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  1. #1

    Keeping a Journal

    I have a question regarding the ability to keep a journal. My therapist wants me to but I cannot seem to do it right now. I am going through a period of confusion. I gave him a list of things that had happened to me which was very hard to do. But now is just too hard to write more.

    I don't want him to get angry with me but I just don't know what to do. Can yall give me some advice?

    FYI, my sister is doing better from the miscarriage.

    Thank you for your help.

    TG

  2. #2

    Re: Keeping a Journal

    TG,

    What I found helpful for me was not to keep a paper journal but I keep a diary on my computer which is password protected. It was a program that I downloaded for free from the internet called idailydiary and it is great. The reason that I have it on my computer is because I type much faster than I can write and I know that it is safer on my laptop than on paper...for fear of others eyes seeing it.

    Also, I don't necessarily do an entry everyday but sometimes just to jot down ideas, thoughts, memories, triggers and the like.

    If keeping a journal/diary and specifically writing about memories is too difficult right now can you try with writing words that come to mind, just at random...start small with baby steps and work your way up to more indepth writing when you can.

    Take care


    P.S. - I am so glad to hear about your sister

  3. #3

    Re: Keeping a Journal

    Hi TG,

    I've been a little stuck myself where journaling is concerned. So instead, I've tried to focus on "why" I'm stuck - what is that I'm afraid of? What emotions am I avoiding when I can't journal? And I've written lists of that but haven't yet delved into the other stuff.

    Also, while I type a lot faster than I can write, I find that writing itself is more of a process - my emotions seem to flow from the physical act of writing versus typing. But again, I think this is a personal thing.

    And I don't think that your T will be upset with you. But maybe he'll start talking to you about why you're blocking.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    British Columbia
    Posts
    3,857

    Re: Keeping a Journal

    I learned something in therapy that I found quite cool. Instead of journaling on what was going on with me (which I had done for years), she started to get me to journal on certain topics.

    What does support mean to me? Many others. The subjects weren't loaded and tackling them more in general terms helped.

  5. #5

    Re: Keeping a Journal

    I write a lot, always have and I enjoy it a great deal.

    When I first started to talk about my writing with my therapist she asked to see it so I read some of it to her but told her I wasn't comfortable with her reading it. So I read certain passages or discuss the things that I wrote with her which has helped me a great deal and she respects that privacy and how much it helps me to have it.

    Being able to write out my thoughts and feelings as they are then being able to come back to it when I am done with greater objectivity and clarity allows me to learn so much.

    I write out my thoughts as a means of self examination and catharsis, i don't hold anything back. When I write in my journal it's a private place for me to air all my thoughts and feelings without restraint.

    So, my advice is talk about how it will be used with your therapist discuss your feelings on it and proceed from there.

  6. #6

    Re: Keeping a Journal

    I think there are a few articles on journaling in the coping skills section:

    Coping Strategies - Psychlinks Psychology Self-Help & Mental Health Support Forum

    Did you buy yourself a pretty journal? I think that is kind of a good idea. Something that you like and something that suits your personality.

    I know it's hard though. Maybe you could tell yourself to just write for about 5 minutes or so and that's all you need to do at a time.

    I do have a computer diary. I haven't used it in awhile, but it's helpful when I do and when I can.

    Best wishes to you.

  7. #7

    Re: Keeping a Journal

    Thank you all very much for these great ideas. I find computer typing easier emotionally than handwriting (which tells me that for me it must be somehow more anonymous). I will look into the suggested websites.

    I had an appt. today with my therapist and he suggested that we start out with a comparison document on my mother. That seems easier.

    Thank you again. You are all wonderful.

    TG

  8. #8

    Re: Keeping a Journal

    Well, i have tried to keep a journal myself... but I find that very demanding and difficult...as a matter of fact, I don't really enjoy writting everything I am thinking...it's too slow for me... and writing is not what I like doing best... I think it is a personality thing, if you love writing, then keep a journal, if you prefer painting, then do that instead... it will have the same effect. this is what I mean.

  9. #9

    Re: Keeping a Journal

    Hi,

    I was not able to write in a journal for a very long time...years and years...I would start and then not be able to continue...then I began to realize that while I had my weekly appointments with my therapist I still felt a strong need to talk about my issues. I tried the distress line but found no solace so then I thought of keeping a talking journal. I have a digital tape recorder and I talk into it because I can talk faster than I can write and I can get more stuff out of me talking...now I mix it up...sometimes I talk into the tape recorder and other times I handwrite..other times I type into an online journal...I seem to need variety...at least I have a record of what happens each day that I can go back to.

    I have been doing this for three years now and have come to understand myself better as a result. I ask myself questions about my day and what happened to me in the past and how the past affects my behaviour in the present...I then think of ways that I can change my behaviour and hope for a different outcome.

    My life absolutely sucked and still does in some respects but then so does everyones so I don't feel so bad...I had blocked out a lot of things that happened even the day before...I was unable to analyze my day or even remember what happened at the end of it...I would just be reminded if someone started talking about something the next day or a few days later...Now that I am writing everything down I have somewhere to go to remind myself and am building to the point where I will be able to go through my day at night, think about what happened, how I handled things...how things affected me and make plans for tomorrow...I am not there yet but believe that is possible for me now...three years ago that was a tall order...in fact since I started the talking journal I feel more at peace...I got a lot out of me in a short time than I could have in therapy or writing and I can erase everything that I have said whenever I am ready to.

    It was through writing that I was able to connect to my inner child and find out what was at the core of her pain so that I could address it...that will take time but at least now I know...

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