So, why journal? Isn't a journal just a collection of diary entries done every day? What's helpful about that?
Journaling can definitely be a series of diary entries done daily, or weekly, monthly, yearly, etc, but it can also be much more than that! I've kept a journal for years, ever since a high school mentor gave me my first journal at 16 with the instructions to write whenever I felt like it. In the years since, my journals have run the gamut from daily logs, emotional "letters" never sent, travel journals, creative explorations and many other things.
A few years ago while pursuing a Creative Writing Certificate, I enrolled in a course titled: Writing and Healing. The course was by far the best class I had taken throughout the program. In it, I learned a variety of guided journaling techniques that completely re-vamped the way I had been using my journal. They could all be done quickly (as in less than 20 minutes) and continually surprised me with how much of an impact they had on my life! At times, I've used the techniques to gain clarity on decisions I'm facing. Other times, I've used techniques to further creative pursuits and breathe life into fictional characters I'm working with. I frequently find myself returning to some of the techniques to help with time-management and finding balance in life!
After a few years, I found myself longing to find a way to help others heal from the craziness of life, and came back around to the idea of using expressive writing and poetry as a means of healing. The Center for Journal Therapy's Journal to the Self® Instructor Certification course offered a great way to get started. Since then, I find that each time I go through the JTTS method or teach it, I gain more insights into whatever new adventures life is bringing me and it keeps me growing and learning.
I know how much expressive writing has helped for me, and I hope it is helpful for others as well.
Below, I'm including the links to a couple of articles about Expressive Writing and the power to heal. Enjoy!
US News article about the Health Benefits of Expressive Writing (2016) health.usnews.com/wellness/articles/2016-08-31/the-health-benefits-of-expressive-writing
American Psychological Association article on Writing to Heal (2012)