by: Veronica Salcido-Rodriguez
One of my favorite homework strategies in therapy is to Journal. When people think of journaling, they may think of a diary and think diaries are for teenage girls to express their feelings about a crush. While that may true, journaling or a diary can also be so much more than that, and I believe it is. A journal can be the place where you can write about sadness, anger, happiness, or any thought you may have or that you keep thinking about. It is a place where you can express yourself, any part of yourself, honestly and authentically, where you will not be judged or questioned. Where you can let out precisely what you feel appropriate, it can be a positive outlet instead of holding it in and letting it build or expressing it negatively, i.e., through anger outbursts.
A journal can be that safe space for anyone, and one thing that I advise when journaling is not to filter yourself. Let the words, thoughts, and pen do what they need to do and let them out on paper. I feel that it is an excellent path to understanding and expressing your true feelings. Journals can also be important in reflection, especially when you return to your words later on because you note changes and growth you have had since your initial journal entry. There are also moments where you may write about similar themes repeatedly, which can also be telling and a point of reflection about your life. Whatever the case may be, journals can be a vital part of helping you express and process your feelings outside of therapy, so I encourage the utilization of journaling in treatment.