Using Journal Ladder for mental health

“Dan Siegel (2012) describes mental health as a river of integration flowing between the banks of chaos and rigidity. When we are leaning toward one bank or the other, we lose some of our harmony and flexibility. […] ¬†Siegel further suggests that mental health is an integrated flow characterized by the acronym FACES: flexible, adaptive, coherent, energized and stable. (38)

it is a constantly recurring choice of the best writing technique or prompt for where you are on any given day, and where you want to place your intention, attention, and action. […] Another way to use the Journal Ladder is to select writing techniques and prompts that are in service of that flow, moving up and down the rungs according to the techniques and prompts that might best support flexibility, adaptability, coherence, energy, and stability‚ÄĒagain based on where you wish to place intention, attention, and action.


(pp. 38-39).

from “Your Brain on Ink”

Journal Ladder (from Brain on Ink)

Kathleen Adams: In the last decade I have taught this class to more than 8,000 therapists across the United States, and nearly all of them tell me that the Journal Ladder completely shifted the way they think about the use of writing in therapy

The Journal Ladder was originally designed as a trauma model, one developed while I was working as a journal therapist for a psychiatric hospital program specializing in dissociative disorders (Adams 1998).