Therapy journal?

By Gabi Buday On August 19th, 2013

How to write a therapy journal?

Many people use journal writing as a coping tool, in effect it becomes a journal which is therapeutic by its nature. Some people report this to be utilised on and off in their lives, other people are inspired to experiment with it when they start counselling, as an additional way to manage difficult times.

The most important facet of a therapy journal is that it is a personal journal, therefore it is purely for your benefit. Personal to you, so you are free to choose the format, how often and where/when to write it. You may choose to draw or doodle rather than write at times. You may choose to do voice recordings, most smart phones might allow you to do this. It is yours and you don’t have to share it with anyone, not even with your counsellor, of course unless it is you wish to do so.

Most people choose to write/draw/doodle about something what is meaningful to them. Maybe you learned something new about yourself in therapy which you want to capture. Maybe something your counsellor said made sense for you, or something you have felt in therapy is meaningful to you and you would like to remember it. Other people may just write about what happened outside of therapy – where you might notice the therapeutic effects of counselling. A journal could be a place to bracket off painful experiences, a place to offload stress or a place to park your concerns or questions for your next counselling session. Some people just write and write and as they write, they come to find their own insight into their own internal world. Your own way is the best way for you, there is no right or wrong way of writing a journal.

If you's like to experiment with journal writing and not sure where to start, these following questions might help you to start to experiment and play with journal writing:

·    What stands out from your last counselling session?

·    What did you learn about yourself and your world?

·    What made sense?

·    What feelings were present?

·    Did their intensity change over the time of the session?

·    If that was helpful, what worked for you?

·    What are the things you wanted to say and could not?

·    What was stopping you?

·    What do you need from your counsellor to help you to say those things?

It can also be used as a tool to practice mindfulness: ‘bringing one’s complete attention to the present experience on a moment-to-moment basis’. It is often a way to reduce the distance between your operational self (the part that go about their business every day) and your core self (the not doing but being self). Getting closer to the centre and to your core parts might not always be easy. Meeting your own self and everything inside you just as they are is the greatest challenge and gift of therapeutical journal writing. You might be pondering ok but how do I do this?

Counselling and psychotherapy can help you to develop a helpful ways of meeting 'all you are'. If you interested, please read my next blog about how to develop your compassionate mind-heart set to write your therapy journal.

Please do contact me if you wish to find out more, or to explore how counsellign could help you please read more at , or contact me on 07917 583697 or

Happy writing!

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