Magazine UK Edition > May/June 2016 > The power of words

The power of words

Kate Brain explains how writing about your experience of infertility,whether privately or online,can be therapeutic-both for you and others experiencing similar challenges

When I was going through my IVF treatments, I would sit at home each evening and write about the day’s progress – how many follicles were developing, how long I’d had to wait at the clinic, an analysis of every important word I’d heard uttered by various medical staff and details of how I was feeling, both physically and emotionally. I wasn’t writing with any purpose in mind; I wrote because I didn’t know what else to do and pouring my thoughts onto paper seemed to help me to make some sense of the emotional turmoil I was experiencing. At the time of writing, there wasn’t a single thought in my mind about publishing my stream of consciousness – it was just something I felt I needed to do.

I had no idea that the concept of writing as a form of therapy had been wellestablished for decades. Back in the 1960s, American psychologist Dr Ira Progoff discovered that when his clients wrote about their experiences, they were able to get through difficulties more quickly and easily. He developed what was known as the Intensive Journal Method to help people to use writing effectively, working with ring binder folders divided into sections to represent the different areas of their lives. The idea of the healing nature of writing was further popularised by psychologist Dr James Pennebaker who has been described as a ‘pioneer of writing therapy’. He found that when people wrote down how they felt about any emotional upheaval in their lives for just a few days, there was a marked positive effect; he has since written widely about the impact expressive writing can have.

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About Fertility Road Magazine UK Edition

With experts Emma Cannon, Kathy Payne, Dr Marilyn Glenville, Dr Paul Turek
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