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Journaling, narrative therapy, and other forms of writing therapy are proven to help ease the symptoms of trauma by encouraging the processing timeline. Writing can help relieve the pressure of thoughts, memories, and feelings that come up throughout the course of a day. Clearing the mind and gaining perspective, the practice can progress the recovery process.

The Unspoken Requirements

Seemingly, there should be no other requirements of a journaling practice than a writing utensil and a writing medium, like a journal and a pen. Journaling can be a lighthearted practice or a therapeutic process depending on how you present yourself on paper. Like any communication, it is easy to only write about the surface level issues. You can journal about what you ate, what you did, and what you’d like to do tomorrow. Getting into the deeper catharsis of journaling comes with unspoken requirements.

Don’t pretend: People who have experienced trauma can be great pretenders. Pretending like a significant event in life didn’t happen, that effects from that event aren’t happening, is a full time job. Coming to the journal, realize that there is nobody to impress, fool, convince, or distract with an idealized version of who you are, how you feel, and what you think. Leave the need to be someone else outside of your writing. Be honest, authentic, and fully present. The pages are never going to judge you.Feel your feelings: Many of the symptoms of trauma that can arise in PTSD, substance addiction, process addiction, and other self-defeating coping behaviors are born out of avoiding feeling feelings. Feelings of trauma can be overwhelming because they involve fear, insecurity, helplessness, and hopelessness. Dissociated from the self, trauma survivors have a hard time connecting to their feelings. Overtime, that separation can grow. Journaling is an opportunity to observe feelings that come up and write through them. You can bring what you’ve journaled about to your therapy sessions at a group or private level to completely process them.Be honest with yourself: If you cannot be honest with your journal, who can you be honest with? Your journal is a private and safe space to write out what needs to honestly be communicated. If you aren’t ready to tell others, you don’t have to. Honesty about your internal dialogue as well as your external behaviors is what keeps you connected to your feelings, your present-experience, and your recovery.

We believe sharing the darkness of trauma in a clinical sanctuary of love and compassion is the birthplace of transformation. The Guest House, a residential trauma treatment program in Ocala, Florida, offers the highest concierge style treatment. Healing trauma, addiction, and other related issues, our private program provides the safety and security needed to recover. Call us today for information: