Therapeutic List Making


Do you make lists? My guess is most of us do for one reason or another. Spend a few moments and think about the last time you made a list. It may have even been today or yesterday.

Ok, but, you may ask, can list making be therapeutic? Yes! In fact, if you are working with a client or group of people, list making can be a simple and structured way to get them engaged in writing.diaryopen

How to use Lists for yourself or your clients:

  • Organization: List making is a helpful tool for those who have difficulty with organizational skills. You or your client may have ADD, ADHD, anxiety, or simply feel overwhelmed at times by the burden of various activities or tasks that need to be accomplished. List making brings structure and manageability to the process.
  • To Do: Who hasn’t used the good old “To Do” list as a way of keeping track of daily activities.
  • Blessings: Making a list of blessings can assist us with appreciating the positives in our lives. This is an easy and structured activity that works particularly well for people who are depressed. Even a simple “I got out of bed today” recorded on a list could be the start of moving beyond the blues.
  • Prayer: You can make a list of what you want to pray for, who you want to pray for, or answered prayers.
  • Giftings: We know that God has given each of us special gifts and talents. Making a list of these gifts can turn your day around by focusing on the ways you can use those gifts for good, whether for your own benefit or, more significantly, someone else’s.
  • Future: We’ve all heard of the “Bucket” List. Making a future list can be an excellent way of charting out some life goals, both large and small.

Lists – indeed, don’t underestimate the power of this simple technique!

If you have used list making in other ways we’d love to hear about it. Post your list making techniques here!!

Kathy Bornarth, MA, LPC

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