Therapeutic Journalling: 12 Steps to Rewrite Your Story

Woman writing in a journal doing therapeutic journalling

Therapeutic Journalling or narrative therapy through writing can be a powerful tool for personal growth and healing. It is a deeply personal practice, so should be customised to suit your unique needs and preferences. Allow yourself the freedom to explore, experiment, and discover new insights as you embark on this transformative journey of self-discovery and healing.

Follow these 12 STEPS to guide you through therapeutic journalling.

  1. Set Aside Time:

    Set aside a dedicated time for your journalling practice when you won’t be interrupted. Whether it’s in the morning, before bed, or during a break in your day. Make sure your cell phone is switched off or on silent.
  2. Have a Special Place to do your Journalling:

    Find a quiet and comfortable space where you have privacy. You could burn some incense, light a candle, surround yourself with favourite items like a special cushion, scarf or blanket.
  3. Choose Your Journal:

    Select a journal that speaks to you. It could be a simple notebook or a fancy journal with inspiring quotes or lovely smooth paper. You could do digital journalling, but our recommendation is journalling by hand, as it offers a far more intimate experience that can deepen your connection with yourself and your thoughts.
  4. Set an Intention:

    Before you begin writing, take a moment to set an intention for your journalling session. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and still your mind. Then think about, what do you hope to gain or explore? This could be anything from processing emotions to setting goals or simply capturing thoughts and memories.
  5. Write freely:

    Start without censoring yourself. Let your thoughts flow onto the page without worrying about grammar, spelling, or punctuation. Write as if you're having a conversation with yourself and as if no one else will ever read it.
  6. Explore your Thoughts and Feelings:

    Use your journalling as a space to explore your thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Write about whatever is on your mind whether it’s something that’s bothering you, a moment of joy, or a random observation. There are no rules with journalling.
  7. Express Yourself Creatively:

    Feel free to express yourself creatively through your journalling practice. You can incorporate drawings, doodles, poetry, or even collages if that helps you better convey your emotions and experiences. I love to add stickers like pretty flowers or little insects, or to use washi tape to brighten up the borders. Highlighters are also a lovely way of bringing some colour to the page.
  8. Reflect and Gain Insight:

    Take time to reflect on what you’ve written. Notice any patterns, themes, or insights that emerge from your writing. Journalling can help you gain clarity, perspective, and self-awareness. You can use a highlighter to indicate anything that jumps out at you.
  9. Release Emotions:

    Journalling can be a cathartic way to release pent-up emotions. Allow yourself to express anger, sadness, frustration, or any other emotions you may be experiencing. Writing them down can help you process and healthily release them. Remember, nobody ever needs to read what you have written.
  10. Practice Gratitude:

    Incorporate gratitude into your journalling practice by writing down things you’re thankful for. Focusing on the positive aspects of your life can help shift your perspective and cultivate a sense of abundance and contentment.
  11. Be Gentle with Yourself:

    Remember to be gentle with yourself as you journal. There’s no right or wrong way to do it, and there’s no need to judge yourself for what you write. Your journal is a judgment-free zone where you can be completely honest and authentic with yourself.
  12. Check in a few weeks/months later:

    Go back a few weeks or months later and read what you wrote. We tend to forget how much good happens in between or how our situation has changed. There is great power in doing this.

Whether you journal daily, weekly, or sporadically, the key is to make it a regular part of your self-care routine. Over time, you may find that therapeutic journaling becomes not only a tool for self-expression and reflection but a source of comfort, clarity and personal growth.

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