Eating disorder recovery advances more quickly if you combine journal writing with your psychotherapy. You can gain even more value from your journal by using an "unpacking" technique.
Recovery Value of Your Journal
Writing what you feel and think as well as your daily activities gives you more stability in emotionally turbulent times.
It also helps you discover some hidden underlying causes and themes to your bulimia, anorexia, binge eating or compulsive eating.
You gain value, insight and sometimes vital revelations when you read your journal entries two months after you've written them. The time lapse gives you enough time and distance to understand and see through your words to a deeper personal meaning than you could at the time you originally wrote. You can make connections that you couldn't see before.
Increase Eating Disorder Recovery Value
To make your journal an even more powerful recovery tool, I suggest you use a technique called "unpacking" in philosophy studies.
Take a general word like "fine," which may appears in your writing. Such aa word holds so many possible meanings that the word itself becomes meaningless. Then you "unpack" it.
You can do the unpacking of your journal on your own or with your psychotherapis.
You unpack the word fine by listing all the possible descriptions within it, all the possible meanings it could have and all the possible experiences or feelings it covers up.
This list doesn't have to refer to feeling you are covering up yourself. You work on the word itself.
When you've done this and look over your unpacked journal entry you have an opportunity to make important and surprising discoveries.
You may find some unexpected keys to your eating disorder recovery as you open those sealed packages in your writing.
Try it and let me know how unpacking a few of your journal entries works for you.
Joanna Poppink, MFT, is a psychotherapist in private practice. All appointments ae virtual. For a free telephone consultation e-mail her at