The Free Therapeutic Benefits Of Journaling

By

Therapy: How journaling can making you more self-aware
Journaling has become a common therapeutic intervention utilized in therapy to heal oneself.

As a child I remember constantly writing short-stories, poems, and even my inner most thoughts. As a young girl I found that  expressing my feeling towards what I thought to be unfair situations helped me to channel my frustrations into an outlet that helped relieve my stress. Never did I realize just how therapeutic such a tool was until I became a therapist. 

When individual's think about journaling they often assume you are talking about writing in a diary. Although there are some similarities shared between the two, there are just a many differences. Both a journal and diary are written from a personal perspective and are considered to be a record keeping tool. However, that is about as far as the similarities go. 

On the other hand, there are clear differences between the two. How many of you remember "Kitty" from your middle school Language Arts class? Anne Frank named her diary "Kitty"  and would write to her daily sharing her secrets and activities. A diary is a tool that allows an individual to keep a record of their daily activities and other things going on around them. Journals, however, are more thought provoking, elicits feelings, and promotes self-awareness.  

I came to realize the Power of Journaling after becoming a therapist and going through the state licensure supervision process.  During an afternoon supervision session in 2010 with Dr. L. Spencer, I was encouraged to channel my younger self and work through issues I never dealt with as a child. I was resistant to his suggestion intitally, but after thinking about what he said I found myself standing in the Barnes and Nobles bookstore deciding on what type of journal I was going to use for my personal therapy.  What happened next has been both enlightening and fulfilling. Three years and five journals later, I learned so much about myself both personally and professionally. I began to develop goals and still continue to work through my issues. 

Using my journal as a coping mechanism has gotten me through a lot of rough days and allowed me to open up. I experience a sense of calmness once I am able to write down my thoughts and feeling.

Many believe Journaling to be therapeutically effective. Journaling is just as effective outside of the therapy room. Clients are able to work on themselves to develop a sense of awareness outside of the therapy room. Ever since I have shared my journaling experience with my friends through social media, I have had several individuals inquire as to how to begin journaling. 

For those who are interested in journaling, I have found journaling start-up prompts such: "I get upset when....", "I am most fearful of.......", "I wish that.......", "Change is......."; and the list goes on and on.I have a wide range of topics that I've covered in my past three years of journaling, some focused on daily struggles with coworkers, friends, family member; things I've learned about myself as a counselor; experiences working not only in the counseling field but in a prison; accomplishments and failures;  etc.

Journaling is what you make of it. There isn't a wrong or right way to journal. You don't have to write everyday and it surely doesn't have to be perfect. Ultimately, it's a way to collect all of your thoughts into one place. Revisiting these thoughts allows you to see your growth in specific areas of your life and help you continue to develop a sense of awareness in yourself. 

Are you ready to experience the Power of Journaling? 

More how to be happy with yourself advice from YourTango:

Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Dr. Karla Sapp

Counselor/Therapist

Karla L. Sapp, EdD, LPC, NCC

Location: Midway, GA
Credentials: EdD, LPC, MA, NCC
Other Articles/News by Dr. Karla Sapp:

Building A Better You: Are You Ready To Change?

By

As I was driving to work one morning, the thought, "It Doesn't Just Happen" popped into my head. All too often, the statement, "Why don't they just quit?" is what I hear and/or read from individuals, when referring to those who have found their lives plagued by substance abuse. Each time I hear or read such a statement, I find ... Read more

Parenting 101: Emotional Health Is A Priority

By

Research has shown that children raised by parents who encouraged the expression of emotions were likely to develop into emotionally healthy adults, secure in themselves and their ability to express their feelings.  Rearing children to understand the importance of expressing their feelings, both verbally and non-verbally, helps them to become more ... Read more

4 Tips To Move On Without Moving Into The Rebound

By

Rebound is a term most commonly referred to when an offensive basketball player is able to retrieve the ball after a team member is unable to make a basket, prior to the defensive players taking possession. Although encouraged and accepted on the basketball court, the act of rebounding has been found to create unhealthy dynamics in relationships.  What ... Read more

See More

GET MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS IN YOUR INBOX!

Sign up for our daily email and get the stories everyone is talking about.

Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.

FROM AROUND THE WEB