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 two main categories one for couples and the
other for individuals. The exercises in GOLD 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. 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.
Parents of Teens