Intensive Journaling – Writing a new story for trauma and transition with Bill Israel
There are few experiences more challenging, confusing and lonely than a major life transition. Whether it comes in the form of an illness, divorce, job loss or global pandemic change is rarely welcomed as an opportunity to let go of old patterns and reinvent oneself. In this episode of AIR I speak with ordained pastor and therapist Bill Israel about navigating change and releasing old traumas through Intensive Journalling. We also discuss Bill’s extensive experience helping people experiencing addictions, homelessness and end of life to access their innate creativity and wisdom to embrace the change state.
- To learn more about Bill’s work and Intensive Journalling workshops check out www.billisrael.org
- www.intensivejournal.org International website
- The Body Keeps the Score, Van der Kolk, Bessel. MD Psychiatrist;
- The Polyvagal Theory, Porges, Stephen. MD:
- In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts. Mate, Gabor, MD;
- The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog, Perry, Bruce, MD, Psychiatrist.
Writing exercise recommended by Bill for navigating Covid related transition and trauma response (referenced from Progroff Methodology for Addictions
It is important to do the exercise in a setting of complete silence, with a pen and paper (not a computer), when you can relax and take your mind off your daily life.
Record what comes to you; do not edit or censor. Write the date at the top of the page and the name of the exercise, “Period Log.” You should allow about 45 minutes to complete the exercise.
1. Describe the “Now” period of your life; an open ended period that has a beginning but no ending. Examples include: three years since you moved to a new city or started a new job.
2. Record your thoughts, feelings, memories – whatever presents itself to you. Complete the phrase: “It is a time when…”; record images that describe the period.
3. Describe more details about this period: personal relationships; projects or activities; body and health; attitudes about society; important events; dreams or imagery; people who inspired you; and choices or decisions you made.
4. Read back what you have written and record any thoughts and feelings that you have during this process of writing and reading back.