Sarah Foster

Date of Award

Spring 5-8-2017

Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


English, Linguistics, and Communication

First Advisor

Rochelle, Warren

Major or Concentration



The purpose of this project is to provide writing prompts as an intervention method for adolescents who have experienced family violence and have been placed in the safe environment of family-style orphan care. The paper provides a literature review of writing as healing, also known as written emotional disclosure, in therapeutic contexts. Writing prompts are then presented designed for adolescents who have experienced complex trauma in the form of family violence. Each prompt has a specific purpose, but all prompts share a focus on empowering the adolescents to consider their identity, rise above hardships, and engage their past through reflective writing and narrative pieces. After each prompt, a description of their intended purpose in the healing process is given, along with research that supports their construction, followed by recommendations for the facilitator. The literature in the discipline shows that in order for trauma victims to walk confidently into the future, they must face the past. As writing is a noninvasive form of processing, these writing prompts are tools to help the adolescents own their stories and begin to integrate their past into the overarching narrative of their lives.