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Cheap But Potent Therapy - Your Journal

My Potent Journal My Potent Journal Image courtesy of Brandonsigma /

These are instructions for the best journaling method I have ever encountered. If I remember correctly I first read about it in The Artist's Way.  Believe me, it is potent - as long as you stick to the rules.

Get yourself an A4 exercise book. Set your alarm for about 30 minutes earlier than normal and have the book and pen ready next to your bed. If this is impossible, leave the journal for when you are really tired and ready for bed - but early morning works best in my experience.

When you wake up, start writing immediately.

Here are the rules - and for best results, DON'T CHEAT:

  • Write your journal first thing in the morning, before you do anything else and before you are fully awake. This is so that you can make best use of the 'sleep mode' that your brain is still in. The little censor in your head who tells you what is OK to write and what is not, is still asleep and you will have free reign.
  • Write down anything that is in your mind, without questioning it. It may be the dream that you just left, or an issue that occupies your mind, anything. Just keep writing without thinking at all.
  • Write 3 pages and then STOP, even if it is in mid-sentence. Once you have completed 3 pages, you are awake and you lose the benefits of sleep mode.
  • Do NOT stop until you have written 3 pages. If you don't know what to write next, then write exactly that, until the next thought comes into your mind.
  • Don't tell anyone that you are keeping this journal. The moment you do so, you may be questioned about what you write down, and the censor kicks in and you may become aware of what you write. You don't need that kind of pressure from anyone.
  • DON'T read what you have written at any time during the first 2 months - not for any reason. It does not matter what you write. What matters is that you write. After 2 months you can read back what you have written - or not.

What can you expect when you follow these rules? Your handwriting will fluctuate - it will be small, large, all over the place, very tidy, illegible, too much pressure, whatever. It does not matter. The journal is between you and yourself, and nobody else will see it.

Expect to be quite emotional at times. Don't try to avoid the tears - keep tissues nearby. When you follow this method, you allow your demons to come out in a safe manner and this is very healing.

Expect to ask questions. You will write what is in your mind at the time, and you will get answers - trust me. You may not like some answers, you may not believe other answers, and others will be pure wisdom, but that does not matter. Just accept - this all comes from you and it is OK.

This is the cheapest and most effective therapist I have ever met.

Last modified on Sunday, 20 April 2014 11:00