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A Therapeutic Companion

As a therapist, I have been searching for a way for my clients to track their mood and journal on their surrounding triggers for years. I have tried various things with different clients, but nothing has stuck. I have used blank journals, "mindful journals," mood-based apps, and even "check-in" sheets I have created myself. The blank journals resulted in just thoughts and not consistent tracking of mood (particularly with the same tracking system). What I mean by this is that they might note that they feel "good" or "meh," but I really wanted more specific information. The apps only tracked mood and did not allow for free flow of thought/processing. The "mindful journals" had no sense of direction and also had no resources in them. I wanted to give my clients ways to increase their self-awareness and to start differentiating between their physical self, their emotional self, and their spiritual self. I can feel emotionally "good" whilst simultaneously feeling physically ill, but can I recognize and express that? I feel that it is part of my responsibility as a therapist to help clients improve their ability to do that. So, borne out of years of frustration as a clinician, I have developed two new Guided Therapeutic Journals. I title them that because there is guidance that is designed to assist them in a therapeutic process--either with a therapist of their choosing or of their own design. This journal will not only help them track and differentiate their different states, but will also help them learn to intentionally utilize affirmations and coping skills to combat current triggers and struggles. I have also included a section in the back that lists out several DBT skillsets as well as other coping strategies, designed to be an easy-reference guide for them, should triggering occur. They can easily review or look back over several days or weeks to see if there are any detectable patterns or surrounding events that contribute to either a decline or improvement in mood or state. This can be tremendously helpful in learning to understand issues and also in creating change!

I built two different versions of this journal. There is one that is built to be very simple and general, which I entitled "Me, Myself, & I," as a playful reference to the journey of self-exploration therapy requires. This journal is not specific to any particular issue and is simply a month's worth of daily check-in sheets and journaling pages, as well as the coping skill reference and resource guide in the back. Keep it simple!

The second version is trauma-specific, and is designed to be used in conjunction with a deeper processing of past trauma. This one I have entitled, "Healing Beyond Trauma: A Guided Therapeutic Journal." The Healing Beyond Trauma journal is much more in-depth and includes additional pieces to the check-ins (including more specific rating scales for depression, anxiety, and dissociation). I have also included an explanded resource section as well as a section of journaling prompts specific to trauma. It includes things that will foster deeper processing, such as the ACE assessment and an explanation of the score, the Trauma Checklist, many prompts that invite deep personal reflection, and worksheets to help process and journal on traumatic experiences right there in the book. My hope is that this will help anyone that would like to grow and heal to have access to tools often used in therapy in their home to work through at their own pace. My preference is that this be used as a companion to work with an individual therapist, but it certainly could be used outside of that if someone is eager to start doing the work and does not yet have a therapist.

I hope these two books will be useful tools to many individuals and therapists, alike! Both are available on Amazon for under $10! If you try this book, or have clients who use it, and have suggested changes that you feel would be helpful, I am open to suggestions! Feedback is appreciated! (Images below link to Amazon)

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I’m so proud of you!! And I’m excited about these two books! I can’t wait to start using them!! In case no one has told you lately, you are awesome!! Thank you for continuing to give of yourself to help others!

Kristi Godwin
Kristi Godwin
Jun 08, 2023
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Thank you!!

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