The three letters exercise

The three letters exercise

6 min. reading time


Louis Zantema

14 August 2020

Louis is a GZ-Psychologist with a great passion for gaming. For him, a game training that offers therapy is the most valuable thing you can develop: especially for pain complaints, which are on the interesting intersection of body and mind. His aim is to make himself dispensable as a therapist.

In my previous blog you could already read about creativity as a medicine for pain. A lot of research has been done into a specific form of creativity, namely writing. From these researches it appears that writing can be an incredibly good way to give pain and emotions a place.

New insights by writing

As it turns out, writing is a very good way to distance yourself from your problems, get an overview, process certain things and gain new insights. In short, writing is good and healthy for almost everyone. Especially if you have trouble with the visual exercises (some people unfortunately have trouble visualizing) writing can be a good alternative. Some people also have a 'linguistic' attitude. Which means that by talking and writing you will get better insights than visualising or drawing, for example.

writing exercise

The three letters exercise

Letter 1 - The negative letter

The first letter you write is completely negative. You write down what's bothering you. What you blame all your pain. How your pain may have ruined your life and what you can't do anymore. What has gone wrong in your life because of the pain and what may still be ruined because of the pain.

Letter 2 - The positive letter

In this letter you write as positively and understandingly as possible. That your alarm system is trying to help you, but that it has broken through. What the pain has taught you. Which people you may have gotten to know through pain, or what you have discovered in life. How in certain ways you become a stronger and better person from the pain. 

Letter 3 - The realistic letter

In the last letter you actually make a mix of the first two letters. You describe what bothers you, but also show understanding. You mention the disadvantages, but maybe also some advantages. You try to write a realistic letter to the pain. 

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