Trauma Journaling Prompts

Journal writing is a voyage to the interior.” – Christina Baldwin

Writing is an outlet which can help us process trauma. It helps us sort out feelings, and gives the pain a voice. It’s a way of bearing witness to the messiness, and chaos. It also reveals progress, and ways in which we’ve changed.    

Instructions for Journaling

We are going to journal for the next 7 days. Find a quiet place where you feel comfortable, and won’t be disturbed.

Each day, take one of the listed prompts and try to write honestly and freely.

Note: Some of the prompts relate specifically to processing trauma. Others, are focused more on self-care.

Prompt 1: Write down the things you are willing to share about your trauma. Also, think about the things you don’t want to share – or talk about – right now. This might include specific facts and details. Alternatively, it might include specific feelings and reactions. Allow yourself to gently explore the reasons why you don’t want to share certain things. Be careful not to force this process. If you start to feel uncomfortable while you are thinking and journaling, stop and do something kind and caring for yourself.

Prompt 2: Who, in your life, feels like a safe person (choose the one person you feel safest with)? How do you feel when you are with that individual? How does your body feel? What is it about this person that makes them feel like they are someone who is safe? What makes it feel like you can trust this individual?  

Prompt 3: How do you respond physiologically when your anxiety response is triggered? Describe this in as much detail as possible, listing the order in which you experience your different reactions. Think of a recent incident when your anxiety response was activated. Was your response as intense as it was in the immediate aftermath of the trauma you are processing? What is your anxiety protecting you from? What is the wound that is still unhealed?

Prompt 4: Is there something in your life that leaves you feeling powerless? Write about this in as much detail as possible (including noting down thoughts, beliefs about yourself, specific anxieties and fears). Make a list of the things you do have control over. How do you feel as you reflect on this?

Prompt 5: Identify a negative, false belief you carry related to yourself. How does this affect your daily life, and your relationships with others? Write about why this belief isn’t true. Write lots and lots about why it isn’t true!  

Prompt 6: Write about a genuine compliment you received recently. How did you feel about being complimented? Did you feel comfortable or uncomfortable? Did it make sense that you were noticed and complimented? Did you brush the compliment off and reject it, or did you appreciate it and ‘take it on board’? Reflect on your answers, and what you’ve learned from them.

Prompt 7: What kind of support system do you have in place? Who have you included in your support system, and why have you chosen these specific people? How do you reach out and ask support? How easy do you find it to ask for support? When do you typically need support? As you reflect on your responses to these questions, how genuinely supportive is your support system?

In the journal I do not just express myself more openly than I could to any person; I create myself.” – Susan Sontag

10 thoughts on “Trauma Journaling Prompts

  1. Concur. “Writing is an outlet which can help us process trauma. It helps us sort out feelings and gives the pain a voice. It also reveals progress, and ways in which we’ve changed.” Great message and be safe.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s