A Guide to Creative Journaling

This Guide to Creative Journaling is my gift to everyone who is struggling to adapt to life after a disruptive life change or adverse life experience. I understand that therapy/coaching/counselling is not accessible to everyone, and therefore I have created this resource. I also believe that, with the right guidance, we can access our inner wisdom and find our way towards growth and mental well-being.

This creative journaling resource is a low-cost, easily accessible, tool for mental wellbeing and growth after a disruptive life change or adverse life experience. The book is written in such a way that it can be done individually, at your own pace. 

The process described in the book can also be used by groups, where compassionate witnessing helps the participants to overcome their sense of loneliness in their suffering because they discover the universal nature of suffering.

Send an email to artfortheheart.karin@gmail.com about the leader’s guide if you want to use the guide in a group setting.

Because the use of images is a form of symbolic communication art-making helps us to express and transform difficult life experiences.
Image making and imagination help during the dark night o the soul and it supports psychological integration.[1]
Art also offers a cathartic release. Instead of trying to tranquilize eruptions of psychological tension by external means, artists go to the heart of the inner storm and enact its fury in a way that benefits the individual.[2]

[1]Malchiodi, C.A. (2002) The Soul’s Palette: Drawing on Art’s Transformative Powers for Health and Wellbeing. Boston: Shambala.
[2] McNiff, S. (2004). Art Heals: How Creativity Cures the Soul. Boston: Shambala.


Creative Journaling has provided me with a creative, safe, and non-threatening space to process my grief.
I have used this method of grief processing a couple of times and I am always surprised to see what ends up on the pages of my journal.
Paging through magazines to look at pictures/words that trigger some emotions or feelings inside of me, helped me to externalize what is going on inside my mind and body. I have also experienced immense value in sharing my grief pages with Karin who reflects and listens to my grief journey.

Paula du Preez

We all face suffering in some shape or form during our lifetime. Sometimes we get stuck because we didn’t acknowledge it or even recognize it as suffering! Allowing myself to work through my sadness and ‘stuckness’ (twice in five years) following the guidelines of Karin’s Guide to Creative Journaling was a great gift! Both times, the source of my sadness and ‘stuckness’ made itself known as I took the time to reflect and process emotions through the activities and suggestions made in the journal. I treasure the two books that were created in the process, but more so, the growth that took place and the steps I could take to move forward in my life. Karin has refined the guidelines and the process through personal experience and provides a safe space here for everybody’s unique journey. I highly recommend this tool for processing grief to anybody who likes to reflect, create and journal.

Gerda Scheepers

Karin se boek, het my voete op die pad gesit na heelword en aanvaarding, die verwerking van my verlies. Ek het maniere ontdek om sinvol saam te leef met dit wat my lewe handomkeer verander het. Deur kreatief my eie storie te ontdek en te skryf het ek die moed gekry om my pyn en swaarkry vierkantig in die oë te kyk en te besef dat ek steeds iemand met waarde is. Dit was ‘n herondekking van myself – wie ek regtig is. Wat ek veral van groot waarde gevind het met die deurwerk van die boek, is hoe ek aangemoedig is om saggies met myself te werk, om ‘self-compassion’ te hê. Ek het geleer dat ek nie iemand anders kan red nie en niemand anders kan my storie skryf nie. Ek moet self my eie antwoorde vind. Die ‘mindful moments’ tydens elke aktiwiteit het my laat besef dat daar altyd hoop is en dat my gedagtes en my emosies en gevoelens van verlies my nie definieer nie. Op ‘n kreatiewe manier kon ek ‘deal’ met my verlies en nuwe maniere vind om sinvol die pad vorentoe aan te durf. Nadat ek die boek deurgewerk het, het ek besef dat ek my storie kan oorskryf ten spyte van my verlies en pyn – dat ek ‘n nuwe storie van my lewe kan begin skryf.

Elma de Vos