Tools for Growth and Communication
The purpose of the journal exercises below is to help you tune in to your inner world and to identify your emotions, thoughts, beliefs and decisions that are “running” in the background of your life. Only by identifying and labeling your emotions do you have a basis in which to communicate yourself with another and to release unwanted emotions that are holding you back from the life you want. Additionally, the exercises will assist you in placing your feelings and emotions within the appropriate context. Sometimes we “carry” unfinished emotions from one area of our life to another or from a previous time in our lives to the present. When you can see clearly where certain emotions originate, you will be less likely to act them out in other contexts and you will be more focused in dealing with them within the appropriate context.
The exercises are tools to assist you in the process of “looking within” and focusing on your feelings. By addressing your own feelings and taking responsibility for them you place yourself in charge of your life and happiness. You are also creating a foundation for true communication which is based on awareness and responsibility for your experience. Based on our sessions together, I may suggest a particular journal exercise for the week but it is strongly recommended that you do as many as possible in the order outlined below. By doing the homework, you will facilitate and accelerate the progress that you make in therapy. You will also be developing a skill which you can use to further your personal growth for the rest of your life. Journal writing is a kind of meditative exercise where you are developing your ability to observe what is. The paradox of change is that when you can accept what is, change and growth happen by itself.
I would suggest getting a folder or notebook in which to keep the exercises as you will be referring back to some of the earlier exercises as we go along.
The exercises are grouped into three main categories one for couples, one for individuals and one for parents. The exercises in GREEN are communication tools for couples. It will be helpful for you to download all of the communication exercises and read them as soon as you can. When working with couples, these exercises form the core of our work together. When you learn to master them you will have a tool that you can use for life that will help create and sustain true intimacy in your relationship.