Your foster child may be asked to keep a journal if they’re receiving cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Writing in a journal is one of the most common homework assignments that therapists use for this popular form of therapy. However, it can be difficult for patients to get started and remain consistent with their journaling. That can be especially true for children and teenagers. Here are a few suggestions to help your foster family succeed with CBT:
When to Write in Your CBT Journal:
Your foster child may find it easier to make journaling a daily habit if they create a regular routine. Ask them to designate the same time each day for writing down their thoughts. Maybe they’ll want to do it after they finish their homework in the evening or during their lunch hour. Any hour can work, especially if they choose a time that’s relatively quiet and relaxed.
What to Write in Your CBT Journal:
Anyone can run into writer’s block from time to time. As a foster parent, you can encourage your foster child to let their thoughts and feelings flow rather than trying to polish their material. Help them find a format that is comfortable for them. They might prefer writing in full sentences or making a list of bullet points. They might even like to draw images to describe what they’re going through.
Other CBT Journaling Tips:
Let your foster child find the medium that works for them, whether it’s using an app or paper and pen. On the other hand, some traditions are worth preserving. Dating each page may make your foster child feel more accountable because it makes it obvious if they lapse for any length of time. It can also help them to recognize the progress they’re making with CBT when they review their journal over time.
If you’re interested in helping foster children in Kansas, contact us at Pathway Family Services. Learn more about the resources we provide for residential treatment, independent living, and specialized foster care.