Psychedelics, such as ketamine, have emerged as a transformative tool in the field of medicine. Alongside this, Narrative Medicine has been gaining recognition for its profound impact on healing through storytelling. At ShaMynds Healing Center, we are exploring the intersection of Narrative Medicine and ketamine treatment, specifically focusing on the use of therapeutic journaling to process past trauma.
By combining the power of psychedelics and the art of storytelling, individuals can embark on a healing journey that allows them to rewrite their narratives and find profound transformation.
The Role of Narrative Medicine in Healing
Narrative Medicine is a field that recognizes the importance of stories in medicine and the way they shape our experiences with illness. By critically examining the stories we tell about illness, we can gain insight into the impact they have on our healing process. Narrative Medicine emphasizes the bi-directional relationship between doctors and patients, where stories become dynamic portals for exchanging meaning and transforming perspectives.
When applied to the field of Psychedelic Medicine, Narrative Medicine becomes a natural progression. Psychedelics, such as ketamine, have the potential to open new narratives and shift the very foundations of our stories. Through the use of Narrative Medicine, individuals can explore the stories they carry and rewrite them in a way that promotes healing and personal growth.
Ketamine Treatment and Therapeutic Journaling
Ketamine treatment, often used in a therapeutic setting, has shown promising results in treating various mental health conditions, including PTSD and depression. When combined with therapeutic journaling, the healing potential of ketamine treatment becomes even more profound.
Therapeutic journaling allows individuals to process past trauma by putting their experiences into words. By journaling about their psychedelic experiences and the insights gained during ketamine treatment, individuals can create a narrative that sheds light on their past trauma and its impact on their lives. This process helps them make sense of their experiences, find meaning, and ultimately rewrite their narratives in a way that promotes healing and growth.
What Is Therapeutic Journaling?
Therapeutic journaling is the process of writing down our thoughts and feelings about our personal experiences. This kind of private reflection allows us to sort through events that have occurred and problems that we may be struggling with. It allows us to come to a deeper understanding about ourselves, with a different perspective on these difficulties.
Therapeutic journaling differs from more traditional diary writing, which involves recording the details of daily events. In contrast, therapeutic journaling is a internal process of using the written word to express the full range of emotions, reactions, and perceptions we have related to difficult, upsetting, or traumatic life events.
Along the way, this process can mean writing ourselves to better emotional and physical health and a greater sense of well-being.
Therapeutic Writing Protocols
Therapeutic journaling can be done by keeping a regular journal to write about events that bring up anger, grief, anxiety, or joy that occur in daily life. It can also be used more therapeutically to deal with specific upsetting, stressful, or traumatic life events.
An expressive writing protocol developed by Dr. James Pennebaker is the most widely used and researched method utilized in clinical practice. This writing protocol has been linked to improvements in both physical and psychological health. It has been used in non-clinical and clinical populations.
The expressive writing protocol consists of asking someone to write about a stressful, traumatic, or emotional experience for three to five sessions, over four consecutive days, for 15-20 minutes per session. Research has found it to be useful as a stand-alone tool or as an adjunct to traditional psychotherapies.
Narrative Medicine and ketamine treatment provide a powerful combination for healing and transformation. Through the use of therapeutic journaling, individuals can process past trauma, gain insights from their psychedelic experiences, and rewrite their narratives in a way that promotes healing and growth.
This integration of narrative and medicine allows individuals to embark on a profound journey of self-discovery and find new possibilities for their lives. As we continue to explore the potential of psychedelics and storytelling, we open up doors to a future where healing and transformation are within reach for all.
- Pennebaker JW, Evans JF (2014). Expressive writing: Words that heal. Idyll Arbor.
- “Therapeutic Journaling” was written by Shilagh A. Mirgain, PhD and by Janice Singles, PsyD (2016, updated 2023).