When was the last time you wrote a letter? Now, if we want to say something to somebody, it’s so easy to just pick up the phone and call or even video chat in some way so you can see one another’s expressions. For many conversations, that’s a benefit, like when catching up with a loved one. It’s nice to have that real-time interaction and the connection that comes with looking at each other.
Just a couple of centuries ago, if two friends who lived far apart wanted to chat, they had to send a letter through snail mail and wait weeks or months to receive it. Not to mention having to sit down and write out words by hand. But these elements of letter writing which seem like only a downside today have their upsides in some situations – even in a modern world of FaceTime and SnapChat. Sometimes, not having a way to instantly say what you want to say and see the person’s reaction is a good thing. We spoke with psychologist Dr. Ebony, who often works with women on learning how to communicate and ask for what they want, about how writing a letter can be therapeutic.
A letter keeps you safe
Dr. Ebony specializes in working with patients who have been through some sort of trauma. She says that, when working with trauma patients, they look at things through the lens of wanting to remain safe. There is a certain safety in letter writing for trauma patients, but also for anyone who needs to share something difficult, as you can say what you need to say without fear of someone’s instant reaction.