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does keeping a journal really help?


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I tried to watch different therapists on you tube to solve some of my problems. I cant find any other advice other then keeping a journal. All of the other things they say are talk to your therapist usually with my patience I do talk therapy. I don't have a therapist and cant afford one.I keep a journal of my experience in life my feelings and dreams, but I have noticed that i think about bad things more with a journal ,I tend to think and think about my problems where normally I would distract myself from my feelings. Im not a therapist so I trust what therapists say works but they say things aimed to an individual based on all the facts. on one hand keeping a journal is making me linger on bad feelings to try to tell myself that im right but on the other hand I really enjoy writing in a journal and getting all my feelings out. i always want to be writing everything I'm thinking. So my question is, could everything I be doing be hurting me mentally? could I be over thinking things? can keeping a journal be worse? I know this is many questions but you don't have to answer all of them. I hope I'm not posting too many questions.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am hesitant to offer an opinion as I am not a licensed practitioner, and I know you said you cannot afford to see a therapist...however, you might want to ask around in your area, as many therapists offer sliding scales or even do pro-bono work. You may even check college graduate programs, as sometimes practicum students offer counseling services free of charge as apart of their education (under the supervision of a LPC).

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am hesitant to offer an opinion as I am not a licensed practitioner, and I know you said you cannot afford to see a therapist...however, you might want to ask around in your area, as many therapists offer sliding scales or even do pro-bono work. You may even check college graduate programs, as sometimes practicum students offer counseling services free of charge as apart of their education (under the supervision of a LPC).

 

I agree with Karma on this one. I know in Australia, some psychologists will bulk-bill and your local GP is your best port of call to lead you in the right direction. There are a lot of support groups around also that offer free group counselling and support, often led by professional psychologists or students. Perhaps it might be beneficial to have contact with others who are experiencing the same problems as you are. The support will certainly help with feeling less alone and you may learn some useful coping mechanisms. At the very least, you should be able to find someone who is willing to listen and from experience, that goes a long way.

 

On the topic of keeping a personal journal, this is going to depend on the individual; some may find it beneficial, others might not. It is important to do what you know works for you and if you have not had success with writing down your thoughts in the past, then my advice would be to find another outlet.

 

​Since I am Australian, the services I could direct you to are not going to be very useful. However, I know public hospitals here usually have free counselling services, however, there are long waiting lists usually.

 

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Talking things through is always a good idea when you have a problem, be it a real friend or a professional friend, but in the absence of either a journal becomes a pseudo-friend and can be just as beneficial; you tube is neither.

Edited by dimreepr
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Yes, journaling helps. There are obvious health benefits both mental and physical (including positive effects on the immune system):

 

http://www.apa.org/monitor/jun02/writing.aspx

 

Yes, journaling helps. There are obvious health benefits both mental and physical (including positive effects on the immune system):

 

http://www.apa.org/monitor/jun02/writing.aspx

http://apt.rcpsych.org/content/11/5/338

Interesting. So, there's psychosomatic effect from writing.

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Think of it more like organizing, as in thoughts. Doesn't matter if we say communicating or writing. Neither of those verbs are relevant in context of the positive effect deriving from thought organization.

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