Journal Therapy for Mood Disorders:
Writing Through Depression, Anxiety, Stress and Loss

An essential one-day seminar on using journal writing
as a dynamic therapeutic tool for clients with mood disorders

Kathleen Adams LPC, PTR
Director, Center for Journal Therapy

At the end of this program, participants will be able to:

  • Discuss how journal writing helps relieve symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress and/or loss
  • Explain and demonstrate the journal ladder as an assessment tool
  • Discuss the expressive writing model of Dr. James Pennebaker
  • Facilitate five or more journal therapy techniques or templates designed for use with depression, anxiety, stress and/or loss
  • Facilitate three or more therapeutic writing modules
  • Discuss the features of psychoeducational writing groups as contrasted to therapeutic writing process groups
  • Discuss the journal therapy model of Kathleen Adams

Journal Therapy for Mood Disorders

Despite its widespread use in treatment, very few clinicians have learned the techniques, templates and success strategies that transform journal writing into a powerful therapeutic tool.  In this experiential workshop, one of the top three theorists in the field of journal therapy offers templates, models, step-by-step processes, and writing exercises for the holistic management of mood disorders.

The workshop will address writing interventions for the management of depression, anxiety, stress and loss.  Drawing from her quarter-century of experience developing curricula for journal therapy groups and designing therapeutic writing processes for clients, Kathleen Adams offers a comprehensive selection of ready-made templates, writing sequences and facilitation plans suitable for both group and individual work.

The speaker’s foundational workshop, The Power of Journal Therapy, has been taught more than 130 times with an overall rating in the 95th percentile.  The most-offered suggestion for improvement is, “Less theory, and more writing exercises!” This workshop offers a learning-by-doing approach, in which participants will actually practice several of the writing interventions and have time to discuss outcomes and discoveries.  Please come prepared to write by bringing a notebook or journal.

Course Content


  • What is journal therapy?
  • How journal therapy helps reduce and relieve symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress and loss
  • How to help clients protect privacy
  • Five crucial components to an effective therapeutic writing program
  • How to help clients self-regulate and avoid overstimulation and overwhelm


  • Emotional Release writing using the Pennebaker method
  • Journals “Quick and Easy”: How to help clients get started and keep going
  • How to facilitate groups or individuals in journal therapy practice using modules (a series of writing processes targeted for a specific outcome) such as:
    • Healing the Wounded Writer
    • Writing Through Troubled Times
    • Challenging Belief Systems
    • Managing Grief
    • Series of Three
    • Stepping Stones
    • The Life Balance Wheel
    • Stepping Outside the Problem
    • Identifying Core Values
    • Connecting With the Healthier Self
    • Emotional Release Writing
    • plus templates and forms for depression, anxiety, stress, loss


  • Strategies for leading journal therapy process groups
  • Strategies for leading psychoeducational journal groups
  • The four stages of a therapeutic writing group

Who Should Attend

  • Licensed Professional Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Art Therapists
  • Group Therapists
  • Cognitive/Behavioral Therapists
  • EMDR Therapists
  • Addictions Counselors
  • Hospice Counselors
  • School Guidance Counselors
  • Pastoral Counselors
  • Psychologists
  • Psychiatric Nurses
  • Registered Nurses
  • Health Care Professionals
  • Journal Writers

Course Director

Kathleen Adams LPC, PTR is one of the most prominent and established voices in the field of therapeutic writing.  She is an author, psychotherapist and Registered Poetry/Journal Therapist (PTR) whose gift and life mission is sharing the power of writing with all who desire self-directed change.  Kathleen is the author of six books on the power of writing, including the best-selling Journal to the Self, a classic in its 12th printing, originally with Warner Books (now Grand Central Publishing).  In 1985 she founded and continues to direct the Center for Journal Therapy in Denver, an international training and consulting company.  As the voice of journal therapy for nearly 25 years, her work has been featured in publications such as Newsweek, Alternative Medicine, Natural Health and Counseling & Human Development, as well as advocated by organizations such as Weight Watchers and Andrew Weil, M.D. Kathleen is on the faculty of the University of Denver, teaching a graduate curriculum in Writing & Healing that she co-designed.  A past president of the National Association for Poetry Therapy, Kathleen holds an undergraduate degree in Journalism from Colorado State University and a Master’s in Psychology & Counseling from Boulder Graduate School, Boulder CO. She maintains a limited private practice and spends the majority of her time teaching, training and consulting in journal therapy. Kathleen has taught for Cross Country Education since 2006.

To book this training, please contact us.