It is taken for granted that disclosure can be beneficial to both the victims of extreme traumatic events and to their next of kin on the assumption that the past traumatic events must be the main cause of any current dysfunction. There is a danger that other sources of dysfunction, whether or not related to the original trauma, will thereby be neglected. This paper argues for a careful evaluation of the source of dysfunction and for the usefulness of structured writing assignments in the process of therapy. Two case studies of families including survivors of the Holocaust are presented to illustrate the technique of structured writing assignments and its theoretical underpinning.
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