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Journal to the Self: Twenty-Two Paths to Personal Growth - Open the Door to Self-Understanding by Writing, Reading, and Creating a Journal of Your Life
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Journal to the Self: Twenty-Two Paths to Personal Growth - Open the Door to Self-Understanding by Writing, Reading, and Creating a Journal of Your Life

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  773 ratings  ·  68 reviews
A nationally known therapist provides a powerful tool for better living--a step-by-step method to personal growth, creative expression, and career enhancement through journal writing.
Paperback, 240 pages
Published January 1st 1990 by Grand Central Publishing
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3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  773 ratings  ·  68 reviews

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It was OK. The journaling ideas were fantastic. However, many of the stories and examples were extremely new-agey. If you are willing to call your journal your "blood brother" or sprit friend or whatever, then you will love this. If you are more plain & practical like me, you'll appreciate the tips while gritting your teeth at the fuzziness.
May 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
What I learned from this book is that there are no rules when it comes to personal journal writing. This one aspect has made the idea of keeping my own journal less daunting.

A good book for beginning journalers... it lists some guidelines for keeping a journal, a list of items one may want to collect for their jounal tool box, and a series of ideas/exercises to get the writing flowing.

I'm still in the beginning phases of my own journal, but I can't wait to try some of the Lists of 100 as well as
Mar 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: journal, 2012
A staple. An absolute must for anyone who already journals or likes to journal.

Do you usually journal by simply putting on paper whatever comes to mind at the moment? Read this book.

I kept a journal since I was a teenager but at some point I stopped. Perhaps, I decided that living my life takes too much time and I have no time to write about it. I have come to regret this decision recently and I came back to journaling. The beginning of this book made me long for keeping a journal again - and th
Ashok Krishna
Jan 20, 2018 rated it liked it
A nice guidebook for aspiring and novice journal writers, especially in the context of exploring one's inner thoughts through the process of writing journals. Tad slow at times. But a good guide overall.
♥ Ibrahim ♥
Dec 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writing, spirituality
The book is excellent and I am impressed with the author's ability to take a simple topic such as journaling and make it richly diverse and there is always something in the book for everybody. Journal is not just journaling but we have all sorts of journaling, depending on your personal need. We have springboards, character sketch, clustering, captured moments, dialogue, lists, stream of conscience, steppingstones, time capsules, topics du jour, unsent letters, perspectives and dreams and imager ...more
Oct 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I bought and read this book with so much pleasure I made it a part of my permanent library. It is still there, on my shelf, and I refer to it often. If I had to chooe between this or her other book The Way of the Journal I would say read this one! However, don't hesitate to buy both because they are a perfect complement to one another. Invaluable to anyone who takes their journaling seriously or who maybe needs to infuse their journaling with something new.
Emma Sea
Feb 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
When I first bought this, about 10 years ago, I disliked enough I leant it to someone and didn't see it for years. Having just got this back, now I appreciate it. There's a lot of specific techniques for introspective journaling. Strangely, what worked for me was the suggestion for 'Time Capsule' journaling - a basic and straightforward account of our day to day lives - in addition to more emotional and thoughtful work.

A useful book I will return to again.
Mar 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: journal-work
A simple text, but I think a classic. When I give journal workshops at my local library, this is the main text I use to gather up potential exercises (and they're all fun!) I've also had Kathleen Adams as a teacher in grad school and she's a beautiful human being. It was perhaps one of the most fulfilling cycles in my life when I was consistently working with her coursework, which included the workbook version of this text.
Jul 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
As someone with an ever-growing interest in and love for journaling, I really liked this book. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking to further their connections with themselves or even just gain a new perspective on journaling and to see what it can do for a person.
Rift Vegan
Sep 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2008
I re-read this book every once in a while to give my journal a boost. Simple and straight-forward, lots of ideas to get you pen moving.
A Very Mean Mudskipper
This was one of those impulse reads. Saw it added to a friend's to read list and somehow ended up reading it immediately. Given the new age title, not sure what I was expecting. Sounded self help + new age and that is what it delivered.

It sure provides interesting ideas of what one can try when journaling, but all the fluff around it was bothering me. I already mentioned the new age flavor of it. In addition, there wasn't always a clear structure, or clear reasoning, or examples. The latter were
Danika Tres
Jul 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bamboo

This is the perfect book to read if you want to know every nook and cranny there is to writing a journal. It tells you all the personal and emotional benefits to writing a journal, the different methodologies of journaling, and how journaling can be incorporated/partnered into other creative avenues such as creative writing and art. This book is so incredibly thorough in explaining all the aspects of journaling that it truly serves as the best reference book if one wanted to do research and writ
3.75 stars. I think the author did a good job digging deep into why journaling is good for you and I enjoyed all the options and ways there are to journal. I am not giving this a higher rating because a lot of the chapters didn't really resonate with me. I will refer to this book to get ideas on how to switch up my journal writings and get the most out of the practice (which is fully the intent of the book, and my reading it), but I do feel like if I didn't pick it up again, I wouldn't necessari ...more
Sep 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this.

I mostly expected Journal to the Self to be full of platitudes about how great and inspiring journal writing is. I would agree with that sentiment so I thought I'd read it to get me motivated to pick up my own notebook again. However, I found many practical techniques that I've already put to good use alongside all my newly found inspiration and motivation.

There are quite a few anecdotes too and sometimes I wasn't sure if it was the writer or a guest / journaling-course-past-studen
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
I think this book is very useful, and I’ll keep it in my arsenal. I am a huge fan of journaling. It helps me clear my head, sort through problems, and release my anger and frustration. However, it’s hard to read front to back. I probably read 1/2 to 2/3 of it and then skimmed the rest to read the holds that caught my eye. I’ll keep it for future ones if I need help journaling, especially for rereading unsent letters
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018, non-fiction
I was able to glean a few good ideas, but the book is quite dated and geared more toward journaling as a therapeutic tool than anything else.
Feb 22, 2019 rated it liked it
This books gives some good techniques for learning about yourself while writing. If you have a problem with overly spiritual readings, then you may not enjoy this as much.
Don Egan
May 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The best book on journaling I've ever read! I'd never realised there are so many different ways of journaling! Makes a lot of sense.
Jun 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Pros and cons. This is an older book and comes across as pretty dated. But does writing advice ever go out of style? As a longtime journal-er and notebook-keeper, I appreciated the chapters featuring techniques and examples of each.
Feb 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
I started journaling this year and I am just recording my days. This book showed me that I am missing out. There are many more very creative, positive, practical, instructive and yes, therapeutic ways to use journaling as a self help tool. Easy ways that won't take up any more time
I recommend it.
Mary Ann
Nov 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I owe this writer a lot of thanks. I taught freshman English for twenty years. During that time, my students were required to keep journals. I shared many techniques with them, and many of of those techniques I took from this book. Rereading it as a retired English teacher with just my own personal journal keep, I discovered techniques I had forgotten about. The book written in 1990 is a bit old fashioned; there are no chapters on keeping an online journal or even using your iPod to update the j ...more
Jun 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book is pretty similar to "The New Diary" by Tristine Rainer. Rainer's book is a bit more extensive, and has a wider variety topics, for example on erotic writing and creativity, which is why I gave it 5 stars and this one "only" 4. "Journal to the Self" is a great book nonetheless - it offers a description of and many examples for a wide range of writing techniques you can use in your journal for personal growth and self-awareness. It is written in a very inviting way - each time I pick it ...more
Literary Mama
As my children grew from preschoolers to high schoolers, entries to my childhood diary increased while my responses to writing prompts became more and more sporadic; those one-line prompts didn't always strike the right chord to get my creative juices flowing. I started to rethink “journaling” and how I spent my writing time, and turned to these books for guidance.

Read Literary Mama's full review here:
Nov 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I often recommend this book to people I know. It has some anecdotes and points of reference that I don't relate to but I don't find that a problem. It's practical, easy to use, motivating, has a great variety of ideas and gives approaches for when you have little time as well as for when you can spend longer on journalling.

She credits a lot to Ira Progoff's journaling course which prompted me to get his book. Unfortunately I found that unreadable, so I'm glad that Kathleen Adams has translated
Aug 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It only took a few days to read this book, but I'll will be using it for quite some time as a reference for my own journal writing. Kathleen Adams provides a smorgasbord of ideas for helping you document and reflect on your life experiences. Some of the ideas, such as "Stepping Stones," may be familiar to experienced journal writers, but Kathleen's insight about journal writing as a whole makes the entire book worth reading.
Rozana AlBanawi
Mar 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
The IT book for journaling for your life!
It has common-sense suggestions to how to start journaling.
It offers options (type of journal, pens, topics, routine, etc) along the way in every chapter. so the readers choose what resonates the most.
The content flowed with my experience of journaling for many years. I would love to follow some of its creative exercises.

Rated 4 because the print is very old & small size text.
Mar 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read this book over 25 years ago. At the time it was the best book on how to journal available. I learned a great deal and wrote regularly in my journal for eight years before someone read it without my permission. I recently pulled my paperback copy off my bookshelf to read again in the hopes of going back to writing again on a regular basis.
Now this one's a keeper. I'm so glad I bought a copy for myself. It is already full of underlines, asterisks, and reference pages added to the Table of Contents. There are a lot of creative ideas in here from clustering and character sketches to lists and stream of consciousness. This will keep me inspired for a long time.
A simple to use, simple to read book of journal prompts. My favourite chapter is the 79 cent therapist, where you will find yourself making lists of things and learning about yourself in a quick and interesting way.

Not so keen on the "for men" chapter, but that might just be something to do with the age of the book. Can't imagine Adams putting that into a more recent edition.
Jan 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I've read this many times over the years, and am currently taking a 6-week writing course based on this book, so I'm reading parts of it over again. It still holds up very well after nearly 3 decades!
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Kathleen (Kay) Adams LPC is a best-selling author, speaker, psychotherapist and visionary. Her first book, Journal to the Self, is a classic that has helped define the field of journal therapy.

She has also written The Write Way to Wellness: A Workbook for Healing and Change, The Way of the Journal , Mightier Than the Sword , and Scribing the Soul.

Kay is a beloved teacher whose innovative work has
“I previously had in my head but not in my heart—and I will stay with this sadness as best I can.” 1 likes
“There’s a friend at the end of your pen which you can use to help you solve personal or business problems, get to know all the different parts of yourself, explore your creativity, heal your relationships, develop your intuition” 1 likes
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