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Therapy Tools: The Therapy Journal

The first therapy tool we blogged about is the Personal Perspective Paper. Another helpful and somewhat related tool—one that many therapists recommend to their patients—is the therapy journal. The therapy journal might be familiar to many of you–however, despite it’s popularity and familiarity, I don’t find that it is used as much as it might be.

For some, writing in a journal can help them zoom in on and clarify issues discussed during therapy. The entries in a therapy journal generally are about feelings, emotions, and thoughts; they may be about behaviors, too. By writing in a therapy journal before and after each session, you will be able to reflect in a more focused manner on the issues you are facing. Unlike the PPP, a journal is written in often, as much as several times a day.

The therapy journal doesn’t have to be written. It can be an audio or visual recording, as well. This is important for both you and your therapist to keep in mind–if you aren’t comfortable writing, there is no longer any reason why you can’t also use this valuable tool.

Oddly enough, despite the intense focus on self, writing in a therapy journal can actually help you become less self-centered. By putting your deepest feelings and thoughts down on paper, you may leave room in your psyche to relate to the feelings and thoughts of others, and that will help you develop better relationships.

I believe however, that there is another important role a therapy journal can play. It can be a detailed record of your sessions. Your entries can help you assess how therapy, or a particular therapist, is working for you. Talk about it with your therapist—a therapy journal may assist you in reaching your treatment goals.

(Sections of the above post are from Therapy Revolution.)

Photo by L. Marie.

Therapy Tools: The Therapy Journal

Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC is the author of Therapy Revolution: Find Help, Get Better, and Move On Without Wasting Time or Money and is licensed in addiction and psychotherapy with over 25 years experience as well as a consultant to organizations and companies in the fields of mental health and addiction. He is the executive director of an outpatient behavioral health program. Learn more about Richard here.

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APA Reference
& C.R. Zwolinski, R. (2011). Therapy Tools: The Therapy Journal. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 24, 2020, from


Last updated: 24 Jan 2011
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