Therapy and the Diary, from The New Diary, by Trisline Rainer

Coming up on "Crazy": Non-Med Healing Techniques, and "The Artists Series, Where Crazy Lives Comfortable with Art"

The first non-medical healing techniques is journaling, or keeping a diary.

The New Diary by Trisline Rainer, c. 1978 is probably the single most useful way of managing emotions for the mentally wrecked. It is almost 3 decades old, but it was inspired in part by the diaries of Anias Nin, and for that, the New Diary has more hints of literary (that is, artistic) tradition than other, newer books about journaling.

Journaling, for the writer, is one of the most efficient ways of keeping track of all your ideas, emotions, anxieties, and accomplishments. For the regular person in psychotherapy, it is the next best thing to a live therapist.

In fact, in the short chapter called, "Therapy and the Diary", Rainer, the author , points out if have a better relationship with your journal than your full bodied therapist, it might be pointing out something you need to correct. And don't ignore such a little thing, because it might be one way you can maneuver around in a place where you are not in charge.

In therapy, a lot of emphasis on the creative side will show up as drawings and pictures, because they come right from the psyche, and can get at the brunt of your psychological pain. But I would highly recommend using both journaling and drawings, to compliment each other and see if one matches the other. Pining down your inside problems with words, that too might bring visuals into your head for the first time, or metaphors, or "answering your own question".

New Diary Techniques

Dialogue with your pain/mental disturbance:
You: you do nothing but stab me in heart with electric lighting bolts
Pain: no, sweetheart, you stab YOU in the heart. where's your prozac?

Lists (a recent list of comfort items)
Dogfood
Meds
Food
Migraine headache pills
Whole Food gummy bears
oxygen
Guinness Stout

Reflection
"Boy has it been a drag to be depressed, angry, despairing and discouraged?" Silver Lining: you get to drop out of high school

Description
"Boy isn't a drag I was born so ugly even designer makeup doesn't help?" Silver Lining: if you dropped out of high school you won't have a job to afford designer makeup, so there's always "Wet 'n Wild"

And Others you can explore, if only to make fun of yourself

"The central relationship in the diary is with yourself. And it is precisely this active, positive relationship with yourself that therapy works to facilitate."

In other words, you might have half a chance of getting out of life alive if you work at it. But try not to burn that diary, because you will have to read it again in the future. It's one of the directives.

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    Joan Clarie

    Chicago writer, artist, manic depressive person. this means things run hot, cold, up, down, rarely inbetween, but there is hope

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