Savoring the Shared Life: Strengthening Marriages Through Collaborative Legacy Writing

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Degree type
Master of Applied Positive Psychology
Graduate group
Discipline
Psychology
Subject
savoring
reminiscence
legacy writing
relationships
marriage
happiness
meaning
appreciation
marital interactions
storytelling
positive psychology
intervention
love
positivity
collaborative writing
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2023-08
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Author
Valerie B. Averia
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Abstract

What’s the story of our marriage? What lessons do we want to leave behind? What’s our shared legacy? This paper presents a narrative positive intervention called Collaborative Legacy Writing (CLW) as a savoring and meaning-making tool in married life. Legacy writing is the act of chronicling, preserving, and transmitting one’s life experiences, values, lessons, and reflections in written form. This typically solitary writing endeavor is explored as a joint activity in CLW, where couples co-author shared legacy pieces based on their happiest experiences together. The proposed intervention features a three-step collaborative writing process where couples learn evidence-based mechanisms for enhancing happiness in marriage. CLW provides couples with the tools to cherish what is good about their marriage and to craft beautiful stories out of their shared life as they grow together. The literature review showcases studies on interpersonal processes that positively impact marriage and the well-being benefits of writing from the viewpoint of positive psychology. Designed to nurture positivity, closeness, meaning, and belonging in marriage, CLW aims to make the marital relationship a source of joy for the married partners through the years.

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Tarragona, Margarita
Date of degree
2023-08
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