Conversations are easy to forget. I am interested in writing things down that you want to remember. Especially when it comes to helping ourselves dissolve some of the problems in our lives. Writing can be therapeutic in many ways. We can write a therapeutic document about problems to get them out, process through them, and become an audience to our self and our story.
It is not what you look at, it is what you see. ~Thoreau
A therapeutic document is more specific than journaling or writing fiction. They are the document of your transition from a big problem to a preferred sense of self. They can be put into a narrative, like a storybook form for young children, or made up like a list to take home and read over and over. Here are the elements for you to consider including and why:
5 Elements Of A Useful Therapeutic Document
1. Name the problem and how it is affecting your life
It is helpful to include the tricks and tactics of the problem. Problems often sneak around and disguise themselves as us. If we clearly remind our self it is the problem, and not us, this can help us step back and see the big picture more clearly.
2. Write your skills and abilities, even giving examples
This will help keep them at the tip of your mind. They will be more accessible to you when you want to use them if you remember them readily. Include here the history of these skills and knowledge, for example, who taught you them and in what context. This will help you feel even more connected.
3. Write why you want to feel better
What this says about what is important to you in your life. Keep this preciousness visible to yourself as much as possible!
4. Write about how it would change your life if you did feel better
You create your future first by imagining it.
Read it a few times a day. Especially when you are calm and feeling OK. Don’t wait to read it until you are in a panic or very angry. If you practice when you are calm, then when your emotions are heightened, it will be right there for you. You can refer to it when you are upset, of course, just not ONLY then.
Here’s an example of a therapeutic document:
Tricks and Tactics Of Negative Thoughts
1. Negative thoughts come to my mind many times in the day, and cause me to doubt and judge myself.
2. They try to convince me that I deserve it since I can’t do anything right.
3. They are stronger when I am lonely, especially late at night before going to sleep. They tell me nobody loves me.
4. They try to convince me that they are true by reminding me of old mistakes.
5. They tell me other people’s compliments don’t count.
6. They make it hard to trust myself and harder to trust other people. Sometimes I don’t try as hard because it tells me: “What is the point?”
7. They lie and twist things around until they convince me.
My Skills And Knowledge
1. There are some people that care about me. I care about them, too, and I let them know it.
2. Most people make sincere compliments. There are people that I can trust to tell me the truth.
3. I have succeeded at some things. I have held my job for a long time and did great raising wonderful children.
4. It is very much worth trying.
5. Everyone makes mistakes, mine were no worse that most, and I learned from them. Nobody is holding them against me.
6. I am ready not to feel this bad anymore. I want to be at peace and enjoy closer relationships, and I want to like myself.
7. If I didn’t listen to the negative thoughts, I would try new things, like join a book club to meet new people. Or travel. Or start a blog.
Here is another example of a therapeutic document we made in our family a few years ago: Shouting Is The New Spanking: How To Stop Yelling In The Family.
Until next time, take good care.
Love, Jodi xo