At Inspire Recovery, we appreciate the therapeutic benefits that journal writing can provide to individuals with an outlet to process what’s going on emotionally, physically and transitionally as they move through the early stages of recovery. Our creative approach to treating addiction is integrated into our clinical program, other clients expressive groups that can sometimes speak volumes to what they may or may not be able to share verbally in process groups.
For our weekly Journal Writing group, clients are provided with their own journal, which is kept at Inspire to ensure that the journals will consistently be available for the Journal Writing Group. Clients who would like a journal they can use outside of treatment hours are given one journal that they are responsible for. Clients journals are provide a safe space for them to express themselves in an honest and vulnerable format. The journals are a private place for clients to dig as deep as they are willing and able to go with themselves.
For every group the facilitator prepares a printout that provides each client that is present for the group with their own copy so the clients can read along as the facilitator presents the assignments for the day. The facilitator often invites clients to share in the reading if they are interested and the printout also allows clients to re-read the handout and understand each assignment to the best of their ability.
Each Journal Writing group begins with an inspirational reading that includes daily affirmations and occasionally reflects on astrological insights for the day. The objective of starting each group by reading from the AA “Daily Reflections” book, or other daily affirmation book that we have in the Inspire Media Room, is to provide the clients with a grounding meditation that can help them to put some of the distractions of their day aside and be able to focus on and more present with what the facilitator is asking them to explore in their journals.
The writing assignments always relate to client personal growth work, treatment plan goals and/or recovery in general. The printout will often provide background information on the writing assignments, to aid in clients understanding of the concepts they are being asked to explore. For example, if the writing assignment is asking clients to explore characteristics of their ego, the printout the clients and facilitator will read out loud will introduce what the ego is and explain enough context necessary to explore the topic. Clients are always invited to ask questions and share what comes to mind related to the topic before and after the writing time. In addition, the writing prompts are meant to be as simple as possible and are usually further explained by the facilitator before the writing begins. The facilitator reviews the writing prompts and checks-in with the clients to ask if anyone has clarifying questions.
Look out for future Inspire News posts with writing prompts for you to explore on your own! We are excited to share our ideas and insights with our recovery community.