Larose Counselling Services

Therapeutic Letters

At the end of each session, your therapist will provide you with a Therapeutic Letter.

What is a Therapeutic Letter?

There are many different types of therapeutic letters (e.g., letters of invitation and/or to build relationships, letters of redundancy, and letters of reference). At My Quanta, we utilize letters to summarize a meeting.
A Therapeutic Letter represents a collaborative process, a conversation between a Guest and their Counsellor during a meeting.  The Letter might include, but is not limited to, highlighting important moments from the meeting, ways of building further awareness about significant issues in your life, links to local resources, and “next steps” (e.g., action and/or safety plan).

The Purpose of a Therapeutic Letter

The Potential Benefits of Receiving a Therapeutic Letter


  1. To engage Guests in a collaborative counselling process (Fennel &Wolcoxon, 1986)
    • Letters are written, reviewed and edited with the client;
    • Letters are written for and with the client not about the client;
    • Clients own their documentation.
  1. The receipt of a letter can be a validating experience in and of itself:  “I (their Counsellor) acknowledge who you are and your story.”
  2. To increase motivation during the meeting (Hamill, Reid, & Reynolds, 2007).
  3. A letter can be a powerful and inspiring tool in re-authoring a “problem-saturated” life story.
  4. A letter can capture the “lushness of a Guest’s story.”
  5. When Guests agree with the contents of a letter it helps them to establish a contract with themselves and their preferred way of being to go against the problem.  A letter can be the essence of a promise they make to themselves.
Externalization and Amplification of Emerging Alternative Stories:
  1. To create a “diological space” (Frankfurt & Penn, 1994: 222-223). Letters, as part of a therapeutic process, show therapy to be a collaborative, co-evolving part of both the Guest and their Counsellor’s life flow as opposed to a mystical, esoteric act performed by somebody on somebody. They capture a dialogue, rather than a monologue on paper.
  2. To facilitate change by promoting learning and reflection (Kindsvatter, Nelson, & Desmond, 2009).
  3. To engage the imagination of the Guest, opening new possibilities (White, 2001).
  4. To highlight therapeutic changes (Riordan, 1996).
  5. To help a Guest stay connected to emerging alternate stories (Morgan, 2000).
  6. To slow down the retelling, allowing for deeper understandings (Goldberg, 2000).
  7. To influence both writers and readers (Wood & Uhl, 1998).
Extension of the Session:
  1. To extend the counselling process beyond the meeting (Janus 2002; Kennedy, 1999).
  2. To provide “vessels of conversations” (Moules, 2009, p.39).
  3. To provide repeated exposure (Hamill, Reid, & Reynolds, 2007).
  4. To free the client from the time constraints, immediacy and intensity of the counselling meeting (Kindavatter, Nelson, & Desmond, 2009).
  5. To expand the amount of information that can be assimilated in the counselling process (White & Epston, 1995).
  6. Letters are estimated to have a value of 3.2 to 4.5 meetings of good counselling (Nylund & Thomas, 1994).

Additional Readings on Therapeutic Letters