This therapy journal was originally designed to help the client develop and maintain awareness of emotionally laden traps we all fall into with other people. The intention here was to provide a way for a client to document personal discoveries which result in empowerment. As this manuscript grew in size, I integrated prompts for client-centered responses and leads for the therapist to facilitate goal-setting. Participation in this format enables a first hand education in the way emotions are triggered in our different environments. A person becomes responsible and takes ownership for what battles to choose with peers, family members, teachers and bosses.
The idea for this journal started during my session with a pre-adolescent boy who was describing confrontations with his older sister. I found him to be receptive towards studying these interactions and making a difference in how he handled matters at home. In an effort to help him have fun with this and appeal to an age-related theme, I came up with the Jungle Pack. It was meant to be a bundle of facts he identified in session, put onto 3×5 cards and stored in a package that looks like a miniature back pack.
This idea rapidly took hold and I started to write about the collective nature of human beings to step on each others toes, quite often without even trying. My thinking was soon filled with the vast number of commonalities each of us shares, no matter what financial standing, race, color or creed we categorize ourselves with. If one is a person, he or she has feelings, thoughts and ego. In this respect, there is no true claim of victim hood or exception.
The Jungle Pack: Therapy Workbook-Journal has the applications to benefit both the mental health consumer and therapist. For the person in therapy, there is the opportunity to customize and keep track of responses to therapy directives and assignments. He or she is also being educated in the manner of feelings vocabulary and building personal motivation to carry on with healthy actions. The therapist has a way to maintain track of therapy efforts from session to session. And of course, this workbook serves as a backboard onto which a therapeutic relationship can be built.