A dialogue with my father: A sample journaling for therapy

As far as I recall, I started to keep a diary as early as eight years old. I do not recall what, how, and when I wrote about, but writing on my diary was one of my routines that I kept on and off throughout my life. Most often, I encourage my client to keep a “journal” rather than a “diary.” There are many recommendations on how to write a journal, especially for therapeutic purposes. Here is one of them that I have similar approaches to using a journal as apart of therapy process: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/in-therapy/201101/journaling-in-therapy

However, I do believe that your journal must go much deeper than what was suggested in the link. Furthermore, I am a firm believer that is walking alongside the wounded in their soul have to be transparent about the therapy process, including who I am, why I am doing what I am doing, and where I am going with what I am doing. My role as a counselor is closer to a consultant who is generating each person’s unique historical moments of “good and bad” altogether. I never hear my client’s events as “stories,” even though I use a narrative approach is a critical counseling theory. I help my client to re-create his/her historical moments from the eyes of a nurturing parent to a lonely 😞 , scared 😱 , embarrassed 😳 , afraid 😦 , confused 😐 , and so-called “negative emotions” when the only desire he/she had was to be heard, understood, cared, and known to their parents. Most of my clients have no idea what a nurturing parent means emotionally, relationally, or spiritually, even though they can talk about it endlessly.

Thus, I encourage self-reflection as one of the most important skills to learn, familiar with, and become almost second nature for them. In other words, self-reflection needs to become organic processes embedded in daily life, whether you write them down or not. In short, I am intentional in every encounter with my clients. I often talked to my client that journaling exercise needs to become a dialogue than a conversation. A conversation does not necessarily require to talk about “hot issues.” Having conversation most often “feels good.” On the contrary, dialogue combines conversation, reflection, and debate-like features that could address “hot issues” with gentleness, kindness, and compassion. Many of my clients asked me “how to” write a journal like a dialogue and gave them “a sample.”. So, after a long period of pondering and reflection, I decided to share a part of my journal where I started a dialogue with my father, who passed away two weeks before my trip to have my 1-year-old son meet his grandfather in 2008. My dialogue with my father has been the most intimate, painful, dreading experiences, yet there are tremendous sources of healing, spiritual energy, and relentless drive that help me become who I am now and whom I want to be in the future when I die “at a ripe old age.” (1 Chronicles 29:28).

아버지… ν•œλ²ˆμ΄λΌλ„ μ €ν•œν…Œ β€œμ‚¬λž‘ν•œλ‹€ 딸아” ν•˜κ³  말해 주지 κ·ΈλŸ¬μ…¨μ–΄μš”. β€œλ―Έμ•ˆν•˜λ‹€ λ”Έμ•„ β€œ β€œμ •λ§ λ―Έμ•ˆν•˜λ‹€ μ²œμ‹ μ•„β€ 라고 … β€œλ‚΄κ°€ λ„ˆλ₯Ό 늘 κΈ°μ–΅ν–ˆλ‹€. 그리웠고 보고 μ‹Άμ—ˆλ‹€β€ 라고 ν•œλ²ˆ 이라도 말해 주지 κ·ΈλŸ¬μ…¨μ–΄μš”. μ œκ°€ 가지고 μžˆλŠ”κ±΄ μ•„λ²„μ§€μ˜ λ¬΄μ„œμš΄ κΈ°μ–΅, 늘 κ±±μ • 슀런 λͺ¨μŠ΅μ—  말없이 고개λ₯Ό μˆ™μ΄κ³  λ°©λ°”λ‹₯을 μ³λ‹€λ³΄μ‹œκ³€ ν•˜μ…¨λ˜ λͺ¨μŠ΅. 식사λ₯Ό ν•˜μ‹€λ•Œλ©΄ 마치 λ¨Όκ°€ κ³ λ―Όκ³Ό κ±±μ •μœΌλ‘œ 마치 머리가 μ•„ν”„μ‹ λ“―, κ·Έ μ‚Άμ˜ λ¬΄κ²Œκ°€ μ•„λ²„μ§€λ‘œμ˜ λ¬΄κ²Œκ°€ λ„ˆλ¬΄λ‚˜λ„ ν°κ²ƒμ²˜λŸΌ, μ œλŒ€λ‘œ 버티기도 νž˜λ“€λ“― ν•œμ†μ„ 식탁에 μ˜¬λ¦¬μ‹ μ±„ λͺΈμ„ κΈ°λŒ€λ“― 식사λ₯Ό ν•˜μ‹œκ³€ ν•˜μ…¨λ˜ 아버지. κ·Έ 아버지λ₯Ό μ €λŠ” 늘 μŒμ‹μ΄ 맛이 μ—†μ–΄μ„œ ν‘œμ •μ΄ μ €λ ‡κ²Œ λͺ»λ§ˆλ•…ν•˜μ‹œκ΅¬λ‚˜ μƒκ°ν–ˆμ—ˆλŠ”λ°β€¦ μ•„λ§ˆλ„ 그것이 μ•„λ²„μ§€μ˜ λ²ˆλ‡Œν•˜λŠ” λͺ¨μŠ΅μ΄ μ•„λ‹κΉŒ μ‹Άμ–΄μš”. 아버지… 그리운 이름 아버지… 저도 ν•œλ²ˆλ„ μ•„λ²„μ§€μ—κ²Œ β€œμ‚¬λž‘ν•œλ‹€, λ―Έμ•ˆν•˜λ‹€, κ·Έλ¦¬μ› λ‹€β€ν•˜κ³  말을 λͺ»ν–ˆμ–΄μš”. 사싀 μ‚¬λž‘ν•˜μ§€λ„, λ―Έμ•ˆν•˜μ§€λ„, 그립지도 μ•Šμ•˜μ•„μš” 아버지… 제게 λŒ€ν•œλ―Όκ΅­μ˜ 졜초 μ—¬μž λŒ€ν†΅λ Ήμ΄ 될거라고 κ°€μ‘± μΉœμ§€λΆ„λ“€μ—κ²Œ μ œκ°€ μ•„μ£Ό β€œλ˜‘λΆ€λŸ¬μ§„λ‹€β€κ³  μ–˜κΈ° ν•˜μ§€λ©΄μ„œλ„ 막상 μ œκ°€ 인문고등학ꡐλ₯Ό κ°€κ³  μ‹Άλ‹€ ν• λ•Œ κ·Έλ ‡κ²Œ λΆˆν™”λ₯Ό λ‚΄μ‹œκ³ .. . μ–Έλ‹ˆλ“€μ˜ 섀득을 λ“£κ³  저와 λ‹¨λ‘˜μ΄ μ•‰μœΌμ…”μ„œ ν•œλ§ˆλ”” ν•˜μ…¨μ£ . β€œμ²« μž…ν•™κΈˆμ€ λŒ€μ€€λ‹€. κ·Έ λ‹€μŒλΆ€ν„°λŠ” λ‹ˆκ°€ μ•Œμ•„μ„œ ν•΄μ•Όν•΄.” λ„ˆλ¬΄λ„ λƒ‰μ •ν•˜κ²Œ κ·Έλž˜λ„ μ „ 마λƒ₯ μ’‹μ•˜μ–΄μš” . 고등학ꡐ κ°€λ©΄ μ—΄μ‹¬νžˆ κ³΅λΆ€ν•΄μ„œ κ°€κ³  싢은 쒋은 학ꡐ에 κ°€μ„œ μ–΄λ¦΄λ•Œ ν‹°λΈŒμ—μ„œ 봀던  κΈ°μžκ°€ λ˜κ² λ‹€κ³  λ‹€μ§ν–ˆμ—ˆλ˜ 기얡이 λ‚˜μš”. ν‹°λΈŒμ— λ‚˜μ˜€λŠ” λŒ€λΆ€λΆ„μ˜ μ—¬μžλ“€μ€ 멋진 μ˜·μ— 짖은 ν™”μž₯을 ν•˜κ³  μžˆμ—ˆλŠ”λ° κ·Έ μ—¬ κΈ°μžλŠ” μ „μŸν„°μ—μ„œ μ „μŸμ— λŒ€ν•œ 보고λ₯Ό ν•˜κ³  μžˆμ—ˆμ£ . λ­”κ°€ λ‚‘μ€λ“―ν•œ μ˜·μ„ μž…κ³  μ œλŒ€λ‘œ ν™”μž₯도 ν•˜μ§€ μ•Šμ€κ²ƒ κ°™μ•˜λ˜ κ·Έ μ—¬κΈ°μž. λ˜‘λΆ€λŸ¬μ§€κ²Œ μœ„ν—˜ν•œ μƒν™©μ΄μ—ˆμ„κ²ƒ 같은데도 자기 생각을  μ „ν•˜λ˜ κ·Έ μ—¬κΈ°μžκ°€ λ„ˆλ¬΄ λ©‹μ§€κ²Œ λ³΄μ˜€κ³  κ·Έλž˜μ„œ 저보고 κ°„ν˜Έμ‚¬λ‚˜ μ„ μƒλ‹˜μ„ ν•˜λΌκ³  ν•˜μ…¨λ˜ μ—„λ§ˆ μ•„λ²„μ§€μ˜ 말을 λ°”λ‘œ 저버리고 μ „ μ €λ ‡κ²Œ 멋진 κΈ°μžκ°€ λ˜μ•Ό 겠닀라고 λ‹€μ§ν–ˆλ˜ 기얡이 마치 아버지 μ•žμ— λ¬΄μ„œμš΄ 마음으둜 λ¬΄λ¦Žμ„ κΏ‡κ³  앉아 아버지와 μ •λ©΄μœΌλ‘œ λŒ€λ©΄μ„ ν•˜λ˜ κ·Έ μˆœκ°„μ— κΈ°μžκ°€ λœκ²ƒ κ°™μ•„ 기뻀던 λͺ¨μŠ΅μ΄ μ§€κΈˆλ„ μƒμƒν•΄μš” . 

그런데 고등학ꡐ 첫 μ‹œν—˜μ„ 보고 20등을 ν–ˆμ–΄μš”. 그것도 λ°˜μ—μ„œ.. μ „κ΅μ—μ„œ 20등을 ν•œκ²ƒλ„ μ•„λ‹ˆκ³ β€¦ 더 μΆ©κ²©μ΄μ—ˆλ˜ 것은 μ€‘ν•™κ΅λ•Œ 저보닀 곡뢀λ₯Ό 더 λͺ»ν•˜λ˜ 친ꡬ ν•˜λ‚˜κ°€ μ–΄λ–»κ²Œ 같은 학ꡐ에 같은 반으둜 λ˜μ—ˆλŠ”λ° κ·Έ μΉœκ΅¬κ°€ 3등인가? 저보닀 훨씬 성적을 잘 받은 것을 보고 μ—„μ²­λ‚œ μžκ²©μ§€μ‹¬μ— μ§‘μ—μ™€μ„œ λΆ€μ—Œμ˜†μ— 있던 μž‘μ€ 방에 κ°€μ„œ 벽을 치며 μšΈμ—ˆλ˜ 기얡이 λ‚˜μš”. μ—΄μ‹¬νžˆ κ³΅λΆ€ν•΄μ„œ λ‹€μŒμ‹œν—˜μ—λŠ” λ°˜λ“œμ‹œ κ·Έ 아이보닀 성적을 잘 받을 κ±°λΌλŠ” 각였λ₯Ό ν•˜λ©΄μ„œβ€¦ [쀑간 μƒλž΅]… 아버지… λ‚  μ’€ λ„μ™€μ£Όμ„Έμš”. 아버지 μ‚΄μ•„ 생전에 μ œκ°€ ν•˜κ³  μ‹Άλ‹€κ³  ν•˜λ˜κ±° λŒ€λ‘λΆ„ λ“€μ–΄μ£Όμ‹ κ²Œ μ—†μ–΄μš”. μ—¬μžκ°€ 뭐 κ·Έλ”΄κ±Έ λ°°μš°λƒκ³ β€¦ 고등학ꡐ λ‚˜μ™€μ„œ 쒋은 λ‚¨νŽΈ λ§Œλ‚˜ 아이 λ‚³κ³  잘 μ‚΄λ©΄ λ˜μ§€λΌκ³  ν•˜μ‹œλ©΄μ„œβ€¦ 피아노도 ν•˜κ³  μ‹Άμ—ˆλŠ”λ° 돈이 μ—†μœΌλ‹ˆκΉŒ 농ꡬλ₯Ό ν•˜λ˜μ§€ ν”Όμ•„λ…Έλ₯Ό ν•˜λ˜μ§€ λ‘˜μ€‘μ— ν•˜λ‚˜λ§Œ 해라 ν•˜μ…¨λ˜κ±°β€¦ κ·Έλž˜λ„ κ·Έλ•Œ μ œκ°€ 농ꡬλ₯Ό ν•˜λ„λ‘ ν•΄μ£Όμ…”μ„œ 제 인생이 바뀐 첫 κ²½ν—˜μ΄μ—ˆμ–΄μš” 아버지. κ°μ‚¬ν•΄μš”. 아버지 ν•œν…Œ μ–΄λ¨Έλ‹ˆν•œν…Œ κ·Έλ•Œ μ € λ†κ΅¬ν•˜λ„λ‘ ν—ˆλ½ν•΄μ£Όμ‹ κ±° μ§€κΈˆ μƒκ°ν•΄λ³΄λ‹ˆ κ°μ‚¬ν•˜λ‹€κ³  λ§ν•˜μ§€ λͺ»ν–ˆμ–΄μš”. μ˜¬ν•΄ 여름에 κΌ­ ν•œκ΅­μ—κ°€μ„œ ν• μ•„λ²„μ§€μ˜ λ’€λ₯Ό 이어 ν•œμ˜ν•™μ„ 배우게 ν•΄μ£Όμ„Έμš”. κ·Έλ•Œ κ°€λ©΄ μ•„λ²„μ§€ν•œν…Œ κΌ­ κ°μ‚¬ν•˜λ‹€κ³  λ§ν• κ»˜μš”. μ—„λ§ˆμ—κ²Œλ„ κΌ­ λ§ν• κ²Œμš”. 농ꡬ가 μ œκ²ŒλŠ” μžμ‹ κ°μ„ μ£Όμ—ˆλ˜, κ°€λ‚œν•œ 집 막내 μ—¬μž μ•„μ΄λ‘œ, 그것도 μΌκ³±μ΄λ‚˜ λ˜λŠ” ν˜•μ œ 쀑 λ§‰λ‚΄λ‘œ νƒœμ–΄λ‚œ μ €λ₯Ό 처음으둜 β€œλ†κ΅¬λΆ€β€λΌλŠ” λͺ¨μž„을 톡해 아이듀과 λ­”κ°€ λ‹€λ₯Έ 두각을 λ‚Έ κ²½ν—˜μ„ ν•΄μ£Όμ—ˆλ˜.. κ·Έλž˜μ„œ 제 μžμ‹ μ— λŒ€ν•œ μžμ‹ κ°μ΄ μƒκ²Όλ˜ κ·Έ 기회. μ½”μΉ˜λ„ μ €λŠ” μš΄λ™κ°κ°μ€ λ–¨μ–΄μ§€λŠ”λ° 남듀보닀 훨씬 μ—΄μ‹¬νžˆ ν•˜λŠ” μ•„μ΄λΌλ©΄μ„œβ€¦ν•©μˆ™ν›ˆλ ¨μ„ ν• λ•Œ 아이듀이 μžλŠ”ν‹ˆμ„ νƒ€μ„œ 잘 보이지도 μ•ŠλŠ” μ–΄λ‘μš΄ μš΄λ™μž₯μ—μ„œ 혼자 농ꡬ πŸ€  μŠ›νŒ… μ—°μŠ΅ ν•˜μ‹ κ±° λͺ¨λ₯΄μ‹œμ£ ? κ·Έλ ‡κ²Œ μ—΄μ‹¬νžˆ λ…Έλ ₯ν–ˆμ–΄μš”. λ‹€λ₯Έ μ•„μ΄λ“€μ²˜λŸΌ 빨리 뛰지λ₯Ό λͺ»ν•΄μ„œ μ½”μΉ˜κ°€ 주전을 μ‹œμΌœ 주지 λͺ»ν• κ±° κ°™μ•„μ„œ μŠ›νŒ…μ„ μž˜ν•˜λ©΄ μ£Όμ „μœΌλ‘œ 써쀄거 κ°™μ•„μ„œβ€¦ κ·Έλ ‡κ²Œ μ–΄λ¦΄λ•ŒλΆ€ν„° μž μ•ˆμžκ³  뭔가에 남듀보닀 λͺ‡λ°°λ‘œ λ…Έλ ₯ν•˜κ³  일해야 ν•œλ‹€λŠ” 것을 μ§€κΈˆλ„ μ €λŠ” κ²½ν—˜ν•˜κ³  μ‚΄μ•„μš” 아버지… 미ꡭ에 μ™€μ„œ κ·ΈλŸ°κ°€ λ΄μš”. λ―Έκ΅­μ—μ„œλ„ 아버지 λ§μ”€μ²˜λŸΌ 쒋은 λ‚¨μž λ§Œλ‚˜μ„œ 아이낳고 κ·Έλƒ₯ μ‚΄λ©΄ κ·Έλ ‡κ²Œ λ‚¨λ“€μ²˜λŸΌ λͺ‡λ°°λ‘œ λ…Έλ ₯ν•˜μ§€ μ•Šμ•„λ„ κ·Έλƒ₯ λŒ€μΆ© νŽΈν•˜κ²Œ μ‚΄μˆ˜μžˆμ—ˆμ„κ²ƒ 같은데… [쀑간 μƒλž΅] 

그런데 κ·Έ κΈ°μžκ°€ 되고 μ‹Άλ‹€λŠ” 꿈이 산산쑰각이 λ‚¬λ˜ 1997λ…„μ΄κ² λ„€μš”. 쑸업을 97λ…„ 3월에 ν–ˆμ—ˆκ³  μ‹ μ•™μ›”λ“œμ— 쑸업전에 μž…μ‚¬λ₯Ό ν–ˆλ˜κ°€? 1월에 μž…μ‚¬λ₯Ό ν–ˆλ˜ 기얡이 λ‚˜κ³  ν•œ 3-4κ°œμ›”ν›„μ— ν•΄κ³ κ°€ λ˜μ—ˆμœΌλ‹ˆκΉŒβ€¦ 글을 λͺ»μ“΄λ‹€κ³  μ§μ ‘μ μœΌλ‘œ 말을 듀은 것은 μ•„λ‹ˆμ§€λ§Œ νšŒμ‚¬κ°€ 지ν–₯ν•˜λ˜ μŠ€νƒ€μΌμ˜ 글을 쓰지 λͺ»ν•œλ‹€κ³  ν–ˆλ˜κ°€? μž…μ‚¬ λ λ•ŒλΆ€ν„° μ„Έλͺ… μ‹ μž… 사원쀑에 ν•œλͺ…은 ν•΄κ³ λ₯Ό ν•΄μ•Όν•œλ‹€κ³  μ•Œκ³  μžˆμ–΄μ„œ λ‹€λ“€ κΈ΄μž₯ν–ˆλ˜ μ‹œμ ˆμ΄μ—ˆμ–΄μš”. μ œκ°€ κ·Έ ν•œλͺ…이 되고 싢지 μ•Šμ•˜μ§€λ§Œ 그게 μ œκ°€ 되고 λ§μ•˜λ„€μš”. 정말 ν•˜λŠ˜μ΄ λ¬΄λ„ˆμ§€λŠ” 것 κ°™μ•˜μ–΄μš” κ·Έλ•Œβ€¦ λͺ¨λ₯΄μ…¨μ£ ? μ œκ°€ 말을 μ•ˆν–ˆμœΌλ‹ˆ λͺ¨λ₯΄μ…¨κ² μ§€λ§Œβ€¦ κ·Έλž˜λ„ μ•„μ‹œμ§€ μ•ŠμœΌμ…¨μ„κΉŒ μ‹Άμ–΄μš”β€¦ μ•„λ²„μ§€λ‹ˆκΉŒβ€¦ ν•˜λ‚˜λ‹˜λ„ μ œκ°€ 말을 직접 ν•˜μ§€ μ•Šμ•„λ„ λ‹€ μ•„μ‹œλ˜λ°β€¦ κ·Έλ ‡κ²Œ 아버지 μ–΄λ¨Έλ‹ˆλŠ” μ•„μ΄μ˜ 마음 κ·Έλƒ₯ 보기만 해도 μ•„μ‹œλŠ” κ±° κ°™μ•„μš”. 저도 μ–΄λ¨Έλ‹ˆκ°€ λ˜μ–΄λ³΄λ‹ˆ κ·Έλ ‡λ”λΌκ΅¬μš”β€¦ ν•˜λ¬Όλ©° μ €λž‘ ν•œλ‹¬ 남짓도 μ•ˆλ˜κ²Œ 같이 μžˆλŠ” 이 πŸ•  Mindy의 λ§ˆμŒλ„ μ œκ°€ λŒ€μΆ© 보면 μ•Œκ² λŠ”λ°β€¦ μ €λ₯Ό ν‚€μ›Œμ£Όμ‹  아버지가 μ–΄μ°Œ 제 λ§ˆμŒμ„ λͺ¨λ₯΄μ…¨μ„κΉŒ μ‹Άμ–΄μš”β€¦ 

아버지 … μ œκ°€ 이런 유머 감각이 μ—†μ—ˆμœΌλ©΄ μ–΄λ–»κ²Œ μ‚΄μ•„μ“ΈκΉŒ μ‹Άμ–΄μš”. μ•„λ²„μ§€λŠ” κ·Έ μ–΄λ €μš΄ μ‹œμ ˆμ„ μ–΄λ–»κ²Œ μ‚΄μ•„ λ‚΄μ…¨μ–΄μš”? λ¬Όλ‘  저희듀 보고, μ•„λ²„μ§€λ‘œμ„œμ˜ μ±…μž„κ°μœΌλ‘œ 사셨겠죠….아버지… 아이듀이 κΉΌλ‚˜λ΄μš”. λ‹€μ‹œ μ“Έκ»˜μš”.. . μ–΄λ”” 가지 말고 μ € κΈ°λ‹€λ €μ£Όμ„Έμš” 라고 λ§ν•˜μ§€ μ•Šμ•„μ„œ μ’‹λ„€μš” . μ•„λ²„μ§€λŠ” 늘 μ €λž‘ 같이 λ‹€λ‹ˆμ‹œλ‹ˆκΉŒ : )Β 

p.s.I often write my journal in English for reasons. However, I also use Korean at times, mostly when I talk to my father not because he does not know English, for I am certain that the language is not a barrier between two souls. I use Korean because it is his familiar language to him and me that connects us deeply than any other language in the world. Thus, I do not change my Korean entry on my website. I hope you use translation function embedded in my website if you are a non-Korean speaking person whom I hope to stimulate your learning process to increase tolerance of using two different languages and trying to understand what I meant to write in my journal.

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