Writing Improves the Health of Caregivers!
Compassion fatigue has been defined as a combination of physical, emotional and spiritual depletion associated with caring for others. Journal writing is a low cost, accessible intervention that is scientifically proven to make a difference for patients, caregivers and medical professionals in coping with compassion fatigue.
The University Of Iowa School Of Nursing, under the leadership of Howard Butcher, RN, PhD, conducted a Family Caregiver Writing Study to help determine whether or not writing improves the health of caregivers. As part of this study, researchers analyzed thirteen studies involving over 800 participants, and these studies found that emotional writing about stressful events produces benefits in healthy subjects. A few of the outcomes measured included fewer physician visits, increase in positive antibodies (t-lymphocytes, hepatitis B, natural killer cell activity), and decrease in negative antibodies (Epstein-Barr virus).
Benefits of Journal Writing for Caregivers
- Reduces stress. Caring for yourself will help you care for others better.
- Provides respite. Caregivers who take time for themselves even for just 15 minutes a day, find that they are able to recharge and refocus themselves as they return to their duties.
- Deflects Negative Emotions. Writing is a positive form of catharsis and the journal page is a safe vehicle for expressing toxic emotions.
- Explore different options for handling daily experiences.
- Provides time for reflection.
- Develops self-worth. Caregivers realize the many things they are doing right by writing down daily events and thoughts.
- Develops personal insight.
- Provides clarity and insights into handling difficult situations.
- Enhances personal development.
- Clarifies values.
- Reveals information and insights for others.
- Record progress.
- Explore new ideas.
- Develop new perspectives.
Journal to the Self for Caregivers Workshop
This caregivers’ workshop will offer guided journal writing techniques to help teach proven, effective methods to work through emotions, clarify thoughts, find solutions, and resolve problems, task management and much more. Specifically geared for caregivers, this workshop will offer 17 writing tools from the Center of Journal Therapy that caregivers can use for themselves or for use with their clients.
Journal to the Self Caregiver’s workshop can be designed for any size group. Private instruction is also available.