Navigation Links
Expressing feelings after trauma not necessary, research shows
Date:6/2/2008

Irvine, Calif., June 2, 2008 Talking it out has long been considered essential to recovering from a trauma. But new research shows that expressing one's thoughts and feelings after a traumatic event is not necessary for long-term emotional and physical health, a finding that could change the way institutions devote money and resources to mental health services following collective traumas.

The study, led by UC Irvine psychologist Roxane Cohen Silver, looked at the relationship between immediate expression after a traumatic event and mental and physical well-being over time among a nationally representative sample. Study participants were questioned following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Silver and colleagues say participants who chose not to express thoughts and emotions about the attacks when given the opportunity to do so through an anonymous, Web-based survey, appeared to cope successfully and reported fewer diagnosed physical and mental disorders. In contrast, individuals who communicated their thoughts and feelings about the attacks reported more physical health problems and emotional distress over time, even after controlling for exposure to and distance from the attacks. The study followed participants over a two-year period. It appears in the June issue of the American Psychological Association's Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.

The results have important implications for understanding the role of expression in the coping process and for early post-trauma intervention, according to Silver.

"Some people don't need to express thoughts and feelings after trauma and do just fine, and it's a myth that you must express your distress in order to recover," Silver said. "Mandatory or required psychological counseling is often unwarranted and universal intervention is likely to be a waste of resources."

A standard and universal approach to trauma counseling can result in misappropriation of resources away from individuals who are truly at risk, she said. It also may interfere with the natural coping processes that take place when individuals seek support and advice from family and close friends.

"This study also shows how dangerous it can be to rely on hunches and common sense when attempting to provide intervention after a trauma experienced by a large group of people, such as the 9/11 attacks, but it can also be applied to situations like school shootings," she said.

Researchers analyzed data from a Web-based survey sent to 36,000 participants who received e-mails with an open-ended prompt asking them to share their thoughts about the events of Sept. 11. Nearly 14,000 people responded, and researchers followed a number of these individuals as well as some of those who chose not to respond in the years following the attacks. They collected information about physician-diagnosed physical and mental health ailments over two years.

The researchers caution that the higher rates of illness among those who did respond should not be interpreted to mean that expressing thoughts and feelings is harmful. People who want to talk should still do so, but they say it is important to remember that not everyone copes in the same way, and in the immediate aftermath of a collective trauma it is perfectly healthy not to want to express thoughts and feelings.


'/>"/>

Contact: Laura Rico
lrico@uci.edu
949-824-9055
University of California - Irvine
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Voting for Clinton Evokes Deep-Seated Feelings of Insecurity
2. Expressive writing appears to change thoughts and feelings about cancer
3. New model predicts whether patients will be free of renal cancer 12 years after initial treatment
4. Acupuncture reduces pain and dysfunction in head and neck cancer patients after neck dissection
5. More Than 78,000 are Dead and Millions are Homeless After Cyclone Nargis Swept Through Myanmar
6. Seizures Likely Sign of Brain Injury After Stroke
7. Antidepressants May Prevent Depression After Stroke
8. Obese Patients at Greater Infection Risk After Hip Replacement
9. Probiotics Help Adult Weight Loss After Bariatric Surgery
10. Sponsor of Drug Bill Rejected by CA Senate Today Changed Its Name After Privacy Violations
11. Anti-rejection drug may increase risk of diabetes after kidney transplant
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Quality metrics are proliferating in cancer ... they remain in the eye of the beholder, according to experts who offered insights ... American Journal of Managed Care. For the full issue, click here . , ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Pixel Film Studios Released ProSlice ... "Film editors can give their videos a whole new perspective by using the ... of Pixel Film Studios. , ProSlice Levels contains over 30 Different presets to ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... ... Kasmer, a legally blind and certified personal trainer is helping to develop a weight loss ... plans to fix the two major problems leading the fitness industry today:, ... , They don’t eliminate all the reasons people quit their exercise program ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Experts from the ... AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes Convention Center in ... topics including advance care planning, healthcare costs and patient and family engagement. , ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to a possible ... often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from a human ... but a necessary one in the event that lice have simply gotten out of control. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Pa. , June 23, 2016 Bracket ... will launch its next generation clinical outcomes platform, Bracket eCOA ... Meeting held on June 26 – 30, 2016 in ... the first electronic Clinical Outcome Assessment product of its kind ... Booth #715. Bracket eCOA 6.0 is a flexible ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... announced the establishment of Astellas Farma Colombia (AFC), a new affiliate with operations headquartered in Bogota. Colombia ... ... ... ... Astellas is a pharmaceutical ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 The vast ... an outpatient dialysis facility.  Treatments are usually 3 times ... hours per visit, including travel time, equipment preparation and ... patient, but especially grueling for patients who are elderly ... a skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers for some duration ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: