Journaling After Brain Injury

Journaling After Brain Injury

Barbara Stahura
Journaling after brain injury can help survivors cope with the changes and challenges in their lives. This tip card on journaling after brain injury helps survivors and families understand what journaling is, learn its benefits and cautions, and use guidelines and tips for writing journal entries. Read an interview with author Barbara Stahura

"Click Here" to listen to an recent interview by Barbara Stahura on how her husband's brain injury impacted them and how well he is doing in his recovery.

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Full Description

Journaling has many benefits for survivors of brain injury who are coping with physical, emotional and cognitive changes in their lives. Journaling can help survivors improve writing and speaking skills, follow instructions, and improve awareness of weaknesses and strengths. Journaling is a tool to help survivors build a future after a brain injury and adjust to life at home or in the community.
Pages 8
Year 2011


Barbara Stahura

She discovered the power of personal journaling years ago and now shares her knowledge in workshops that provide pathways to personal growth and self-empowerment. Her book After Brain Injury: Telling Your Story grew from her long-running journaling group in Tucson, Ariz.

She has also facilitated journaling events for the National Guard, family caregivers, writers, equine-facilitated experiential learning groups, and others. She is also an award-winning author and certified instructor of Journal to the Self®. She now lives in Indiana with her husband, a TBI survivor. Visit her website at


Story of Your Life after Brain Injury

  • What is journaling?
  • If you think you can't journal
  • If you can't write or type

Benefits of Journaling

  • Keep your journaling healthy and safe
  • Tips on journaling

Basic Journaling




What is journaling?

A journal is a dated record of your experiences that is written over time, but not necessarily every day. Journals can contain reports of events, feelings, thoughts, dreams, fantasies, plans for the future, views of the past, sketches, letters, photographs—anything you want to save. Journaling is a way of:

  • relieving stress
  • exploring change
  • clearing up confusion
  • developing creativity and intuition
  • getting in touch with feelings
  • trying new behaviors
  • imagining possibilities
  • and much more.

As you write in your journal over time, you will discover a great deal about yourself. You will likely feel better in body, mind, and spirit. In addition to recording and reporting your life, it's important to explore your thoughts and feelings. Journaling is especially helpful if you write with the intention of creating personal change and growth.

Tips on journaling…

Journaling has no rules. Yet simple tips will make your journaling more effective and satisfying. After a brain injury, you may have to adapt or ignore some of them to create a journal practice that works for you. That's fine! It's your journal. You can use it however you like.

  • Start with meditation. Sit quietly for a few minutes before you begin to write. Let your mind calm itself and focus on your topic.
  • Date every entry.
  • Keep what you write. Even if you think you've written “junk” in your journal, your words may contain seeds of insights. Later you may find that it makes sense and is important.
  • Write quickly. By writing quickly, you can outsmart the internal critic who lives inside your head. Don't think about what you're writing. Just write.

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