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  • Writer's pictureAmy Dougley


Journalling is often suggested to those in therapy as a tool to address anxiety, depression and trauma.  When suggesting journalling in therapy sessions, I am often greeted with eye rolls and apprehension.  It is rare that people express their love for the practice. 

When I think of journalling, my mind automatically thinks of “Dear Diary...”

For those of us who live with anxiety, "Dear diary…" journalling can be quite counterproductive. 

I say this because to participate in traditional journalling is to buy into perfectionism, that is, anxiety’s worst nightmare.

I do love journalling and as a practitioner, will attend any form of what I refer to as “outside of the box” journalling webinars.  Further exposure has broadened my definition and views of this practice. 

Some forms that I have been exposed to include:

  • Art journalling,

  • Letters written to help during specific times of day or anniversaries of events

  • Journal prompts (available on Pinterest or by purchasing books from your local bookstore)

  • Recording specific quotes, music lyrics, song titles, religious scriptures etc.

  • Random journalling ie writing random thoughts on whatever is available, for example, thoughts written on a serviette or scrap piece of paper and keep in a box

  • Doodle journalling eg Zentangle

  • Photo journalling,

If you are wondering how to get started, I would suggest the following steps:

1.      Think about your goals and why you want to start journalling

2.      Decide which type of journalling you would like to try

3.      Collect your materials

4.      Set a small realistic goal

5.      Schedule your first session

Remember to have an open mind and have fun.  Not every type of journalling is for everyone.  Flexibility is essential to success as the goals of journalling are to learn about yourself, gain self compassion and practice self-care.

Happy journalling!





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