From therapy to poetry and back again: One writer’s journey

Pages 115-125 | Published online: 10 May 2013

This reflective piece suggests three phases from therapeutic writing to full-fledged poetry to an audience’s reading and discussion, illustrated with specific examples and commentary. The author, a social scientist, an adult educator and a published poet, begins with the role of writing in her own processing of the painful experience of a family member’s severe mental illness and suicide, showing us her earliest therapeutic writing. She then illuminates a second phase, in which she gives us an inside look at the rewriting process that led to two poems suitable for public display. She considers how the resulting poems might be used for both therapeutic and educational purposes, offering discussion prompts and questions related to the poems.

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Writing therapy using new technologies—the art of blogging

Pages 41-45 | Published online: 04 Mar 2009

Using a blog as a form of journaling is becoming increasingly common. With email we are familiar with the phenomenon of responding rapidly and emotionally. In the blogging world, the same phenomenon may take place. While this type of immediate cathartic release may be similar to placing words on the pages of a journal, the aftermath that follows the use of blogging as journaling may be experienced much differently. The authors discuss the line between a self-help experience, a cathartic and possibly therapeutic intervention, and concern for the person who may be revealing too much. The therapist can prepare the client for feelings of empowerment, relief, and even exhilaration. They can also prepare for the risks, such as feelings of vulnerability, exposure, and possibly being re-traumatized. That the therapist may also want to establish boundaries within the therapeutic relationship about a client’s blog is also discussed.

What is a journal? Responding to our own sense of growth

The journal is a way of responding independently to our own particular sense of growth, from a viewpoint of ourselves as healthy, evolving human beings.

Когда мы ведем дневник, мы сами свидетельствуем процессу собственного роста; мы видим себя и становимся видимыми для себя – как здоровые существа, у каждого из которых свой путь развития.

Christina Baldwin, “One to One”, p.58