Should I Journal When I’m in Treatment?

Many treatment centers require a daily journaling time during the treatment process. Journaling is a time to process in private rather than with a therapist or at a group level. We have a lot of quiet thoughts throughout the day that can be let out when we journal. Especially during treatment, journaling can help us track our progress. We can record our thoughts, feelings, and experiences each day. When reach the end of one journal we can look back through what we’ve written and see how we have changed.

Journaling is challenging for some people. Verbal expression can be difficult. Not all journaling is a “dear diary” writing process. Journaling is about expression, period. If writing is difficult you can try these other kind of journaling processes.

Should I Journal When I’m in Treatment?

Bullet Journaling

The bullet journal philosophy is taking the world by storm. Time is a precious commodity these days, and spending chunks of it writing out the details of our lives seems inefficient to some. Bullet journaling is similar to list making. You take the time to put down the highlights of your thoughts. One small note at a time you record your specific thoughts, questions, and experiences.



For some, writing is a talent that is shown through particular mediums. Directly articulating one’s emotions might be too intimate. Instead, using your experiences creatively might be an easier method of recording your internal processes. Poetry, short story writing, and other writing activities are a creative alternative to regular journaling. Putting your thoughts into rhyme, prose, or even haiku can help you let out thoughts that cannot be otherwise expressed in a way that is unique to you.


Art Journal

Words may not be your thing at all. Not everyone thinks in letters and sentences. Other people are visionaries. They see the world and themselves through art. Instead of buying a lined journal, buy a blank one. You can create sketches of small moments from your day. Perhaps you collage with pieces of magazines that represent your feelings. You might create a whole picture to encompass your feelings overall. Using visual representations and various mediums you create the representation of your internal state each day. Art is inherently emotional.


Journaling is an opportunity to reflect, contemplate, meditate, and be with yourself.