The Center for Journal Therapy Inc.

In 1985, during her first semester of graduate school in counseling, Kathleen Adams created a workshop called Write On! in response to some friends who asked her if she’d teach them how to write a journal.  Kay excavated her own journals to find the methods and techniques that had come naturally to her over her lifetime of journal writing. She offered 21 different journal techniques in the 12-hour Write On! (now Journal to the Self®) workshop.

Kay was not prepared for the response the workshop evoked, both in the participants and in herself. “I knew within the first hour that this was my life’s work,” she said. “I had a clear sense of purpose and mission. I decided in that moment to dedicate myself to the work and follow it, wherever it led me.”

It led to a 30-year career as a thought leader and global influence in the field of therapeutic writing. After graduating from her counseling program in 1988, Kay founded the Center for Journal Therapy (incorporated in 2007) and began creating innovative programs for hospitals, treatment centers, churches, nonprofits, and small businesses. Her first book, Journal to the Self, was published in 1990. Now a bona fide best-seller, it is still selling steadily and is known as a classic in the field.

Kay’s list of authored books grew to six by 2004. In 2011, she was asked by Rowman & Littlefield Publishing to conceptualize and serve as series editor for a group of books on expressive writing. The It’s Easy to W.R.I.T.E. Expressive Writing series launched in 2013 with its flagship book, Expressive Writing: Foundations of Practice (Adams, ed.) and in August 2015 the eighth entry, Expressive Writing: Counseling and Healthcare (Thompson and Adams, eds.) will arrive. In between have been titles such as  Writing with At-Risk Youth (Gold), Women, Writing, and Prison (Jacobi and Folwell, eds.), and Transformative Language Arts in Action (Farmer and Mirriam-Goldberg, eds).

In 2008, Kay founded the Therapeutic Writing Institute, the fully on-line professional training division of the Center for Journal Therapy. TWI is the first (and to date only) credentials training program for journal therapy and therapeutic writing facilitation. In 2013, she launched an online learning community, the Journalverse, for journal writers and facilitators worldwide.


To make the healing art and science of journal writing accessible to all who desire self-directed change.

The Center for Journal Therapy lives this mission through

  • writing, editing, and publishing standards-based books, white papers, and blogs about the power of writing for healing, growth, and change
  • speaking, teaching, lecturing, keynoting, presenting, facilitating, and consulting on journal therapy and its applications for clinical practice and behavioral health
  • preparing certified instructors to teach the Journal to the Self® workshop in their own communities and around the world
  • creating a space for a learning community through the Journalverse, a portal where the leading thinkers and practitioners in the field of therapeutic writing join Kay for conversations and workshops about diverse topics in writing for healing, growth, and change


The Center for Journal Therapy is the premier source of education and training on the power of writing for healing, growth, and change.

Through its educational and training offerings, the Center for Journal Therapy stretches into this vision by:

  • certifying qualified individuals as Journal to the Self® instructors to bring the original workshop to people in communities across the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Europe, and around the world
  • providing continuing education for psychotherapists (NBCC approved provider #5782) in theory and best practice of journal therapy and therapeutic writing
  • offering learning opportunities at very low cost through the online membership community, the Journalverse
  • traveling around the United States, Canada, and beyond to bring one-day or weekend theory/practice workshops to therapists in agencies, cohort groups, hospitals, practice groups, or associations
  • offering a large variety of innovative coursework in all aspects of therapeutic writing (journal therapy, poetry therapy, and therapeutic memoir) for therapists and practitioners at the on-line Therapeutic Writing Institute
  • providing a structured, standards-driven, curriculum-based route to endorsed credentialing as a certified journal facilitator or (for licensed therapists) certified journal therapist through the on-line Therapeutic Writing Institute
  • editing a 12-book series designed to provide expressive/therapeutic writing practitioners a cohesive, codified immersion into critical thinking and best practice for this rapidly emerging field
  • following the unfolding vision as it reveals itself, project by project.