Writing to Heal. Using journaling to transform your life




Writing to heal takes you on a journey that asks you to first pick up your pen and write in a journal.  To then reflect on what you have written and rewrite it with positive intention, so that you change your story.

As you change the way in which you view life and your story, your life will change.  Add in the dimension of creative writing exercises, through short stories, prose or poems, suddenly you are on an adventure where you are in control of your destiny.  You can now decide what happens to the characters and what the outcome of the tale might be.

Let me hold your hand and guide you the process I use with my coaching clients.

Course structure

We start by looking at what journaling is and in the first few modules get you started on your journaling journey and writing each day.

There are a number of different creative writing exercises for you to use as inspiration and kick-starts.

After you have got used to your daily journaling, it is then time to start reflecting and included are a number of reflection exercises, which are designed to help you see where your unhelpful patterns of behaviour are and to encourage you to change thought patterns, habits, beliefs and perceptions.

Both journaling and reflecting are immensely healing activities in themselves. I have added in creative life writing as I have witnessed both my clients and myself getting huge benefits from melding fact with fiction to come up with some factional stories, which put us back in the driving seat of our lives.

How long will it take?

The workshop has been structured over 45 days.  Though how you work through the material should be in a way that suits you. You are encouraged to journal for 30 days to create a good habit.  The exercises are designed to get you thinking and for you to a) follow in a linear fashion or b) randomly try things.

Why take this course?

This course is for anyone who feels 'stuck' and would like to try a novel approach to changing their life and starting to heal.  Writing is cathartic and when you add in reflection and creative life writing the opportunities for change and healing open up.

What else?

Many people who use journalling have discovered that they also have a book inside of them.  You may not want to publish your book, however, this course will lead you from journaling into creative life writing and give you the confidence to write a book if you so choose.

If you can journal you can write, if you can write short stories you can write a book.

So start learning these highly creative writing exercises to reveal your full potential. 

Who is the target audience?
  • This journaling course has been designed to help you to kickstart your writing and journaling
  • Writing to heal has been created to help you when you feel stuck. By journaling your thoughts and feelings you can change your life
  • This journaling course will help those who want to kick start a personal story or memoir, by helping you to get your stories out and showing you how to reflect positively on them
  • This course will help you through the tough times. Writing and journaling are great healers. You will learn how to write, reflect and grow
  • Anyone who enjoys journaling and writing.

  • Journal and pen.

What Will I Learn?
  • Make daily journalling a habit for changing their life
  • Discover how to journal, reflect and decide to change the way that they think
  • Find inspiration for their life story or memoir
  • Get to know themselves better through their journaling and writing

Curriculum For This Course Expand All Collapse All 31 Lectures 02:28:03 + – Meet Dale and find out about this course 3 Lectures 11:55

Welcome to the course, I am delighted that you have joined me on this program, which will see you using your writing to heal, expand and transform.

Each lecture contains either a video or some other material to help you to achieve your goals.

I will review questions once a week. You can ask any question either about the overall course or for an individual module. Please make your questions clear as this could help other students who might have a similar query.

Please come and join Writing For The Soul on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/writingforthesoul/

Kind regards


Meet Dale and find out about this course Preview 05:00

Welcome to writing to heal

Overview of what's to come and your planner. Also included is a setting outcomes worksheet and outcome questions. This will enable you to think about what you want to achieve as a result of taking this course and for your life.

How to use and get the most out of this course Preview 03:59

In this lecture we tour a Udemy course to understand where everything is.

How to use your Udemy course 02:56 + – STARTING TO JOURNALING 4 Lectures 21:03

What is journaling?

This lecture introduces you to journaling

A journal is a written record of your thoughts, feelings, experiences, and observations. You can write in your journal daily, or only when you feel the urge. Journaling is then the act of keeping, writing, reflecting and making personal change through the art of keeping a journal.

Benefits of journaling

Because your journal is private you can:-

  • Express your feelings and thoughts in an uninhibited way.
  • Clarify goals, before acting.
  • Release unhelpful thoughts and learn to let go.
  • Gain a sense of perspective and control.
  • Store and analyse your dreams.
  • Catalyst for change and creativity.
  • A source for your stories.

You will start to:-

  • Understand who you are, what you want and how to get it.
  • Find new ways to tackle old behaviours, issues or problems.
  • Unwind and relax.
  • Communicate with others better.
  • Create positive intentions and affirmations.
  • Discover a pathway to self-awareness which provides insights, upon which you can act and create change.
  • Find creative solutions to problems and challenges.
  • Discover memories.

Let me ask you:-

  • Do you feel stuck and unable to move on?
  • Have you tried every personal development course available, but still feel no further forward?
  • Have you ever wanted to write your life story or memoir, but stopped, staring blankly at the page in front of you.  Full of doubts you put your pen away.
  • When you do write, do you fill up with emotion and can’t move on?
  • What if you could take the bold step of exploring you and your life and could discover how to make changes through writing and reflection?  Would you be tempted?
  • What if you could get your story out, heal your wounds, be in control and confident.  Would you want to take that step?

Follow this 45 day plan which takes you through journaling, reflecting and storytelling, who knows where you will find yourself at the end of the course.

Starting to journal and write 06:24

What kind of journaler are you?

This lecture asks - what kind of journaler / writer are you, so that you can understand how to get the best out of the course.

Have you ever stopped to consider how you like to learn, what steps you take in getting things done, why you work the way that you do?  In order to be more productive and effective, we need to understand ourselves and the habits or patterns we have formed.

Aspects of journaling and writing will be easier for some than others, because each of us have preferences for the way in which we think, learn and do.

Our ways of thinking feel a 'natural' part of us. You may be unaware of these unconscious patterns, until you learn to recognise them.  You can learn to recognise them through your language and behaviour.

Having a preference for a particular pattern of can be very beneficial when that pattern is useful in a particular context. On the other hand you might find it difficult to adapt your behaviour, even when that way of doing something could be more beneficial.  Consider how being more flexible with your thinking and behaviour may lead to more productive outcomes.

This short guide asks you to consider what you are typically like so that you can get the most out of this workshop.

What kind of journaler are you? Preview 06:30

Why does writing from the heart make a difference?

In this lecture we examine why we should write from the heart.

It is vital that we journal and write in the right place, in the right frame of mind, that we let go of our self-consciousness, become one with ourselves and write without judgment.  If you write from your head, your left logical brain is engaged, in writing from your heart you will open up the space for you to love and to be loved.  When we take responsibility for loving ourselves then our lives can change.

Hearts get broken and unbalanced by our relationships with others and ourselves.  By writing from your heart you can let go and start walking towards the person you know that you are. 

Writing from the heart 04:25

Every good journaler and writer needs their rucksack stuffed with relevant things for their journey; they make the job of writing easier.  What should go in yours?

Journaling toolkit 03:44 + – JOURNALING DAILY 6 Lectures 23:50

Being prepared

You would think that writing in a journal would be really easy.  For some that is just not the case.  In this lecture, I offer some hints and tips which will help you to start journaling and keep going.  

Preparing yourself to journal and write Preview 04:09

The right environment

In this lecture you are asked to decide where and when you want to write.

To get the most out of your journaling and writing find a place and time that works for you.

In bed, the lounge, conservatory, your office, in your favourite comfy chair.  It is important that you find a place where you feel at ease, which relaxes you, and enables you the comfort and space to begin to write.

Preparing your journaling environment 02:26

The daily Journal

In this lecture we look at the daily journal and how to make this a part of your life.

There are two ways that people mainly like to write, one is freestyle where they let the unconscious unravel, and the second way is to use structure where they use questions as prompts.

When you start your journal journey, it is useful to try both. In this way you will know what works best for you. Like me, you may find that both are useful depending upon your mood. 

The daily Journal is about your relationship with your life. Your daily entry is what keeps you up-to-date with what is happening, and is where you come back to reflect.

We are starting to look at how we make journaling a natural part of our lives.

Daily journaling 04:21


‘Stuff’ always gets in the way of everything.  Doesn’t it!  In this lecture we examine what some of that might be and ways to overcome your blocks.

Changing patterns of behaviour 05:46


Where does inspiration come from?

Inspiration comes in many guises.  In this lecture we look at ways to find inspiration for our writing.

Inspiration for your writing and journaling 04:54

Mandalas are fab for getting to the heart of your 'questions'. As you go through the course and things come to you and you want some time to focus inwards. Use a mandala to help you.

Using Mandalas to get connected to your divine inner wisdom 02:14 + – ALL ABOUT YOU 5 Lectures 23:30

How did we get here?

In this lecture we look at how to place ourselves in the now and to know what bought us to this point.

Timelines provide a visual roadmap, which give you the big picture in the form of a map.  Clarity will come because the human mind sees things in patterns.  When you see patterns you make connections.  When you connect the map of your life to your values, purpose, passion and vision, a clearing to the pathway for your stories and possible book will emerge.

Everyone's perception of time is different. We use the where is my now exercise to put your writing into a timeframe and into context, so that when you reflect you are able to consider more clearly how events that surround your life are affecting you and how things fit together. 

Timelines and where is my now? 04:24

This timelines exercise explains how to create one and how it use it to find themes and connections.

Timelines exercise Preview 05:26

How can I remind myself who I am?

In this lecture are some exercises which are designed to connect you with you and for you to ask the question, who am I and what are my healing intentions?

Life makes memories and memories create stories (and books) and stories change lives.  We remind ourselves of who we are by exploring us through journaling and writing.  

Who are you? 05:41

Firsts and the day that changed your life forever

In this lecture we examine how your firsts and these days contribute to who you are and your story.

Your life will have lots of firsts.  Your first memory, kiss, fight, book, car, bike, test.


There are always days that…. The day that you left your job and became self employed.  The day someone close died.  A day your world changed forever.  

Journaling exercise - Firsts 02:07

The public and private you

There will always be differences between the face you show the to the public.  

In this lecture we look at the many different faces you show.

Journaling exercise - The public and private you 05:52 + – STUFF THAT GETS IN THE WAY 2 Lectures 09:26

What gets in the way of your journaling and writing?

This lecture isn’t about writers block, it is about things that get in the way of getting your writing started and completed.

The question does actual writers block exist leaves people in one of two camps.

If you don’t believe that it exists then you will be in the camp that says, when you feel resistance, just knuckle down and get on with it.

Others who say that it does exist, and say that trying to keep at something when it is not working simply makes matters worse.

Whichever camp you are in, you are right.

I know as a journaler / writer there is nothing worse than looking at a blank piece of paper and not knowing what to write. Like me you will just have to face it that at some point you will not want to write or things will get in the way. 

This chapter looks at some of the things that might get in the way and an action plan for overcoming procrastination.

I find my inspiration often comes at the oddest moments and not when I am poised fingers ready at my computer.

However, whatever your perception, there are in my view things that get in the way.  Some of what gets in the way is as a result of choices you make and some as a result of things out of your control.

You have to identify what is getting in the way and then take action to end your inaction. 
Fear, uncertainty, doubt and procrastination 06:54


Having a journal is an opportunity to be honest with yourself and this can sometimes be difficult to let go and say it as it is. We can learn a lot from our honesty and when we write from a place which is full of emotion it is far better than any skilled writer could ever achieve. 

In this lecture we look at how to be truthful in our journaling and writing.

Honesty, integrity and permission to write 02:32 + – UNDERSTANDING WHO YOU ARE 1 Lecture 09:30

Values to Vision

How do my values, passions, purpose help me to find out who I am and why am I here?

In this lecture we look at a process called values to vision. By taking steps through the process and working out what our values, passion and purpose leads us towards our vision.  Without a vision we do not have a direction.

When we have clarity we can define where we are headed with our journaling and writing.  In finding out about ourselves, we start to gain clarity of purpose.  What you are passionate about and the purpose of your writing go hand in hand.

You will be working through exercises to uncover your values, passions, purpose and vision.

Values to vision 09:30 + – WRITING EXERCISES 1 Lecture 03:52

Writing exercises

Sometimes we get stuck with journaling and writing.  Included here are a selection of writing exercises designed to get your pen moving again.

Writing exercises designed to change the way you think 03:52 + – REFLECTION 4 Lectures 26:18


In these lectures we look at how to reflect and provide a number of reflection exercises to try.

Reflection is our response to experiences, situations, events or new information and a phase where processing and learning can take place.  When you reflect your unconscious mind searches for evidence and analyses it.  After which it tries to make meaning and draw conclusions based on the evidence presented. Once we have been able to evaluate what we are reflecting on, we then decide what’s next. 

Reflecting 04:39


In this lecture we consider how to stay out of the picture when reflecting on unpleasant experiences and in the picture when reflecting on successes and times when things went well.

Getting the most out of your reflection 02:53

Reflection exercises

In addition to the other journaling and writing exercises, provided throughout this course.  These additional reflection exercises are designed to do just that, to get you thinking about your thinking.

Reflection exercises designed to help you to change the way you act 13:03


In this lecture we look at setting well formed outcomes.

This is an introduction the NLP model PACER for setting well-formed outcomes.  It is an alternative way of thinking about what you want to achieve.  By focusing on outcomes, we are not looking at and end goal, we are looking at a how we create our desired outcomes and then keeping them firmly focused in our minds, whilst remembering that the journey towards an outcome is rarely in a straight line.

Using PACER, I want to ask,  what is your healing vision?  What steps will take you towards a new and positive reality?

Outcomes 05:43 + – REFLECTING THROUGH CREATIVE LIFE WRITING 4 Lectures 17:37

Reflecting through creative writing

This lecture answers - How can I turn journals into stories?

The final piece of writing to heal is to construct short stories from your journal entries.  I have found that writing creative life stories, where I use events and people as inspiration extremely cathartic.  These stories put me in control and anything can happen. 

This works because when you take something that you consider to be real (your current perception) and change the way in which you view it, it releases your attachments to the situation. With creative life writing you find ways to let go of your stuff, whilst also having fun.

Creative life writing is a pathway to self-discovery and transformation. Writing the stories of our past can help us consider how to have a healthy future. As we pour ourselves into words, we learn who we are, what has to change, where the opportunities to heal are, grow and be able to tell a whole new story.

Storytelling 07:43


In this lecture we ask - How can metaphors help me to heal?

All of us speak and write and think in metaphors every day. They can't be avoided; metaphors are built into our language. 

The mind makes connections, sees things as patterns, this includes our language.  There is a link between the mind and the dis ease that our bodies express.

In healing the link that we can use to examine the body through the mind is metaphor. This works because we are story-telling creatures and everything in our lives is part of our story.

These exercises help you to understand what your mind is telling you about where you healing needs to be focused.

Storytelling exercises - Metaphor 03:20


"Imagination is more important than knowledge." Albert Einstein

In this lecture we look at visualising a great future.

The real key to turning imagination into reality is acting as if the imagined scene were real and already accomplished. Instead of pretending it is a scene from the future, imagine it as though you are truly experiencing it in the present.

Thinking is doing and our minds believe what we are thinking is really an action.  Our thoughts become our reality.

Visualisation 02:23

Is there a book in you?

This final lecture simply asks what next in your journaling, writing, reflecting and storytelling journey?

Will you write a book?

Is there a book in you? 04:11 + – Bonus 1 Lecture 01:02

Thank you for coming this far. I hope that you have enjoyed the course. If you have and would like to leave feedback and a review, I would be very grateful.

Once you have finished this course, my hope is that you continue to journal and reap the benefits. You may want to write a book in which case I have a wide range of other course that will enable you to do just that.

The Writing to Heal book and Plan Your Non-Fiction Book in a weekend are available on Amazon and will support your onward journey.

Please connect with me

You can book a complimentary session by following this link https://daledarley.acuityscheduling.com/schedule.php?appointmentType=category:Getting+to+know+you

https://www.daledarley.com to find out more about how I can support you

Other courses

Use coupon code OWR010 to access any of my courses for a special price as a thank you for being a student. 

Links to other Udemy courses which will support your writers journey.

  • Plan your non-fiction book in a weekend
  • Blog your book in 30 days
  • Writing your life story
  • Kick-start your memoir - writing exercises


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