Writing Therapy

Do you keep a diary or journal? You may not know it but this is Writing Therapy.

To write something down is to reflect on it and by reflecting on something that has been in your thoughts is a way of working through it. I know, I do it daily or should I say I try to. If I don't, then I don't beat myself up about it. I would say I keep a journal rather than a diary. With a journal it feels looser: you can either record the events of the day, or week, or you can reflect on how you are feeling about the things that are happening around you. I don't use purpose-built journals or diaries but instead buy spiral-bound notebooks to fill. I think one question you should ask if keeping a diary or a journal, is why am I doing this? My answer would be that it's a mixture of remembering what has passed - somehow I want to keep a record, to give purpose and history to my life and secondly to write out my thoughts. Sometimes I go back a year later to reflect on what I was feeling then. It can be very revealing and thought provoking to do this.

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Writing can be therapeutic in many ways. I think the important thing to remember is, that unlike when at school, no-one is going to mark you or criticise your writing. You are doing it purely for your own benefit and if you don't want, to you don't ever have to share it with anyone.

In the book, Writing Routes,http://amzn.to/HuySno  A Resource Handbook of Therapeutic Writing, I have a poem published, which I wrote after my son, who was a teenager at the time, had a major operation on his face and afterwards had his jaw wired for six weeks. Writing the poem helped me to release all the suppressed emotion I had kept contained so that I could remain strong enough to cope with nursing him back to health.

If you want to try writing for therapy, Kate Thompson, one of the editors of Writing Routes, and an expert on the subject, does a regular blog, with some great ideas for exercises to follow.

http://journaltherapy.co.uk/.

Lapidus, 'Creative Words for Health'  is an organisation set up to further the use of writing therapy, it provides networks and information for people interested in writing and creativity for personal development and in working with others.

http://www.lapidus.org.uk

Mari L. McCarthy has done a great online series of journal exercises. Each set of journal exercises lasts about a month and covers such subjects as: Life Transitions, Decluttering your Life, Personal Growth Etc. The journals are inexpensive to purchase online and are a great way to get into the discipline of journalling.

To find out more go to:       http://www.createwritenow.com