Moxie ConsultationRae Hight, RN, MA, LMHC

Journaling Information | Journaling Instruction
Benefits of Journaling | Journaling Tips | Poetry Information
Sample Journaling Techniques | Quotes & Writing Prompts

Journaling CEUs | Mental Health Professional Information



Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. - Howard Thurman

I am passionate about journaling  and have discovered a full sense of satisfaction as I share the different forms and techniques that build upon the foundation of what has so often been seen as a one-dimensional tool. 

Throughout my careers in nursing and counseling, I have maintained a strong interest in supporting my patients and clients in developing their own sense of responsibility and self-empowerment.  Though I've used journaling, writing and art work over the years as part of our process, I have become increasingly invested in devoting my career to the specialized field of expressive writing and journaling for health and holistic wellness.

My formal studies began in 2007, when I became a certified Journal to the Self® instructor.  This program was developed by Kathleen Adams, Center for Journal Therapy, "one of the most prominent and established voices in the field of therapeutic writing.  She is an author, speaker, teacher, licensed psychotherapist, Registered Poetry/Journal Therapist, and visionary whose gift and life mission is sharing the power of writing with all who desire self-directed change."  (Journal to the Self® workbook).  Kay's Journal to the Self® course is taught worldwide by hundreds of facilitators.  Each certified instructor has been encouraged to take the basic course and modify it to meet their own specific professional interests and populations. 

Theapist studiesThroughout the twenty-plus years since Journal to the Self®  was made available as a book and training course, Kay has continued to make it her mission to educate the general public, mental health professionals and health care practitioners regarding the flexibility and efficacy of journaling.  She has worked extensively with researchers in the field , including Dr. James Pennebaker,  a well-known research psychologist in Texas.  His work and two of his books, Writing to Heal ... A Guided Journal for Recovering from Trauma and Emotional Upheaval and Opening Up ... the Healing Power of Expressing Emotions, have been standards in the field of journal therapy for years.

Therapist educationIn 2007, Kay took her vast knowledge and experience to the next level and created the Therapeutic Writing Institute (TWI),  an advanced program of studies initially developed for certified journaling instructors who were willing and able to commit their time, energies and finances to the serious study of therapeutic writing.  As a member of the core pilot program, I was able to participate in the foundational ideas for has become a most amazing educational opportunity.  The Institute has now evolved into a multi-pronged resource for professional and lay people alike. 

Throughout my education with the TWI, I have studied the groundbreaking research that documents the health benefits of journaling, developed journaling curriculums on a broad range of topics for various populations and co-created the customized Journal to the Self®: The Wellness Edition workbook from Kay Adams' time-tested Journal to the Self® workbook. I have also developed and published a unique journaling course and workbook, Journaling for Nurses: Holistic Wellness through Words & Images. This 6-week course will be available on-site (in Kitsap County) and on-line beginning n June 2011.

Therapist ExperianceMy studies and practical experiences have also included working with the theory of the Journal Ladder, a method that matches a continuum of journaling techniques with an individual's level of cognition and emotional readiness for self-exploration. This unique guide, described in The Way of the Journal (Kathleen Adams, 1998), provides valuable information regarding the importance of using the appropriate Structure, Containment and Pacing when using journaling in the mental health field. Kay explains the concept on page xi: "The journal ladder is a visual interpretation of the developmental continuum theory. It ranks the most frequently used journal therapy interventions onto progressive 'rungs' that start with maximum structure, pacing and containment, and gradually move toward insight, fluidity, and openness.  Balance and permission are built into each stage. The continuum ends with free writing, where most people begin."

For more information on research and health benefits of journaling, please see Pennebaker Research : Ten Reasons - Journaling as Ally : Psych Networker - Therapists Agree : The Power of Words.


DeSalvo, Louise. Writing as a Way of Healing: How Telling Our Stories Transforms our Lives.  1999.

Fox, John. Poetic Medicine: The Healing Art of Poem-Making. 1997.

Graham-Pole, Dr. John, John Fox. Healing Words:  Poetry and Medicine. 2008. (PBS Documentary that chronicles a unique program at the University of Florida's Shands Hospital that encourages patients to incorporate various forms of artistic expression into their recovery from illness. )

Jacobs, Beth.  Writing for Emotional Balance. 2004.

LePore, Stephen J. and Smyth, Joshua M., Editors. The Writing Cure: How Expressive Writing Promotes Health and Emotional Well-Being. 2002.

Pennebaker, Dr. James. Opening Up:  The Healing Power of Expressing Emotions. 1997.

Pennebaker, Dr. James. Writing to Heal: A Guided Journal for Recovering from Trauma and Emotional Upheaval. 2004.
Dr. Pennebaker's website

Pennebaker Research

Ten Reasons - Journaling as Ally

Psych Networker - Therapists Agree

The Power of Words

Journal Ladder

Rae Hight brings to her coaching an outstanding set of knowledge and skills. With her background in medicine, therapy, journal facilitation, and coaching, she offers her clients a depth and range of insight that is rare indeed. She guides, supports and questions her clients toward being fully who they are. Leia Francisco, Leia Francisco, MA, CJF, Professional Coach

Rae is one of our strongest instructors. "Rae, we need to split the course into two because we have so many." "No problem!" That pretty much sums up Rae. She's flexible and thoroughly understands what we are about. Her students love her and her evaluations consistently reflect her strong facilitation ability. I'd take a class from Rae any day of the week! Kendra Branch-Brett, Program Manager, M.Ed. , Therapeutic Writing Institute