Journal therapy is a portable, readily available, inexpensive and highly effective way for a person to reduce their stress level, improve their mental health and develop better coping skills. Kept over time, a journal can help reveal patterns in your life that show mood cycles, stressors and how we react to them, and supportive or unsupportive relationships. It allows you to see how you reacted to a situation and then think about whether you wish you could change something about what you did. Knowing those things can help you recognize what is better to do when life throws you a curve ball, or allows you to re-write the situation to practice what you wished you had said so you can do it better the next time around.
With so much to gain from such an accessible activity Franklin VNA & Hospice felt like it was a great opportunity to partner with Hope For New Hampshire Recovery, an addiction recovery organization and Riverbend Community Mental Health Services. Two groups serving populations that could get excellent benefits from using therapeutic journaling and it was an activity both organizations felt they could benefit from. Sarah Gagnon from Riverbend said, “We are honored to accept this generous donation from the Franklin VNA & Hospice. Journaling is a fundamental therapeutic tool that we use with our clients to support them with their recovery. We are grateful to have our community partners behind us in this effort.”
Another wonderful benefit of therapeutic journaling is that it can provide emotional relief in the moment. Instead of throwing your cell phone across the room, or saying something you’ll regret later – journal it. Writing frees you to get those angry or sad or frustrating feelings out and onto the page instead of pushing you to actions or behaviors you are trying to avoid. For those struggling with addiction issues this could be the difference between relapsing and staying clean, for those with mental health issues it could be a way to relieve enough stress to avoid falling back into harmful behavior patterns.
Carolee Longley from Hope for New Hampshire Recovery was also excited about the project. She says, “Journaling is very effective. When we help people get into treatment centers we give them a journal as a gift with a message of hope in it to use as a tool during their treatment so they can see how far they have grown as they go through it.”
Studies have shown that the very act of journaling is tension relieving. GoodTherapy.org notes, “Journal therapy is primarily used with people in therapy to increase awareness and insight, promote change and growth, and further develop their sense of self… The act of writing things down often relieves tension and can bring clarity to the issue at hand.”
Barbara Normandin, Executive Director at the Franklin VNA & Hospice captures the essence of the project when she says, “The Franklin Visiting Nurse Association takes its commitment to serving communities truly to heart. We are proud to partner with these two wonderful groups to help make a real difference in our communities.”
At a time when so many in the world are working to tear each other down, it's inspiring to see organizations working together to build something good for their communities.