by Brandon Mayer
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Starting on Wednesday, November 3, the Beth Donovan Hospice will be hosting free online sessions aimed at helping interested locals learn to journal their thoughts. The group sessions will take place once per week, online via Zoom, every Wednesday from November 3 until December 22. The sessions are each one hour long and run from 2 pm to 3 pm.
Journaling is a self-help technique in which a person processes thoughts, both positive and negative, by writing them down. Thoughts that are well organized in a journal are often easier to make sense of, meaning that those who journal often end up working through stressful issues more easily, and uncovering deeper thoughts, needs, and desires in the process.
While journaling is something seen as an activity for children, both at school as part of course work, and at home in a private diary, journaling for adults is a very well-researched technique, with many notable benefits. When journaling, a person will often begin to realize things about their thoughts and emotions that they were not aware of before. In addition, strong emotions can be released privately and safely in a journal. For example, a person can write in their journal how they truly feel about an unpleasant boss, without having to worry about facing repercussions in their employment.
Amy Tibben is facilitating the sessions being offered by the Hospice, with the program being overseen by Integrative Counselling Therapist, Megan Dillenbeck.
“Each class begins with a moment of connection (catching up with each other), followed by a kernel lesson, some writing practice/exercises, and ends with a homework assignment for the week,” Amy said to the Times. “The homework won’t be submitted for marking. This is a judgement free zone, where the process is more important than the product. The writers are encouraged to keep their writing for themselves, or share it (if that’s what feels right for them). Some of the activities include bullet journaling, blackout poetry, list writing, haiku, imagery, creating emotion wheels, writing sprints, meditative writing, and so much more.
Those who have never tried journaling may be surprised by the insights it can provide. “Through our writing, we can know what is truly important to each of us,” said Amy. The journaling group is run as part of the Hospice’s Support Network, which boasts a series of programs which provide support and connection for clients, families, caregivers, volunteers, and others in the North Grenville community.
Those interested in signing up for the Guided Journaling Group, or learning more about it, can contact Amy directly at [email protected], or by calling 613-258-9611.