The effectiveness for writing interventions in the treatment of trauma has been a long-researched topic with research continuing to be conducted. This systematic review with narrative synthesis aimed to examine the effectiveness of writing interventions over the past two decades in reducing trauma or related symptoms in adults diagnosed with PTSD or having experienced a criterion-A event. Researchers searched the following databases: PsycINFO, Scopus, EBSCO, ProQuest (PTSDPubs), and PubMed. The last search yielded 100 manually full-text screened studies, with 18 articles included in the systematic review. The results point to some evidence for statistically significant decreases in trauma or related symptoms when compared to control groups/conditions. These results can be utilized to implement writing interventions for individuals who are on a waitlist for treatment or who do not want to engage in full trauma treatment, especially since instructions do not need to be provided by a psychologist. Future research should focus on qualitative analyses as well as investigating the effectiveness of writing interventions in reducing trauma symptoms in males and more culturally diverse groups.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Graphotherapy; Post-traumatic stress disorder; Psychic trauma; Psychic trauma--Treatment

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Natasha Thapar-Olmos

Included in

Psychology Commons