I have loved journaling since I was a teenager. Back then it was more like, “Dear Diary” topics. Things have changed as the years have passed and I have learned just how beneficial journaling and therapy can be. I certainly need to learn more, but even as a grad student, I wrote papers on scrapbooking, a form of journaling (at least in my mind), as a therapeutic tool. I am starting to learn more about what journaling and memory keeping or scrapbooking can do for a person.
I am actually giving one of my patients a journal prompt to write about in between the sessions that we meet. The last prompt I gave her was from Creative Dream Incubator. It was the prompt “I Hope”. It was interesting to see how she took the prompt and what she wrote about. Given her level of depression, she only wrote a sentence about the prompt. I hope that I can get her to write more as she improves her depression. The other piece I found interesting, was what she wrote about. She took the prompt a whole different way than I would have. For her, “I Hope” was “I hope I can get out of bed” and then she didn’t. We talked about how writing a sentence like that was more a negative approach than a positive approach. It was great to have something to engage with her about, even though she easily engages, it helped to talk in more detail.
I plan to get a bunch of journal prompts to potentially pass out to people so that we can talk about them once they have a chance to journal. I would love to start a business creating journals and then teach people about journaling and the benefits of journaling. I am planning on putting something together and may presenting it to different after school programs as a form of mindfulness. I really think that kids could benefit from writing without the stress of being neat and grammatically correct. Maybe, I’ll even focus of different forms of mindfulness for kids that aren’t the traditional meditation and yoga.
I hope to write more about journaling, maybe even specific prompts. I want to focus on the making of the journal, the actual prompts in the journal, as well as the benefits of writing in the journal.
Do you have a journal practice? Does it help? Do you wish you had a journaling practice?