Preteen Healing & Relationship Journaling— When we experience emotional pain we may find ourselves out of balance and harmony with ourselves and our interactions with others.
Emotional pain can even cause us to deal with life in a detached way. We may feel that no-one understands us. Because of this inaccurate perception we may keep people at arms’ length and not let them know what’s really going on. We might even deny, to ourselves, that something is wrong or bothering us. However, when a pre-teen uses a journal to process difficult events and their associated emotions they have a better chance of overcoming tribulation in a balanced way.
A journal can act as a counselor for the pre-teen. By writing about the events, including the thoughts and feelings related to them, the preteen can discover things for themselves, much like what a counselor or therapist might help the young person do. In fact, most therapists encourage their pre-teen clients to write in a journal in addition to therapy. A therapist or counselor will not be available all day every day to help the pre-teen process things.
Normally a pre-teen might visit their counselor once a week. Between visits, many thoughts and emotions can arise. At the next visit the pre-teen may not be able to share with the therapist exactly how they felt the previous week. In this sense, the journal becomes a valuable tool, not only for the pre-teen’s memory but also to the counselor and the therapeutic process. Writing in a journal is like having your counselor with you around the clock.
It also may be a tool to help the tween open up a discussion, for instance with a parent. That can be very difficult.
One example might be an argument that occurred. The parent might ask the pre-teen to write about it in their journal and they do the same in theirs. These journal reports of the same situation could then be shared and discussed, without recriminations, once tempers have cooled. That increase’s the pre-teen’s feeling of their opinions being valued, but also mirrors constructive ways to deal with confrontation and allows understanding to develop.
Journaling also helps one to heal in the sense that as the pre-teen writes and processes experiences they open the door to letting go of past events. An obstacle for many pre-teens is that they are unable to let go of those unfavorable things that have happened to them. They hold on to these things, allowing resentments to dictate how they act. When we write in a journal about unfavorable experiences it releases us from internal bondage because we are more able to detach ourselves and look at the situation more objectively.
The healing of relationships is another benefit of journaling. Perhaps the pre-teen has a girlfriend or boyfriend who has deeply hurt them.
The journaling pre-teen can write about that person and the hurt they were caused by them. As they write and reflect on the person and the pain they may discover, even though the act was wrong, forgiveness.
Forgiveness goes a long way in mending relationships and journaling can help a pre-teen to forgive.