One of the most important outcomes of psychotherapy, is the creation of a coherent personal narrative. While this has been known and practiced for some time, Journal Therapy is a relatively new therapeutic approach to accomplishing this goal. In this therapy group, Journaling becomes a way for both client and therapist to fill in the gaps of a life story, and find a way to understand and explain how one thing may have led to another, and what important learning can be taken from each major experience. As one journals, a biographical narrative will emerge, and one will have the opportunity to examine whether their long-held beliefs about their own personal story are indeed accurate, or helpful. Journaling becomes an instrument of interpretation and a description of the writer’s experiences. The weekly sessions are facilitated by therapists trained to facilitate a deeper understanding of the salient issues in an individual's life, and improved understanding of these issues. The increased understandings of intrapersonal and interpersonal tensions often allows a decrease in psychological suffering, as well as providing a roadmap to future goals and healing. The creation of a coherent personal narrative is a fundamental element of mental health that also helps individuals recover from shame and guilt, deepen their sense of self, and personal confidence. Participants need not be concerned about having an ability to write well or to write artfully, as creative and artistic expression is not the primary goal of this practice, though some may find it to be a byproduct.
The Healing Power of a Personal Narrative
Posted: 05/16/11 06:00 AM ET on The Huffington Post