Writing Cures: An Introductory Handbook of Writing in Counselling and Psychotherapy

By Gillie Bolton; Stephanie Howlett et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter 7

Journal writing as a therapeutic tool

Kate Thompson


Introduction

Journal therapy is the purposeful and intentional use of reflective or process writing to facilitate psychological, emotional or physical healing and to further therapeutic goals (Adams 1990). The development of writing therapy, though still embryonic, is growing through both the work of individuals and the expansion of organisations such as Lapidus (UK) and the National Association of Poetry Therapy (USA) and is supported by a research base (Pennebaker 1990; Bolton 1999; Lowe 2000; Wright and Chung 2001). This movement comprises a continuum of different methods and sets of techniques of which journal therapy is part. They have much in common despite avowals of difference dependent on context, background or philosophy. Burghild Nina Holzer, who changes the name of her journal writing courses depending on the context, illustrates this idea of similarity: 'in the end it didn't matter what the title was, I was always teaching the same thing. I could have called it “The expansion and integration of consciousness through writing” or I could have called it “Learning to Write in Curves”' (Holzer 1994:3).

Journal writing can be a prelude to talking therapy; techniques can be used between therapy sessions to provide a greater continuity of the work done or within the session as a basis for the work. Talking in therapy about the process of journal writing can be more productive than reading journal extracts aloud, although clients sometimes want to read something they have written as a way of communicating difficult or painful material. Writing can express material which is previously unexpressed or access previously inaccessible material, allowing it to come to the surface. Paradoxically, a tightly structured task can circumvent the defences and allow some surprising realisations to emerge. By occupying the conscious mind with a defined task the unconscious mind can be allowed to step forward (see 'Lists of 100', p. 77). Clients bring the insights they have gained in their out-of-session journal work, often saying, 'I realise…', 'I learned…'.

The word 'journal' comes from the French journée: day. In the seventeenth century it meant a day's travel and the record of a day's events. Journal-journée-journey: the word contains both continuity and change, temporal and geographical,

-72-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Writing Cures: An Introductory Handbook of Writing in Counselling and Psychotherapy
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 238

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.