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WS04- Journal Writting

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    Journal Writing

    Ben Eckstein

    Kim ChristiansenDiana Martinez

    Tiffany Le

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    History

    The word journalcomes from the Frenchword journee, meaning from sunrise to

    sunset.

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    Dr. Ira Progoff

    1st psychologist to study the use of journalwriting.

    Developed a seminar Intensive JournalWorkshop.

    Found access to a higher consciousness,

    which encouraged a search for meaning inhis life.

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    Progoffs Experiment

    Setting: NYCs welfare and unemploymentprograms.

    Goal: study effects of journal writing onpersonal growth. Outcome: of the 300 people enrolled in the

    study, 90% had improved their job status

    and housing conditions. Rationale: journal writing contributed to an

    enhanced state of self-reliance.

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    Good for the Soul, Good for the

    Body James Pennebaker at Southern MethodistUniversity, 1989, 1990.

    Showed an increase in immune functionalong with journal writing. Heightened immune function of T-

    lymphocytes was seen. (T-lymphocytes

    are white blood cells involved in clearingpathogens from the body.)

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    Study: Emotional and PhysicalHealth Benefits of Expressive

    Writing 13 studies were done with healthy individuals,

    with the results being an overall benefit to their

    psychological and physical health. Smyths review suggests that for mentally andphysically healthy individuals, the effectsproduced by expressive writing are substantial

    and similar to the effects of other psychologicalmethods that are usually more time consumingand costly.

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    Study: Emotional and PhysicalHealth Benefits of Expressive

    Writing

    In the first study on expressive writing (Pennebaker &Beall, 1986), college students were told to wrote for 15

    minutes on 4 consecutive days about the mosttraumatic or upsetting experiences of their entire lives,while the control group wrote about superficial topics(such as their room or their shoes).

    The participants who wrote about their deepest thoughtsand feelings reported significant benefits from bothobjectively assessed, and self-reported physical healthfour months later.

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    Overall Results From ExpressiveWriting

    The overall benefits of expressive writingpotentially result from some combination

    of immediate cognitive and/or emotionalchanges, longer-term cognitive and/oremotional changes, social processes and

    biological effects, rather than beingaccounted for by any single factor(Pennebaker, 2004).

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    Various Methods

    Unsent Letter Dreams Method

    Poetry Therapy Buzans Method

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    Dreams Method

    Before you go to bed, review the daysevents and how you felt about them.

    As you fall asleep remind yourself toremember your dreams when youawaken.

    When you wake up, wait a few minutes toreview your dreams.

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    Dreams Method

    Keep a notebook by your bed with a pen/pencil to recordyour dreams or dream fragments that you remember.

    Return to your dream images and ponder what they

    represent. Jung felt that every dream were a source ofinformation.

    If you have recurring dreams, write the ending to thedream or scene. Doing so will help to at least reduce thestressor that causes this type of dream, as this may not

    fully resolve the issue. Recurring dreams tend torepresent serious unsolved issues that need to beaddressed and taken care of.

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    Poetry Therapy

    This is a form of a complimentary journalwriting style. Here they write their own

    poetry, which gives them a sense of controland a way to make order out of chaos.

    This type of therapy is generally used as away to treat emotional disorders, and canhelp with awareness and emotional catharsis.

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    Buzans Method

    This method accesses both right and left brain cognitivefunctions. Here you draw a line to the left of center on apage, where you write thoughts or perceptions, whichwould be things like, I have to feed the cat before I leave

    the house. In the middle of the other side of the page you draw a

    small circle and write I feel inside it. From there youdraw lines out when you feel an emotion. On each line youdescribe how you feel in 3 words, and you do this for 15-20 minutes. Whatever comes to your mind, you write itdown as a thought or feeling.

    This serves as an eraser to clean the blackboard of yourmind. the mind then can become uncluttered and achievea state of mental stability.

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    Unsent Letter

    Here, you write a letter to someone thatyou are upset with. You write down all

    your feelings be it anger, sadness, etc. BUT you dont give it to them. The purpose of this is to help you relieve

    emotion baggage.

    Provides an opportunity for the tree Cs: Catharsis, Clarity, and Completion.

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    Immediate Effects

    Release of toxic thoughts from your mind(unsent letter, thankful list, happy list,

    etc) Release of thoughts, feelings and

    perceptions that liberates the mind and

    softens or expands the walls of the ego.

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    Immediate Effects

    Old thoughts are permitted to leave,empty space they once occupied allows

    for expansion of awareness and depth ofthought.

    Increased understanding of ourselves inour many environments.

    Personal confession Ownership of feelings

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    Long Term Effects

    Pattern identification Illumination of precursors to stress.

    Impartial view of what was written, anobjective perspective.

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    Only three essential elements areneeded for effective journal

    writing: 1. A notebook dedicated solely to thejournal.

    2. A pen or pencil

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    Only three essential elements areneeded for effective journal

    writing: 3. A quiet environment, so that you can

    collect your thoughts and put them onto

    paper.A good goal to start with is 15 to 20

    minutes for each entry, at least 3 entries

    per week so that you can see the benefitsof journal writing.

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    Steps to Initiate Journal

    Writing What

    Try to identify those concerns and problems thatcause the most frustration, grief and tension.

    Why

    Ask yourself what emotions are elicited when thesestressors are encountered.

    How Allow the writing process to augment your creative

    process to further resolution.

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    Best Application of Journal Writing

    Good-quality journal writing has severalpurposes. The first is to act as a personal

    sounding board- to cleanse the mindoverloaded with perceptions, emotionsand toxic thoughts. Journal writing is a

    great way to vent anger. Pinpoint how andwhy different feelings are surfacing.

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    Best Application of Journal Writing

    Cleansing negative feelings is an effectiveway to find clearer thoughts and feelings

    so you can map out strategies forresolution. These applications of journalwriting can be used as an offensive tactic

    in the face of stress.

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    Tips Hints and Suggestions

    Centering Before you begin to write, take a moment to

    relax. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths

    and try to unwind. Label your journal entries. Identify each withthe day, date and year.

    Uncensorship.

    Dont censor yourself. Write whatever comes tomind without editing your thoughts before yourput them down onto paper.

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    Tips Hints and Suggestions

    Spontaneity. Let your thoughts be free-flowing. Getwhatever thoughts you have down on paperand then sort them out however you chose.

    A private place. Journal writing can be done anywhere, but

    having a designated place of solitude lendsdepth to self-disclosure.

    A private journal.Your journal is for your eyes only.

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    Cool Stuff

    The 1000 Journals Project started inAugust 2000 San Francisco

    100 journals were distributed in randomplaces in San Francisco and are still beingpassed around to friends and strangers.

    www.1000journals.com www.1001journals.com


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