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Therapeutic Journal Writing: An Introduction for Professionals

Overview

Writing a journal is not just about keeping a record of daily events - journal writing provides a unique therapeutic opportunity for facilitating healing and growth.

The author of this book guides the reader through developing journal writing to use as a therapeutic tool. Keeping a journal can help the writer to develop a better understanding of themselves, their relationships and the world around them, as well as improve skills of problem-solving, decision-making and planning. ...

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Therapeutic Journal Writing: An Introduction for Professionals

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Overview

Writing a journal is not just about keeping a record of daily events - journal writing provides a unique therapeutic opportunity for facilitating healing and growth.

The author of this book guides the reader through developing journal writing to use as a therapeutic tool. Keeping a journal can help the writer to develop a better understanding of themselves, their relationships and the world around them, as well as improve skills of problem-solving, decision-making and planning. As such, journal writing can be a powerful complement to verbal therapy, offering an effective and affordable way of extending support to troubled clients. The book includes advice on working with individuals, facilitating a therapeutic writing group, proposed clinical applications, practical techniques, useful journal prompts, exercises and case vignettes.

This clear guide to the basics of journalling and its development as a therapeutic medium will be a valuable handbook for therapists, health and social care practitioners, teachers, life coaches, writing facilitators and any professional seeking personal development in themselves or their clients.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781843106906
  • Publisher: Kingsley, Jessica Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/15/2010
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword Kathleen Adams 11

Preface 13

Part 1 Understanding the Basics 21

Introduction 23

From journals to therapeutic journals 23

Diary or journal? 27

Product and process writing 28

Why therapeutic journal writing? 29

Some reasons for keeping a therapeutic journal 30

Myths of therapeutic journal writing 32

Key concepts in therapeutic journal writing 32

1 Preparing for Therapeutic Journal Writing 40

The journal 40

The place 42

The pen: handwriting or typing? 43

Time 44

Privacy 46

2 Using Therapeutic Journal Writing in Practice Settings 49

Practice contexts for therapeutic journal writing 50

Introducing therapeutic journal work to others 52

Therapeutic journal writing in counselling or psychotherapy 54

Helpful client factors 59

Working with groups 61

Reading aloud 65

Responding 67

Part 2 Structured Techniques 71

3 Beginnings and Endings 73

Beginning therapeutic journal activity 73

Techniques for overcoming the first blank page 75

Ending a journal 84

4 Lists 89

Different kinds of list 90

5 Steppingstones 103

Different sets of Steppingstones 105

6 Description and Deeper 112

Captured moments 113

Travel journals 115

Working with photographs 116

Visual journals 120

Part 3 Less Structured Techniques 125

7 Journal Dialogues 127

Types of dialogue 128

Traditions of therapeutic dialogue 129

Practising dialoguing in therapeutic journal writing 129

What are journal dialogues useful for? 131

Dialogues with people 131

Dialogue with aspects of the self 134

Dialogue with the body 135

8 Unsent Letters 137

Personal relationships with letters 138

Unsent letters in bereavement and grief 139

Unsent e-mails 141

Intended recipients 141

Anger 142

What to do with unsent letters 145

Letters to the unborn child 146

Future or past selves 146

9 Perspectives 149

Time perspectives 149

Looking forwards 151

Making decisions 151

Reviewing the future or setting intentions 152

Changing behaviour 155

Looking backwards 156

Changing voices 157

10 Opening Up 161

Freewriting 161

Poetry 165

Stories 167

Working with time 167

Part 4 Applications for Practice 175

11 What Works for Whom? 177

Working with physical symptoms 177

Working with chronic illness 179

Survivors of childhood sexual abuse 186

Family/relationship issues 188

Bereavement 188

Addictions 190

Writing about therapy/treatment 191

Working with bilingual or second language speakers 192

Working with low levels of literacy 192

Working with people who are unable to write 193

12 Journal Writing in Professional Supervision 194

What is supervision? 194

Journal writing as self-supervision 196

Individual supervision 197

Peer supervision 199

Identifying/working with countertransference 199

Journal writing as a way of keeping client stories (and clients) separate 200

Captured moments 200

Unsent letters 201

Dialogues 205

Afterword 209

List of Journal Prompts 210

About the Author: A Personal Journey from Diary to Therapeutic Journal Writing 212

References 215

Index 219

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