At the age of 18, I was sexually molested and exploited by my coach’s husband. This was a very traumatic situation in my life, and I was faced with having to deal with the pain even after being taken out of the situation.
Once I came back home to my parents’ house, I felt so much negativity within that I needed an outlet. I became stressed, irritated and impatient with those close to me. I realized that if I continued to use my pain by getting mad and upset with others, I would live my life as a prisoner.
One day, I had had enough and decided to write my emotions and fears in a journal. This was the beginning of a very therapeutic journey of recovery.
Throughout my healing process, I would carry my journal with me everywhere I went. Whether I was at a doctor’s office or sitting in class waiting for the instructor, I wrote everything that came to mind — how I was feeling and what my current thoughts were.
I noticed myself feeling more at peace around my family and wanting to find ways to move past my adversity. The more I wrote, the better I felt. It was as if I looked forward to writing because I knew I would feel better. I started seeing a therapist where I would take down notes during our sessions and reflect after each session.
Five years later, I am now a life and relationship coach. I inspire and empower others to overcome their adversity and design a life truly worth living for. I have found my greatest gift in life, which is living each day in alignment with my deepest values and beliefs.
I have become so inspired by writing down my feelings that I am in the process of publishing my first book, The Power of Adversity. It focuses on overcoming trauma and finding your greatest gift in life. When I wrote the Table of Contents, I found the process of putting down all my thoughts in an organized manner to be extremely therapeutic.
Throughout the five years of personal transformation, I’ve learned how to make the most out of writing while seeing a therapist. It was because of writing that I was able to progress much faster than clients who didn’t write.
Learn from this wisdom and start implementing it. You will begin to experience an internal transformation.
Below are some tips for writing while in therapy:
- Be prepared. Before you see your therapist, make sure you have a list of topics that you want to discuss. No matter how small or insignificant, jot it down. Be prepared and know exactly what you’d like to share with your therapist. I know people who just waste time during sessions and never improve. Don’t be one of those. Take the time to jot down all that you want to discuss before going into your next session.
- Write it all down. During your sessions, make sure that you write down everything that you want to remember — a comment that your therapist made or an insight that you gained. This is going to be extremely helpful when you reflect upon your notes after your session.
- Reflect and analyze. After each session, make sure that you take the time to reflect upon what you wanted to discuss with your therapist and the notes that you wrote down. Write down any emotions that pop up while reflecting. The process of being able to write and reflect allows you to analyze your life. You are able to track where you are heading — backward or forward. When you track your progress, you can see the improvements that you are making toward overcoming your adversity.
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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 9 May 2014
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.
Mason, T. (2014). The Power of the Written Word: Healing Through Journal-Writing. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 18, 2015, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2014/05/12/the-power-of-the-written-word/