For millions of people, Pinterest is just a place to share photos of our favorite recipes, clothing, or decorating ideas. But for a growing number of therapists, Pinterest is a powerful new tool for treating our emotional problems!

That’s the word from Crystal Rice, a relationship counselor who recently began encouraging her clients to use the popular photo-pinning site. Why? Rice says a common problem therapists run into during treatment is clients who aren’t good at expressing their thoughts and emotions.

So, as an experiment, Rice asked her patients to try mapping out their feelings by “pinning” groups of images on Pinterest. Her thinking was that some emotions are easier to convey with pictures than with words. And she figured that by asking patients to group photos into themes, it would help identify what was really going on in their head.

Believe it or not, the experiment worked! Rice says because Pinterest focuses on images we connect with, our pin-boards actually offer clues into what makes us tick! Basically, all those random photos help us express our deepest emotions, and memories, in ways many of us can’t with words.

Experts say that’s different from most other social networks – like Twitter and Facebook – which seem to encourage us to show off and say “look at me.” Because with Pinterest, it’s all about saying “look at this.” And by pinning things we connect with emotionally, we’re revealing what’s really going on in our mind.

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