Thursday, January 17, 2013

Psychology of Blogging About Trauma

     This first assignment felt rather foreign to me as I have never been much of a blogger so I began to rack my brain as to what I could post about. I immediately considered the possibility that some psychology department out there has studied the psychology of blogging! 

     Alas, I came across a study produced by The University of New Mexico and The University of Utah entitled: “Blogging About Trauma: Linguistic Markers of Apparent Recovery”. The study was to determine if the “linguistic content associated with recovery from trauma” would help the patient in their recovery process. 

     The study was through exposure- based therapies and intended to help the patients reduce distress associated with their trauma. The goal was to deduce whether blogs that discussed and described a persons traumatic event indicated “a change over time in linguistic content associated with recovery following a traumatic event.” Many variables were discussed; the number of comments, writing sessions and frequency of posts were among other variables that could alter the outcome of the subjects experience blogging. 

     Ultimately, the researchers generalized by stating that the study shows evidence that forms of “unstructured blogging may not result in the same benefits previously associated with writing about traumatic events.” Writing about trauma has been proven to play an essential role in the recovery process however it is essential that a patients individual needs are considered when creating a therapeutic plan. 

     This study raised many thoughts and questions for me. Blogging feels very public and exposed. I wonder how the lack of privacy effected the subjects of this study in their recovery process. Perhaps this form of public expression was therapeutic as it helped the patients begin to express themselves with the understanding that others would see their process. Although I suppose it could also have the opposite effect; maybe some would not discuss their trauma as deeply as they might in a private journal due to the knowledge that others would read their words. 


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