Sarah Kasbeer on Writing About Trauma

At Guernica, in conversation with Sara Petersen, essayist Sarah Kasbeer shares her thoughts on whether writing plays a role in processing trauma: “I do think the work of writing about trauma helps you separate it from yourself, and allows you to look at the story more objectively. Writing is a tool for thinking, so to say that it has no role in how we process traumatic events or our lives in general feels dishonest to me. At the same time, you need therapy, or another person who supports you, in order to heal from trauma. I don’t think writing is ‘healing’ in and of itself; in fact, sometimes it’s retraumatizing.” Kasbeer’s debut essay collection, A Woman, A Plan, an Outline of a Man, is featured on our October list of most anticipated books

is always reading. She works for Brooklyn Public Library and blogs about books at