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Interactive Journaling® as a Clinical Tool

Interactive Journaling® as a Clinical Tool

Abstract

Spoken language is the primary medium of counseling and psychotherapy. The therapeutic value of written language has also been studied extensively, both to provide self-help information and to elicit personal reflection. Interactive Journaling® (IJ) is a guided writing process that combines both of these functions. It has differed from usual therapeutic writing in two ways: (a) by integrating the presentation of treatment-relevant information in graphic-enhanced text to engage the reader, and (b) by offering frequent structured opportunities for the client to respond to and integrate material being presented. This article provides a description and the first review of research on IJ as a clinical tool. Experimental and quasi-experimental evaluations to date support a link between IJ and behavior change. Research on motivational interviewing offers evidence-based guidelines for structuring IJ materials to elicit language favoring change, as well as testable hypotheses linking writing processes with outcomes. Implications for counseling practice and research are considered.

Miller, W. R. (2014). Interactive Journaling® as a Clinical Tool. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 36(1), 31-42.