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Benefits of Journaling & Psychotherapy for Borderline Personality Disorder

Journaling has been a widespread practice for hundreds of years. Anne Frank’s journal gives us a glimpse of history. Mark Twain kept a journal so he could remember story ideas. Even Leonardo da Vinci kept a diary detailing his inventions and ideas.

Journaling can be a valuable asset as part of your psychotherapy for borderline personality disorder. Consider it a tool you can use on your own or with your therapist to gain a new understanding of yourself.

In this article, we’ll explore six benefits as well as several borderline personality disorder journal prompts to consider in deepening your mental health journey.

Benefits of Journaling

Remember the Details

Cognitive behavioral therapy for borderline personality disorder shows that many individuals have a tendency to change their perspective on events or other people. To put it simply, the way you feel about Sunday dinner at your in-law’s house may be completely different by Wednesday morning. 

Journaling gives you an accurate account of how you felt at the time. If you mention the event or person in multiple entries, you can track how much your perspective has changed and when those changes occurred.

Supports Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a psychotherapy treatment for borderline personality disorder. It focuses specifically on behaviors, thoughts, and feelings – things individuals with borderline personality disorder often struggle to control. Since a journal is a first-hand account of your thoughts and feelings, it can be a helpful tool for someone in therapy.

Anywhere at Any Time

Psychotherapy for borderline personality disorder does not always coincide with your symptoms. Severe mood swings or impulsive behavior can occur when you least expect it, and you likely won’t be sitting in front of your therapist when they happen.

You Have Options

Journals come in many colors, sizes, and styles. You can find options small enough to fit in a pocket or purse so you always have it with you when you’re on the go. If you want to include drawings with your entries, a notebook or sketchbook may be a better fit.

Identify Your TriggersPerson holding a journal with notes and flower drawings

It can be a challenge to identify what triggers certain behaviors, thoughts, and feelings. A therapist can help, but journaling gives you the power to bolster the work you do with your therapist, placing power in your own hands.

 If you write in your journal every time you’re feeling intense anger, you may start to notice a pattern in the events that led up to that emotion. Once you know your triggers, you can work on your coping skills.

Stop and Think

Cognitive behavioral therapy for borderline personality disorder helps identify behavioral and emotional symptoms. These symptoms are often characterized by their impulsive and rapidly changing nature. 

When you are journaling, you are forced to stop and think about what you are writing. The opportunity for impulsive behavior is put on hold. When you have a specific struggle with impulse control, learning how to pause and think about what you want to say is very beneficial.

Track Your Symptoms

Mood swings are a common symptom of borderline personality disorder because of the effect it has on a person’s ability to control their emotions. Tracking your feelings can help you and your therapist verify how often your moods shift and what type of changes you’re experiencing each time.

If you are at a psychotherapy appointment for borderline personality disorder and you are describing frequent feelings of despair, but your journal entries reflect anger or mania, that can help guide your therapy sessions to uncover potential imbalances in how you perceive yourself.

Borderline Personality Disorder Journal Prompts

The first time you open a blank journal, your mind may feel just as empty as the page. That’s a common reaction. Deciding what to write about can be a challenge when you’re just getting started, but it gets easier with practice. 

Consider beginning with a slow and straightforward pace by writing down the details of your day – what you did, who you were with, and how you felt about it. If you are already receiving psychotherapy for borderline personality disorder, you can ask your therapist for ideas that focus on your specific situation. If you want to challenge yourself, consider answering questions that require some self-reflection.

Here are five journal prompts for borderline personality disorder:

  • What brings you joy and why?
  • What are you feeling right now and why?
  • What are your destructive habits, and what can you do to cope?
  • What coping mechanisms have you tried that didn’t work? Why do you think they didn’t work?
  • How did an event in your life impact you? (Positive or negative)

You can use the same prompt daily, primarily if it focuses on current pain points. You may benefit from daily journals detailing your feelings if you are actively struggling with emotional control. For impulse control, consider journals about what you did that day and how it impacted you.

Options at Miami Hypnosis and Therapy

Borderline personality disorder can be challenging to treat, but challenging doesn’t mean impossible. We want you to have hope that there are treatments available that can help you. 

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) are our preferred psychotherapy methods for borderline personality disorder. These techniques focus on improving emotional and impulse control, as well as building a self-understanding of your personal triggers and patterns. CBT strives to make conscious changes you are intentionally making, while NLP focuses on making those changes second nature.

Step Toward Change Today

Take the first step toward positive changes in your life. Miami Hypnosis and Therapy provides psychotherapy for individuals with borderline personality disorder in the Miami, FL area. We specialize in combining hypnotherapy, CBT, and NLP to find treatments for each person. 

If you’re unsure where to start or what kind of therapy you need, that’s okay. Contact us to request an appointment and we’ll guide you through the process.

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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