I can remember as a child I was always writing something.
Short-stories, poems, even my inner most thoughts.
I found, even as a young girl, that expressing how I was feeling about things, mostly how unfairly I was being treated by my parents (at least that’s what I thought at that time), helped me to channel my frustrations into an outlet that relieved my stress and helped me to feel better. Never did I realize just how therapeutic such a tool was until I became older and 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. Synonymous with one another, both a journal and diary are written from a personal perspective and considered to be a record keeping tool, however, that is about as far as the similarities go.
On the other hand, there a clear differences among the two. How many of you remember “Kitty” from your school days? Anne Frank named her diary “Kitty” and would write to her daily sharing her secrets and activities that were taking place. A dairy is a tool that allows an individual to keep a record of their daily activities or 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 in 2010, Dr. L. Spencer, encouraged me to channel my younger self and work through some of the issues I never dealt with as I was growing up.
Initially, I was resistant to his suggestions but eventually after thinking about what he said and that particular supervision session, found myself standing in Barnes and Nobles bookstore deciding on what type of journal I would like to use for my personal therapy. What happened next has been both enlightening and fulfilling.
I, in the past 7 years and 20+ journals later, have learned so much about myself, personally and professionally, begin to develop goals, and continue to work through my issues.
My coping tool, my journal has gotten me through a lot of rough days and allowed me to open up as a person. A true stress reliever, I experience a sense of calmness once I am able to write down my thoughts and feeling and work through them at the same time.
Journaling is considered to be effective therapeutically. Clients are able to begin working on themselves and developing a level of awareness of themselves outside on the therapy room to discuss during therapy sessions.
Journaling, however, is not limited to the therapy room.
Journaling is just as effective outside of the therapy room. Since I have begun to journal and share my 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 prompts such:
“I get upset when….”,
“I am most fearful of…….”, “
I wish that…….”,
“Change is…….”; and the list goes on and on, as great starters.
Having been journaling for 7 years, I have a wide range of topics that I’ve covered, 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 is not 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 collection of your thoughts and revisiting them often allows you to see your growth in specific areas of your life and help you continue to develop awareness into yourself.
Are you ready to experience the Power of Journaling?