I have used journal writing, for the last 20+ years, to assist clients between sessions. I either provide writing prompts, to give structure, or encourage the flow to be freeform.
Journal writing is safe, free, and expressive. There are no rules. Our words are tucked between pages of our most intimate feelings and thoughts. We can be more honest with ourselves. At the end of each journal writing entry, I suggest rereading and giving yourself a two or three sentence summary and perhaps an insight. This nugget of inner wisdom is the essence of your words. Often there will be a theme that unfolds from a prior counseling session and/or it will be an opportunity to process in the next session.
Personally, not only do I love to write, I need to. It is a part of me that has found a way to express outrage, to sensitive poetic nuances, or to honor a difficult space. Writing is also an opportunity to pass along particles of teaching; it is a vessel as well as a blanket stitch of creativity. For some people who might be more introverted (like me!!) it’s not easy to quickly verbalize what I’m thinking. Therefore writing provides a safe space to process and contemplate and then to give my point of view(s). Often, I find I have quite a lot to say!!
I hope this Counseling Note is helpful and I look forward to sharing more of these too. ~ Much love & respect, Carolyn
Carolyn Riker is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in private practice. She is also an author of three books. Her most recent book is "My Dear, Love Hasn't Forgotten You."