By Dr Deepti Kathpalia

The simple act of penning down thoughts connected, disconnected, immediately begins to alleviate one’s feelings of anxiety, anger, sadness or gloom and starts creating a space in an overcrowded mind.

I presently work as a therapist, coach and a counsellor and I have personally practised, experienced and seen the effect journaling has had on me.

For the last seven years, since my mother passed on painfully due to cancer, a time where I struggled with depression, anxiety, profound worry and fatigue, where I found myself alone not because I didn’t have any family but because I became inadept at expressing and talking to people around, I struggled with so much anger at the way things were shaping up, the apathy of the doctors and the struggle with money for my mother’s treatment and so much more. I didn’t have the courage or the strength for a dialogue, I feared judgement, I feared conflict, I was prejudiced and felt that no one really cared so they wouldn’t understand. I quite accidently began to scribble on a torn piece of paper while waiting outside the ICU and then forgot about it but that very night I felt the urge to do it again and again and again. Much to my surprise I began to feel an undefined comfort and solace every time I wrote down what was going on in my head. I did not realise but my pen and notepad became my friends and remain till date.

This one habit has held me in good stead since then and in more ways than one has been instrumental in my growth as a person. Journaling has empowered me with courage I never knew I had, I slowly began to open my world to people around me, many I knew and quite a few that I didn’t. I had always been a guarded individual till then and never allowed any person a peep into my world. I myself was surprised that my guards had come crashing down, I began to surface as a calmer, happier and more authentic person. There is an innocence and honesty that reaches across people and in turn has continued to heal me from within.

I am, today, more forthcoming, more confident and fearless. It no longer bothers me as to how I am being perceived by people around me, my internal connects and conversations with self are productive and have grown, they are more honest as well as intense. Journaling gave me the power to not succumb to fear and negativity.

It would be incorrect to suggest that I do not have my low days or that I do not feel sad, angry or hurt, I do but I now have the most effective tool to help myself heal and bounce back soon, sometimes in a matter of minutes too.

As a counsellor and a therapist, I have sensed this unique ability of empathy which I have further developed when I interact with clients and family and friends.

Journaling had given me a wider vision and has made me more rational and a more peaceful person.

These last few years have been transformative and reformative both. I was so caught up in a warp of my own messy thoughts and limiting stories as would be the case with quite a few of us.

It has been an instrumental tool in my interactions with my clients and to my surprise I have found our therapeutic connect getting deeper and more meaningful.

As was the case with a young woman client who I had the pleasure of meeting and knowing. Sangeeta and I met five years ago, a beautiful young woman of about 40 suffering from anxiety and low grade depression, she spoke about not being able to sleep well for the last many years.

In our first two three meetings I noticed that whatever was asked she would reply to that softly and seemed edgy and nervous almost the entire time we were in session. She was obviously unable to verbalise her thoughts and concerns for many reasons I believed but didn’t goad.

I decided to give her a small journaling assignment for our next session in which she was encouraged to time it to only 15 minutes everyday and write her thoughts and feelings that prevailed at that point in time.

In our next meeting, even without my asking she handed over a folder of her assignment to me. I quickly ran through the content and was surprised at the way she had articulated her thoughts and feelings. They conveyed way moe than words did or could and I was happy.

The sessions continued for a while and each time I found Sangeeta surfacing more relaxed and calm. The journaling assignments were a regular in my interventions along with some other techniques, she was told to track her thoughts and feelings from our first meeting and see for herself how the healing was happening.

As a therapist and a change maker,I recommend this form of therapy across all sections of people. It comes with brilliant results. It gives me so much joy when I see clients, friends and family re-examine their stories as well as limiting beliefs that have held them back from experiencing happiness and peace, it is absolutely thrilling to see these lovely people getting ready to explore new ways of being.

To each one of you, start with just five to ten minutes each day thereby discovering the real you, it is cathartic and magical…!!!!

 “Words are but pictures of our thoughts”

Dr Deepti Kathpalia is a Therapist, Counsellor, NLP Master Practitioner. She can be reached by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.