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Writing Project

Based on extensive research, Pennebaker's writing project has produced significant changes in a number of health issues. As adapted for patients with IBS at the MBDC, patients are given a writing booklet that begins with 4 questions relevant to IBS, asked to write for 20 minutes a day, for 4 consecutive days, either on the same topic each day, or different topics. The writing, which remains the property of the patient, is addressed to an exploration and description of deep personal feelings about their illness. Patients then complete a brief questionnaire about their experience, which is reviewed at the next office visit. Patients have found the process to be illuminating and beneficial. Insights into the meaning of IBS in the person’s life have provided useful.