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Journal Writing Ben Eckstein Kim Christiansen Diana Martinez Tiffany Le.

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1 Journal Writing Ben Eckstein Kim Christiansen Diana Martinez Tiffany Le

2 History The word journal comes from the French word journee, meaning from sunrise to sunset. The word journal comes from the French word journee, meaning from sunrise to sunset.

3 Dr. Ira Progoff 1 st psychologist to study the use of journal writing. 1 st psychologist to study the use of journal writing. Developed a seminar “Intensive Journal Workshop.” Developed a seminar “Intensive Journal Workshop.” Found access to a higher consciousness, which encouraged a search for meaning in his life. Found access to a higher consciousness, which encouraged a search for meaning in his life.

4 Progoff’s Experiment Setting: NYCs welfare and unemployment programs. Setting: NYCs welfare and unemployment programs. Goal: study effects of journal writing on personal growth. Goal: study effects of journal writing on personal growth. Outcome: of the 300 people enrolled in the study, 90% had improved their job status and housing conditions. 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. Rationale: journal writing contributed to an enhanced state of self-reliance.

5 Good for the Soul, Good for the Body James Pennebaker at Southern Methodist University, 1989, James Pennebaker at Southern Methodist University, 1989, Showed an increase in immune function along with journal writing. Showed an increase in immune function along with journal writing. Heightened immune function of T- lymphocytes was seen. (T-lymphocytes are white blood cells involved in clearing pathogens from the body.) Heightened immune function of T- lymphocytes was seen. (T-lymphocytes are white blood cells involved in clearing pathogens from the body.)

6 Study: Emotional and Physical Health Benefits of Expressive Writing 13 studies were done with healthy individuals, with the results being an overall benefit to their psychological and physical health. Smyth’s review suggests that for mentally and physically healthy individuals, the effects produced by expressive writing are substantial and similar to the effects of other psychological methods that are usually more time consuming and costly.

7 Study: Emotional and Physical Health 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 most traumatic 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 thoughts and feelings reported significant benefits from both objectively assessed, and self-reported physical health four months later.

8 Overall Results From Expressive Writing The overall benefits of expressive writing potentially result from some combination of immediate cognitive and/or emotional changes, longer-term cognitive and/or emotional changes, social processes and biological effects, rather than being accounted for by any single factor (Pennebaker, 2004).

9 Various Methods Unsent Letter Unsent Letter Dream’s Method Dream’s Method Poetry Therapy Poetry Therapy Buzan’s Method Buzan’s Method

10 Dream’s Method Before you go to bed, review the day’s events and how you felt about them. As you fall asleep remind yourself to remember your dreams when you awaken. When you wake up, wait a few minutes to review your dreams.

11 Dream’s Method Keep a notebook by your bed with a pen/pencil to record your 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 of information. If you have recurring dreams, write the ending to the dream or scene. Doing so will help to at least reduce the stressor that causes this type of dream, as this may not fully resolve the issue. Recurring dreams tend to represent serious unsolved issues that need to be addressed and taken care of.

12 Poetry Therapy This is a form of a complimentary journal writing style. Here they write their own poetry, which gives them a sense of control and a way to make ‘order out of chaos.’ This type of therapy is generally used as a way to treat emotional disorders, and can help with awareness and emotional catharsis.

13 Buzan’s Method This method accesses both right and left brain cognitive functions. Here you draw a line to the left of center on a page, where you write thoughts or perceptions, which would 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 you draw lines out when you feel an emotion. On each line you describe how you feel in 3 words, and you do this for minutes. Whatever comes to your mind, you write it down as a thought or feeling. This serves as an eraser to ‘clean the blackboard of your mind.’ the mind then can become uncluttered and achieve a state of mental stability.

14 Unsent Letter Here, you write a letter to someone that you are ‘upset’ with. You write down all your feelings be it anger, sadness, etc. BUT you don’t give it to them. The purpose of this is to help you relieve emotion baggage. Provides an opportunity for the tree C’s: – –Catharsis, Clarity, and Completion.

15 Immediate Effects Release of toxic thoughts from your mind (unsent letter, thankful list, happy list, etc…) 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. Release of thoughts, feelings and perceptions that liberates the mind and softens or expands the walls of the ego.

16 Immediate Effects Old thoughts are permitted to leave, empty space they once occupied allows for expansion of awareness and depth of thought. Old thoughts are permitted to leave, empty space they once occupied allows for expansion of awareness and depth of thought. Increased understanding of ourselves in our many environments. Increased understanding of ourselves in our many environments. Personal confession Personal confession Ownership of feelings Ownership of feelings

17 Long Term Effects Pattern identification Pattern identification Illumination of precursors to stress. Illumination of precursors to stress. Impartial view of what was written, an objective perspective. Impartial view of what was written, an objective perspective.

18 Only three essential elements are needed for effective journal writing: 1. A notebook dedicated solely to the journal. 1. A notebook dedicated solely to the journal. 2. A pen or pencil 2. A pen or pencil

19 Only three essential elements are needed for effective journal writing: 3. A quiet environment, so that you can collect your thoughts and put them onto paper. 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 benefits of journal writing. 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 benefits of journal writing.

20  Steps to Initiate Journal Writing WhatWhat Try to identify those concerns and problems that cause the most frustration, grief and tension.Try to identify those concerns and problems that cause the most frustration, grief and tension. WhyWhy Ask yourself what emotions are elicited when these stressors are encountered.Ask yourself what emotions are elicited when these stressors are encountered. HowHow Allow the writing process to augment your creative process to further resolution.Allow the writing process to augment your creative process to further resolution.

21 Best Application of Journal Writing Good-quality journal writing has several purposes. The first is to act as a personal sounding board- to cleanse the mind overloaded with perceptions, emotions and toxic thoughts. Journal writing is a great way to vent anger. Pinpoint how and why different feelings are surfacing. Good-quality journal writing has several purposes. The first is to act as a personal sounding board- to cleanse the mind overloaded with perceptions, emotions and toxic thoughts. Journal writing is a great way to vent anger. Pinpoint how and why different feelings are surfacing.

22 Best Application of Journal Writing Cleansing negative feelings is an effective way to find clearer thoughts and feelings so you can map out strategies for resolution. These applications of journal writing can be used as an offensive tactic in the face of stress. Cleansing negative feelings is an effective way to find clearer thoughts and feelings so you can map out strategies for resolution. These applications of journal writing can be used as an offensive tactic in the face of stress.

23 Tips Hints and Suggestions Centering 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 with the day, date and year. Label your journal entries. Identify each with the day, date and year. Uncensorship. Uncensorship. – Don’t censor yourself. Write whatever comes to mind without editing your thoughts before your put them down onto paper.

24 Tips Hints and Suggestions Spontaneity. Spontaneity. –Let your thoughts be free-flowing. Get whatever thoughts you have down on paper and then sort them out however you chose. A private place. A private place. –Journal writing can be done anywhere, but having a designated place of solitude lends depth to self-disclosure. A private journal. A private journal. –Your journal is for your eyes only.

25 Cool Stuff The 1000 Journals Project started in August 2000 San Francisco The 1000 Journals Project started in August 2000 San Francisco 100 journals were distributed in random places in San Francisco and are still being passed around to friends and strangers. 100 journals were distributed in random places in San Francisco and are still being passed around to friends and strangers.


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