Interactive Journaling®

Interactive Journaling® is a practice for motivating and guiding individuals toward positive life change. This goal-directed, client-centered model helps participants modify their behavior as they progress through the stages of change (Prochaska & Prochaska, 2016). The behavior change technology of Interactive Journaling® includes practices like expressive writing, motivational interviewing, cognitive-behavioral therapy and the transtheoretical model of behavior change. This technology is consistent throughout all Journals even though the application or target behavior varies from Journal to Journal.

The focus of Interactive Journaling® is the participant Journal, which includes nonconfrontational questions intended to help participants think and then write about their behaviors. Questions guide participants in considering their motivations for change, exploring their options and developing a plan with target behavior-related goals and a timeline for achieving these goals. Interactive Journals vary in length based on the target population, setting and type of delivery.

Last reviewed: 2023

Intended Outcomes:

Intended outcomes vary depending on target population and journal type. Program and behavior change resources are available in the following areas:

  • Adult addiction and mental health
  • Justice services
  • Youth intervention and treatment
  • Impaired driving
  • Health and wellness
  • Faith specific
  • Customized solutions for an organization’s vision, values, and goals

Continuum of Care:
Recovery/Maintenance, Treatment

Topic Areas:
Anxiety, Behavioral Health/Mental Health, Depression, Disruptive Behaviors, Physical Health, Substance Use, Trauma

Adult (25+), Young Adult (19-24)

Geographic Locations:
Rural, Urban

Delivery Settings:

Cultural Considerations:
No research found involving diverse populations

This program is for adults who intend to make positive behavior changes in their lives.

No educational or experiential background is required to facilitate this program.


Is Training Required?
Yes, see developer info

Who can provide the required training?
Please see the following link for more information on training:

Program Costs (materials, training, etc.):
Yes, refer to program website

Program/Practice Website:

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research:

Beaudry, G., Yu, R., Perry, A., & Fazel, S. (2021). Effectiveness of psychological interventions in prison to reduce recidivism: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. The Lancet Psychiatry, (8, 9), 759-773.

Proctor, S. L., Hoffman, N. G., & Allison, S. (2012). The effectiveness of interactive journaling in reducing recidivism among substance-dependent jail inmates. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, (56, 2), 317-332.

Additional Sources:

Not Supported by research

WV Rating:
Not Supported by Research
»WV Ratings Info

Rationale for Rating:

Limited positive outcomes were present for reducing recidivism, however, research was not rigorous, not peer-reviewed, outdated or could not be located, the meta-analysis present for the study did not assess outcomes for the journaling program itself, but rather, journaling as a practice in general.

Contraindications or Concerns:
None identified

Other Registries/Ratings

The California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare:
Not On Registry

Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development:
Not On Registry

Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness:

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Model Programs Guide:
Not On Registry

Washington State Institute for Public Policy:
Not On Registry