Journaling Tool: Dialogue


As said in Journal to the Self by Kathleen Adams, “The Dialogue technique is the Swiss army knife of the journal toolbox…(it) can take you into or through nearly any journal situation you can imagine. It is the technique of choice of many experienced journalers…”
Basically, “Dialogue is an exchange between you and someone or something else, where you play both parts.”
You can have dialogue with persons, events and circumstances, works, the body, societies, emotions/feelings, material objects/possessions, subpersonalities/symbols, resistance/block, and inner wisdom.
On a page it can look like a movie script:
ME: You’re all very small.
FEARS: Fears don’t grow, they multiply.
(From Journal to the Self)
Or, one of my favorite techniques is to do it as a back-and-forth sequence of letters.
Writing the initial letter (to the person, emotion, etc.) is the easiest part. The confusing, and hard part is writing the response. I used to wonder, how do I determine what the other person says? Am I supposed to be honest when I write the response? Am I supposed to be harsh or forgiving? But now that I’ve done it a few times, trust me when I say that it just comes. And while it may be difficult, it is where the true feeling, and learning, and healing takes place.
I recommend doing this exchange when you need to find some sense of “closure” on an issue in your life. I wrote a letter to our dog, Shiner, after having a lot of guilt from his passing. It was cathartic and good for me to write to him, but the real growth came in his response. (I know, it sounds crazy. I wrote a letter to myself, from my no-longer-living dog. But it worked).
To read more on this topic, I suggest you check out the book Journal to the Self by Kathleen Adams and read the chapter on Dialogue, where you can get more tips.
Here is my “Shiner” example for you to check out.
Good luck and feel free to post some of your own examples with dialogue!

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