Personal journal writing is described as a tool for self-reflection and growth during bereavement.

One of the most useful means for long-term self-development is the systematic use of an ongoing workbook, diary, or journal. Such a journal, thoughtfully done, can provide a structure to assist us in paying closer attention to our lives and in evoking and developing our understanding of ourselves and others. It acts as a "reflector" of the inner course we are charting day by day, and can give us the stimulation and support which many seek from the outside world.

  • The purpose of journal writing is to offer yourself the opportunity to reflect upon the meaning and the significance of events in your life as they apply to your inner self.
  • The focus of journal writing is on you. This focus can assists the unfolding awareness of new meanings, values and inter-relationships which you may be discovering in yourself and the world.
  • The act of presenting your ideas in print forces you to formulate and clarify your thoughts and their accompanying feelings, thus enhancing the power and precision of your own thinking
  • When you make the move from simply thinking about something to actually writing it down or typing it out, you are increasing your commitment to your own conscious unfolding.
  • Writing forces you to discriminate and to choose which of your thoughts are important enough to be documented, thus getting you in better touch with your sense of values, feelings and struggles.
  • Once you record your ideas on paper, you do not have to be pre-occupied with thoughts of losing them. The writing "makes room" for new avenues of thinking that you may not have had time to previously consider.
  • Writing is an effective yet harmless way of "letting off steam" by providing you with a "fully accepting friend" who allows you to discharge your tensions and to vent all of your powerful and disruptive emotions.
  • In addition to the narrative written material about your own thoughts, feelings, and observations, you may also choose to include:
    • Drawings or other visual materials, such as dreams, fantasies, symbols, or diagrams that are useful in clarifying or expressing your ideas.
    • Illustrations from magazines or newspapers which capture the thought or image you are writing about.
    • Personally meaningful quotations you may have read or heard.
    • A section entitled "Bright Ideas" may help you to brainstorm about all the possible alternatives to your problems.