Eating disorder patients, especially those with anorexia nervosa, are experientially avoidant. This group of patients finds talking treatments difficult and many standard psychotherapeutic techniques are difficult to implement. This paper discusses why therapeutic writing might be a useful adjunct to the treatment of eating disorders. Different types of therapeutic writing exercises may be useful at different stages of treatment and might aid the therapeutic process in different ways. The limitations of therapeutic writing are also discussed. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.