JOURNALING Oxford Paediatric and Adolescent Rheumatology Centre

Oxford Paediatric and Adolescent Rheumatology Centre
As part of your programme we would like you to spend 20 minutes every evening writing in your
journal. When you are busy getting on with things sometimes it is important to take a step back
and Free journal writing helps to do this. Free journal writing allows you to reflect on problems, it is
a great way of letting off steam, helps you to become more aware of good and bad thoughts about
yourself, and it may also help you to remember what you’ve learned in your therapy sessions. It will
also give you a nice reminder of the time you spent at the Nuffield.
In journal writing, you set a timer, and during that block of time you write everything that comes into
your mind. Don’t worry about grammar, punctuation, and spelling - there is no right or wrong. If
you run out of thoughts, you can write “I’m blank. I can’t think of anything to say. This is
frustrating”, until you have more to write.
If you are a perfectionist or critical of yourself, this kind of journal writing will be a healthy challenge
for you.
Setting a time limit should make it easier to throw yourself into the writing. You can survive twenty
minutes if you know you can quit then.
If you are visual, artistic, or prefer pictures to words, you can replace journal writing with some kind
of picture-making, or you can do both. You can draw a picture, paint, or make a collage. You can
use crayons on newsprint to write your journal exercises and vary the colours as your feelings
change. We’ve provided space in this workbook for journaling, but you can do those exercises in a
separate notebook, on canvas – wherever you like.
You do not have to show your journal to anyone. You may choose to share some of your thoughts
with one of the therapists the next day, but we will leave this entirely up to you. No one will read
your journal without your permission.
Key points:
• Journaling is very helpful even if at first you don’t think so
• Keep going for 20 minutes no matter what
• Don’t worry about grammar or spelling, just let your thoughts run
• You can use pictures and colours to express thoughts and feelings
• Share if you want