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Support Your Trauma Therapy with Journaling & Prompts

Trauma journaling is a scientifically effective way to begin to address underlying issues that may be causing stress and anxiety in everyday life. Unlike keeping a regular diary, trauma journaling takes a more focussed approach and gives you the tools to begin to reflect and learn along your healing journey. Ultimately the work you do in your journal is a very personal experience, so you may consider trauma therapy journal prompts useful as a starting point, and you may find your approach evolves over time with practice.

There are plenty of anecdotal mental health benefits to expressive and creative writing. Those that journal daily can find it provides a structured no-judgment zone to reflect and refer back to in the future. It can be a low impact, low-commitment addition to a good mental wellness routine when combined with cognitive behavioral therapy.

If elements of your life are starting to feel out of control, this kind of proactive approach can help you begin healing and get a clear picture of what your triggers might be. It’s not a replacement for therapy but it can provide valuable insights whilst you decide when and how to find a trauma therapist to address issues with the guided help of a professional.

Find a Routine That Works For You

Find a quiet place, and pick a time you know you can work undisturbed. It can take around 21 days to make a healthy habit and 90 days to fix it into your routine, but don’t feel you have to journal every day. Dealing with complex issues from the past can be triggering so it’s important to take breaks and step away when it becomes overwhelming.

Are you someone who gets the most done in the morning? If so, perhaps this is the best time to set aside time as you may find trauma therapy journaling prompts the best response early in the day. Before you start putting pen to paper, take a breath and pause for a moment to reflect on how your trauma has impacted your life. This will help to contextualize the work that you do and anchor it to making positive changes.

Ask Difficult Questions

It can be difficult to know where to begin with a blank page staring back at you. Don’t get intimidated! Start slowly by using some of the below trauma therapy journal prompts into your notebook or journal. Ask yourself the questions that take you outside of your comfort zone but remember to check in with how you feel and be kind.

  • What kind of life would make me feel content and fulfilled?
  • How is my trauma holding me back from experiencing the life I want to live?
  • When do I feel most powerful?
  • When did I realize I had experienced trauma?
  • What feelings do I experience when I relive the trauma?

As you begin to journal you may find that other questions will surface, so note them down and return to them when you’re ready to address them. If you feel comfortable you can use this knowledge to find a trauma therapist or hypnotherapist, where your journaling work gives you a head-start and a good sense of what you’re ready to work on.

Woman on beach takes a deep breath

Let Go of Expectations

Remember this is a resource for you and you alone. It doesn’t have to be perfect, and it doesn’t have to be pretty. Try not to focus too much on getting the right words onto the page every time. It should be a creative exercise to guide you through addressing trauma. You don’t have to do this the ‘right way’ or alone, and may find others online using their trauma therapy journal prompts that could be useful to you too.

Ultimately trauma therapy journaling is just one tool you can use wherever you are on your healing journey, with other tools like therapy. It may be something you use daily, or it may be a resource you use occasionally when things become overwhelming. Remember there’s no pressure, and you can take the learnings from the exercise to keep growing and evolving on this pathway to mending emotional wounds.

Take a breath, be kind, and just begin.

Anna Marchenko

Anna Marchenko, LMHC, M.A., Ed.M. is the principal therapist at Miami Hypnosis and Therapy. She holds a bachelor's degree from NYU and dual masters degrees from Columbia University. Marchenko’s hypnosis certification is from the only hypnosis program in Florida that has been certified by the state’s Board of Education. She helps her clients by utilizing an integrative approach to psychotherapy, tailored to each individual’s mental health journey, drawing from hypnotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, NLP therapy, EMDR, and more.

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