how can you best use a journal to help you with self-discovery and healing? one method that moves people forward is the self-parenting program developed by dr. john pollard.
the idea is to write out dialogues between your inner child and your inner parent. it starts out with a few weeks of a very scripted dialogue in which you engage for 30 minutes once a day. once the parent and child have gotten to know each other and the tone is established – a tone of respect, love and curiosity for the inner child – then the dialogue becomes more free flowing. you can add in all kinds of other parts, your inner critic, inner teacher, etc.
here is an example. the capital letters represent the parent, the small letters represent the child.
HI, INNER CHILD, ANOTHER SESSION ON THE COMPUTER?
sure, why not. i like that.
HOW ARE YOU DOING TODAY?
quite well. better. better than yesterday. still those unpleasant feelings in the back of my mind but better. that thing on sunday was quite a blow, i am a little surprised i took it so hard.
YES. I AM SURPRISED AND NOT SURPRISED. SURPRISED BECAUSE YOU USUALLY – OR WE USUALLY – PLAY OVER THOSE THINGS. NOT SURPRISED BECAUSE OBJECTIVELY, IT SEEMS A NORMAL REACTION.
do you think so?
OF COURSE. YOU ARE SO VULNERABLE NOW. VULNERABLE. NO WONDER YOU GET ALL WORKED UP WHEN JOHN DOES SOMETHING TO UPSET YOU, AND IT LOOKS LIKE HE TARGETED EXACTLY THAT VULNERABILITY.
in which way?
YOUR FEELINGS OF RESPONSIBILITY AND FAIRNESS TOWARDS HIM. AND THEN THE WAY HE SAID YESTERDAY ON THE PHONE, “WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU” – AND SOMEHOW YOU RACED AROUND RIGHT AWAY, LOOKING INTO EVERY NOOK AND CRANNY TO SEE WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU. YOU NEVER JUST ASSUME THAT BASICALLY, THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU.
i think that’s a very good point. i do feel vulnerable. i actually feel vulnerable, i mean, i can feel it, physically, and it’s like an open wound. exposed.
dr. pollard has a pretty extensive web site that explains the process quite well. if you think this would be a method that works for you, get the book, it’s definitely worth a read.
some people find it hard to start or maintain a journal. if you’d like some help with that, contact me here!
here are a few more things i wrote on the topic of journaling:
journaling for healing
creative writing: waking up from our routines
women, therapy and blogging
counselling in vancouver