Morning Pages Journal Prompts to unlock grief and flashbacks

Morning Pages, a practice introduced by Julia Cameron in “The Artist’s Way,” involve writing three pages of stream-of-consciousness writing every morning. This practice, using these Morning Pages journal prompts, can be particularly beneficial for individuals dealing with Complex PTSD as a means of self-reflection and processing.

I’m a huge fan of “The Artist’s Way”, specifically because the author preaches the importance of daily reflection and reflexively getting thoughts out onto paper as early in the day as possible.

It’s one of the books for Complex PTSD that we highly recommend.

The benefits of journaling prompts for Complex PTSD recovery

Journaling can offer numerous benefits for individuals dealing with trauma, including those with Complex PTSD.

Here are several advantages:

Emotional Expression

Writing provides a safe and private outlet for expressing intense emotions associated with trauma. It allows individuals to explore and release feelings that may be difficult to verbalize.


Journaling promotes self-reflection, helping individuals gain insight into their thoughts, behaviors, and triggers. This increased self-awareness can contribute to a deeper understanding of the trauma’s impact.


Writing about traumatic experiences can be cathartic, helping to release pent-up emotions and reduce emotional distress. This process can contribute to a sense of relief and emotional well-being.

Sense of Control

Journaling allows individuals to take control of their narrative. By putting their experiences into words, individuals can reframe and reinterpret their stories, fostering a sense of empowerment and agency.

Tracking Progress

Regular journaling provides a tangible record of personal growth and progress. It allows individuals to track changes in their thoughts, emotions, and coping strategies over time, highlighting areas of improvement.

Identifying Patterns

Journaling helps identify patterns related to triggers, symptoms, and coping mechanisms. Recognizing these patterns can empower individuals to make informed choices and implement healthier coping strategies.

Stress Reduction

The act of writing has been shown to reduce stress and promote relaxation. Journaling can serve as a mindfulness practice, allowing individuals to stay present and focused on the act of writing.

Enhanced Communication

Journaling can improve communication with therapists or support networks. Individuals can share journal entries with their mental health professionals, facilitating more productive and targeted therapeutic discussions.

Goal Setting

Journaling can be a tool for setting and tracking therapeutic goals. By articulating specific objectives related to healing and recovery, individuals can work towards achieving positive outcomes.

Building Resilience

Regular journaling can contribute to the development of resilience. It encourages individuals to confront and process difficult emotions, fostering adaptability and a greater capacity to cope with life’s challenges.

Validation and Self-Compassion

Writing about traumatic experiences can provide a form of self-validation. Acknowledging one’s feelings and experiences on paper can be a step towards self-compassion and understanding.

Gratitude Practice

Incorporating elements of gratitude into journaling can shift focus towards positive aspects of life. This can be especially beneficial for balancing the exploration of trauma with moments of appreciation and joy.

10 Morning Pages journal prompts to help unlock emotions for those with Complex PTSD

As promised here are ten Morning Pages journal prompts specifically tailored for those with Complex PTSD:

Reflect on a vivid dream or nightmare you had recently. What emotions and sensations linger from that dream, and how might they connect to past experiences or triggers?

Explore a specific trigger that has surfaced in your life lately. What memories or emotions does it evoke, and how can you navigate and process these triggers in a healthy way?

Write about a recent challenging interpersonal interaction. How did it make you feel, and can you identify any patterns or connections to past relationships or traumas?

Consider a moment of self-doubt or negative self-talk. Where do these thoughts stem from, and how can you challenge or reframe them to promote self-compassion?

Examine your current support system. Who in your life provides a sense of safety and understanding, and how can you cultivate and strengthen these connections?

Write about a recent accomplishment, no matter how small. Celebrate your progress and acknowledge the strength it took to achieve this.

Explore the concept of self-care. What activities or practices bring you comfort and peace, and how can you incorporate more of them into your daily life?

Consider a boundary you’ve set recently or need to set. How does it contribute to your sense of safety, and what challenges or fears arise in maintaining this boundary?

Reflect on a positive affirmation or mantra that resonates with you. How can you incorporate this into your daily routine to promote a positive mindset and self-empowerment?

Write a letter to your younger self, offering comfort, understanding, and guidance. What words of wisdom or reassurance would you share with the child within you?

These Morning Pages journal prompts are designed to encourage introspection, self-compassion, and gradual healing.

Remember, the goal of Morning Pages is not perfection but rather a free-flowing exploration of thoughts and emotions.

If the outpouring of any emotions becomes overwhelming, be OK with putting the exercise aside while you allow the emotions and thoughts to flush out.

If you or someone you know is in crisis

Call or text the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline  at 988 .

The Lifeline provides 24-hour, confidential support to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Call 911 in life-threatening situations.

If you are worried about a friend’s social media updates, you can contact safety teams at the social media company .

They will reach out to connect the person with the help they need.


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Disclosure: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to Complex PTSD Help.

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