What comes to mind when you hear the word “therapy”? Perhaps you visualize a person lying on a couch or sitting behind a desk talking to a therapist. This is often the case. However, therapy comes in many different forms. Art, music, and play can all be powerful therapeutic tools that help individuals reach their goals. Writing can also be very therapeutic. By using a journal many people feel they can open up about their most challenging inward material. Its reflective nature allows us to begin to see ourselves more clearly and come to a better understanding of who we are and what we’ve been through. Studies even suggest there are physical, in addition to emotional, benefits to writing in a journal. Therapists often incorporate journal exercises as starting points for sessions or as “homework” throughout the week. Perhaps you’ll make a list of specific goals. Or maybe you’ll write a very honest letter with no intention of ever sending it. Maybe you’ll be asked to do a reflective retelling of a specific memory. Whatever the case journals can help bring to light the words that are most difficult to say. This can be true for a variety of circumstances. Whether you’re coping with illness, loss, addiction, trauma, or are trying to improve relationships or self-esteem using a journal can be a powerful tool.
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