You know what a regular love letter is. You might have written one to a partner at some point! But the first word you’d use to describe it probably wouldn’t be therapeutic, am I right? I totally understand. So today, I’m going to explain the concept and benefits of a therapeutic love letter. And I invite you to write one for me, and send it in to the website! It’s a great opportunity to learn about yourself and have your writing published.
Narrative therapy, a major component of what I do, is heavily focused on writing the story of our lives. It helps us map out what we’ve been through and therefore get a clearer picture of what we see as important. What has made you who you are? A therapeutic love letter is a chapter that digs deep into what we see as important– what we love. So, think for a second about who and what has really deeply impacted you. I’ll wait!
Who and what did you come up with? Was it your significant other? Was it the long list of your significant others? Your mom? Sister? Pet snake? Coffee? Write a love letter to it! Below are the benefits you’ll receive for doing so.
**The information on this website is purely educational and not to be used as therapy. While my post-grad job prospects are still in the air, if you think you might need a therapist, please check out BetterHelp! They have thousands of licensed therapists that you can meet with online for a fraction of the cost of in-person therapy.
The Therapeutic Love Letter
1. A therapeutic love letter helps us practice thinking relationally.
At the core of my intense marriage and family therapy training, there is the concept that we are in relationship with everyone and everything around us. Recognizing this is called thinking relationally, and this mindset opens us up to a lot of potential agency and responsibility. When we are fully aware of how we affect things, and in turn, how things affect us, we tend to feel more in control and act more responsibly.
A therapeutic love letter is great practice with this. Of course, if we love someone, they have affected us. And writing a love letter is basically writing out your understanding of the effect they’ve had on you! How are you different because of their presence in your life? Taking it a step further, how does this effect make you relate to others differently? It becomes clear that relationships are not linear– they are a cycle.
2. A therapeutic love letter urges us to sit with emotions
Why would you want to sit with emotions, you ask?! Well, it’s actually a lot healthier than society would have us think. We have this pick-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps mentality that everyone thinks is healthy. We should be able to quickly move on from painful events, and hide our strong positive feelings so we’re not seen as weird or crazy. But emotions are SO useful. Feelings like sadness or anger are like physical pain in that they alert us to something being wrong. When we push them away, all we’re doing is disabling our alarm system. Not safe. What is safe is sitting with your feelings and getting to know them. This way, you know what they need when they pop up.
A therapeutic love letter helps you get to know these feelings. You’re pouring out your heart to something or someone you love! It might be uncomfortable at first to be so vulnerable, but you’ll be healthier for it in the long run.
3. A therapeutic love letter helps me get to know you guys!
The final reason it would be great for you to write these letters is that I just want to know my readers better! If I know who and what is important to you, I can tailor my content to better suit your needs. So, here’s what you need to do to have your letter considered for publication on my site:
- Write me new content. If you’ve already written a love letter and posted it somewhere on the internet, I can’t post it! Please only send me original work.
- Write me detailed content. Please make sure your love letter is 800-1,500 words.
- Le me know if you’d like to be anonymous. Since a therapeutic love letter can contain lots of vulnerability, I understand if you’d like to remain anonymous. However, I also understand if you want to be recognized for your writing, which I’m also happy to do! Just let me know in your email.
Please send your therapeutic love letter to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Therapeutic Love Letter Series.” I’m looking so forward to reading them!