A recent research study shows that expressing one's thoughts and feelings after a traumatic event is not necessary for long-term emotional and physical health. The study, led by UC Irvine psychologist Roxane Cohen Silver, looked at the relationship between immediate expression after the events of September 11, 2001 and mental and physical well-being over time among a nationally representative sample. The research showed, contrary to popular belief, that some people who expressed their thoughts and feelings about the attacks reported increased physical health problems and emotional distress over time. Some participants in the study, who chose not to express thoughts and emotions about the attacks when given an opportunity to do so, appeared to cope successfully and reported fewer diagnosed physical and mental disorders.
An updated version of Coping with the Effects of Trauma is included in my new book, Help Me!. More information, including the table of contents, reviews and purchasing information is available on the Help Me! page.