Visual Journaling is part Journal and par Art therapy and that is what makes it quite effective as a process to help us release our inner thoughts and emotions. Art therapy, after all, is simply a process of creativity to express ourselves.

Sometimes when we journal it is very linear. I did this. Then this. Then this happened. And this sucked. And then that was that.

Visual Journaling

Visual Journaling is meant to be a lot more flexible and can include:

  • Poems
  • Drawings
  • doodles
  • Images you want to add that inspires you
  • Prompts you want to use
  • Collages
  • Drawing Mandala- within circles draw or doodle
  • Add in your gratitude journal
  • All of the above or a few mixed with single words or anything you want to say

This is why it is a good place to start on your own for art therapy. It is entirely up to you where you want to go with it and what you want to explore. And it doesn’t matter how ‘good’ it is only that you express what you want to.

I did one with the prompt ‘Who am I?’ to show as an example

I don’t exactly think too much about it. I use doodles. Bits and pieces of poetry and random rhymes. Words. Just a jumble really. So it looks a bit chaotic but then so is my brain. It looks a lot like when I brainstorm for a novel actually. Anyway, this is just to show it can look literally any way you want it to. Right now I am using a small journal but I will be buying a larger size for this purpose. I do like this mixture of words, concepts, ideas, poems, doodles, and drawings to express myself in a journal. I think I will get better at it the more I brainstorm ideas and meditate on prompts and themes… which is the idea. And I am not sure I am finished with This one yet, entirely.

Prompts you can use:

  • Who am I really?
  • How do I feel today?
  • What do I feel passionate about?
  • Where does my sense of meaning come from?
  • What do I really want from life right now?
  • What do I want to release from my life?
  • I would feel greater emotional well-being if I…
  • I would feel more connected if I…
  • I would feel more intellectual well-being if I…
  • I would feel more physical well-being if I…
  • I am thankful for…
  • What am I releasing? What am I amplifying?
  • I am becoming…
  • My pain is…
  • My body feels…
  • My emotions are…

You don’t need a prompt at all but some days it might help you focus your thoughts or help you dig into some ideas.

This site shows some wonderful ones but more geared to art students

See articles on visual journaling

See more on journaling

Journal Exercise: The good and the bad
My daily health journal
Gratitude journal

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4 thoughts on “Visual Journaling

  1. I just got a special leather bound journal. I’m starting this. Thank you for your list, too and the other examples. As a writing teacher (middle school), I had my students do this and I’d do it along side of them, but for some reason, since I’ve been home (due to chronic illness), I haven’t wanted to write (physically). But I really think I need to because I tend to be able to get “more out” and be more creative. I love to add my doodles as a part of my thinking which I don’t do when I’m writing on a computer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love this. And it is often drawings, doodles, little sketches, poems, quotes, and my journal writing mixed in there. I need a bigger journal that would work better for this style though


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