Letter Writing and Preparation for Difficult Conversations

When you can’t find the words, I can help.

Some people neither want nor need ongoing counseling or psychotherapy.  They may, however, feel stuck or overwhelmed by one particular life situation.  Specialized, short term services are available to individuals who want assistance putting complex thoughts and feelings about a specific problem into words.  Help is available to clarify what you really want and need to say either verbally or in print.  This process often requires only one or two sessions in order to leave with a written outline of your thoughts and feelings and/or an actual letter.

When the stakes are high and words don’t come easily in a personal or professional relationship, a thoughtfully composed letter can help.

Some advantages to therapeutic letter writing are:

  • Fully thinking through how you feel and what you want to say to the other person.
  • Being able to process your feelings and write at our own pace.
  • Feeling like you got the chance to say everything you wanted and needed to say.
  • Having the chance to re-read and edit your thoughts and feelings. Getting to “sleep on it” and remove any unkindness or blame that could show up in a first draft.
  • Having a copy of the letter to refer back to so you know what you really said.
  • Giving the other person time to “digest” what you’ve said and form their own considered response.
  • Knowing you spoke your truth even if you don’t get the response you hoped for.
  • Sometimes discovering that you accomplished you emotional task just by writing the letter without the need to send it.
  • Sometimes feeling clear enough at the end of the session that you’re ready to have your difficult conversation in person rather than sending a letter and/or using your letter as “talking points”.