Drawing. Painting. Laughing. Sharing. Drinking.... tea for an afternoon of healing. Go to Art Classes for more details.
What is Box Journaling? Basically, it is a method that involves drawing and writing our emotions, feelings and visualizations in separate boxes. All together they come together to help you process difficult events or feelings in a meaningful way that won't leave you bogged down with heavy words and memories. It is about identifying automatic thoughts - the ones that drive us mad. The ones that can sometimes rule our emotions. How do we counter these thoughts with positive ones? How can journalling help our healling process rather than hinder it?
I used to journal a lot about difficult situations and traumatic events. I would write all the dirty details and my emotions around the event. They were usually heavy, confused, anxious or sad emotions. I was told this is the best way to work through difficulties. This writing often left me feeling heavier and kind of depressed; especially when I would go back and read through my past journals. Reading back or remembering my journals, left me feeling disappointed in my life and my choices. I thought that I viewed my life in a dark or immature way. But, I didn't feel that way day to day. So why did my journal about my life seem so sad?
The trouble wasn't my life, the trouble way how I was reflecting on my life. How I was processing, was leaving me feeling drained and without answers or positive perspectives. So I stopped journaling. I stopped opening up my sketchbook. That outlet became lost to me, and as an artist, I really felt something was missing. I left sketching and journaling alone for quite a few years.
In 2020, I started my Masters in Counselling Psychology and through my education, I began exploring different healing practices. Studies have shown how journaling can build self-awareness, resiliency and a sense of well-being. Writing about disturbing events can (Ulrich & Lutgendorf, 2002):
The process I have come up with is to write about my feelings and thoughts in different boxes. This I learned through my studies of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, a popular therapy practice that works on restructuring thoughts through new perspectives. I have also incorporated my love of the visual aspect to expressing feelings. Images stand on their own and don’t need to be explained. They communicate through different thought processes and they can be different than the words that you write. The small drawings/paintings can be related to the words. For me they usually reflect a different processing of the event and my emotions.
I am interested in getting people together in a room to work through this process with others. Let’s work through our questions on the process. Box journaling works to process daily events, special events, difficult situations, complicated feelings, dilemmas or choices to be made. You can use it to express gratitude or to work through trauma. There is nothing your journal can’t handle and there is a kind, compassionate way to journal that will work for you. Although this is not an afternoon of therapy - this practice is therapeutic and can be used at home in your daily routine.
GROUP + SELF-CARE = COMMUNITY CARE.
Ulrich, P. M., & Lutgendorf, S. K. (2002). Journaling About Stressful Events: Effects of Cognitive Processing and Emotional Expression. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 24(3), 244. https://doi.org/10.1207/S15324796ABM2403_10
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Art is the...
great connector of people, places and dreams. It speaks the language of the heart when it is authentic and created from an open and non-judgemental space. It is passionate pursuit of creation with a playful mind.