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The Healing Power of Writing

A Therapist's Guide to Using Journaling With Clients


Susan Borkin (Author)

Our Retail Price:£18.00

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The healing benefits of writing can support traditional therapy.

While much has been written about the physical and emotional benefits of writing, little has been written specifically for mental health professionals detailing how to use therapeutic journaling with their clients. Therapeutic journaling—any type of writing or related expressive process used for the purpose of psychological healing or growth—can be an extremely helpful adjunctive therapy. When integrated into an overall treatment plan, regardless of the therapist’s clinical orientation, journaling can become a dynamic tool for personal growth and healing.

The first part of this book, “Journaling and the Clinical Process,” gives an overview of therapeutic journaling and the many potential benefits from its use. It provides concrete and specific steps for introducing journaling to psychotherapy clients and answers questions about structure and logistics. For example, engaging your client in writing a biographical statement will not only help focus the treatment plan but also provide a vast amount of background information. This section also introduces two very beneficial mnemonic devices to help clients focus and organize journaling between sessions.

The next section, “Presenting Problems and Journaling Solutions,” addresses nine different diagnoses and explains specifically how therapeutic journaling can be integrated into the treatment plan of these diagnoses. Key diagnoses are covered: adjustment disorders, anxiety, depression, grief, low self-esteem, couple and relationship issues, addictions, disordered eating, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The final part of the book, “Journaling Roadblocks and Building Blocks,” addresses potentially difficult, sticky, or challenging situations regarding journaling, such as possible resistance to therapeutic journaling, privacy issues, safe boundaries, and protection of client material. Importantly, it also reviews those circumstances in which it is best not to use therapeutic journaling or when journaling is contraindicated. The author offers a program designed for therapists for creating their own therapeutic journaling practice.

The Healing Power of Writing is filled with case studies, step-by-step exercises, and clear and practical guidelines for mental health professionals who want to incorporate journaling into their clients’ treatment.



“[T]his is a great book. The therapist who takes the time and energy to use these exercises as the author instructs should be rewarded with a more effective practice.” — The Therapist

“Borkin provides great case studies and research on the usefulness and healing power of writing . . . . [Journaling] has proven beneficial not only to [my clients] but also to myself, as I learn a great deal about the 'internal, hidden world' of the client. . . . Borkin does a good job lighting the way.” — PsychCentral

“[P]rovides a review of the process of therapeutic journaling and the benefits from its use, but goes beyond. . .by providing therapists with clear steps for introducing journaling to psychotherapy clients and pairing that with a treatment plan. . . . Psychotherapists who would consider this approach need this book’s clear direction on how to get the most from it.” — Midwest Book Review

“[B]right and engaging. [Borkin] draws in her reader much as she must do with her clients, creating a warmth and intimacy that make this book a pleasure to read.” — The Eric Hoffer Award, Honorable Mention for Health

“Writing is a powerful method to help people get through difficult times. This is the first book that focuses on ways therapists can help their clients harness this powerful method.” — James W. Pennebaker, PhD, Professor of Psychology, University of Texas and author of Opening Up: The Healing Power of Expressing Emotions

“An excellent tool for therapists and their clients. Susan Borkin explains precisely how journaling can aid the therapeutic process and offers up practical exercises for addressing a wide variety of problems. Highly recommended.” — Eric Maisel, PhD, author of Secrets of a Creativity Coach and Why Smart People Hurt

“A therapeutic toolbox for every clinician’s desk, The Healing Power of Writing provides accessible, evidenced-based, and clinically proven techniques for leading patients in writing for mental health and emotional well-being. Addressing everything from anxiety disorders, grief, and low self-esteem to addictions, eating disorders, and trauma, Borkin elucidates a clear, precise, and flexible guide to best practices for writing in therapy.” — John Evans, MAT, MA, EdD, Integrative Health Coach; Executive Director, Wellness & Writing Connections

“Psychotherapist Susan Borkin reveals how writing—simple, honest, moving, and direct, while also private and unedited—may be one of our best medicines, allowing us to meet self and other in deeper ways, resolve conflicts, ease stress and depression, and much more. From a solid research base to practical hints, stories, and examples, this book will change the lives of both clients and therapists.” — Ruth Richards, MD, PhD, Saybrook University, San Francisco, and Harvard Medical School; editor of Everyday Creativity and New Views of Human Nature

“Borkin masterfully presents us with the gift of her accumulated clinical discoveries about writing for psychological well-being. She takes us on a kaleidoscopic tour of the practicalities and possibilities of writing to deeply enrich, understand, and change our lives. Although written primarily for clinicians, both therapists and non-therapists alike will discover a feast of original and useful expressive writing ideas.” — Ruth Folit, designer/producer of LifeJournal software and founder/director of the International Association for Journal Writing

“While writers have always intuitively known about the healing power of writing, studies now prove that writing actually does heal. Susan Borkin’s new book, The Healing Power of Writing, is a clear, practical, step-by-step guide for therapists who want to integrate journaling into their clients’ treatment.” — Bill O’Hanlon, author of Change 101