While much has been written about the physical and emotional
benefits of writing, little has been written specifically for
mental health professionals detailing how to use therapeutic
journaling with their clients. Therapeutic journaling any type of
writing or related expressive process used for the purpose of
psychological healing or growth can be an extremely helpful
adjunctive therapy. When integrated into an overall treatment plan,
regardless of the therapist s clinical orientation, journaling can
become a dynamic tool for personal growth and healing. The first
part of this book, Journaling and the Clinical Process, gives an
overview of therapeutic journaling and the many potential benefits
from its use. It provides concrete and specific steps for
introducing journaling to psychotherapy clients and answers
questions about structure and logistics. For example, engaging your
client in writing a biographical statement will not only help focus
the treatment plan but also provide a vast amount of background
information. This section also introduces two very beneficial
mnemonic devices to help clients focus and organize journaling
between sessions. The next section, Presenting Problems and
Journaling Solutions, addresses nine different diagnoses and
explains specifically how therapeutic journaling can be integrated
into the treatment plan of these diagnoses. Key diagnoses are
covered: adjustment disorders, anxiety, depression, grief, low
self-esteem, couple and relationship issues, addictions, disordered
eating, and post-traumatic stress disorder. The final part of the
book, Journaling Roadblocks and Building Blocks, addresses
potentially difficult, sticky, or challenging situations regarding
journaling, such as possible resistance to therapeutic journaling,
privacy issues, safe boundaries, and protection of client material.
Importantly, it also reviews those circumstances in which it is
best not to use therapeutic journaling or when journaling is
contraindicated. The author offers a program designed for
therapists for creating their own therapeutic journaling practice.
The Healing Power of Writing is filled with case studies,
step-by-step exercises, and clear and practical guidelines for
mental health professionals who want to incorporate journaling into
their clients treatment.
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