As valuable as traditional talking therapy can be, there are so many ways of accessing those parts of ourselves we would like to explore in greater depth. As my first degree was in English Literature, and I have always enjoyed writing (novels, creative fiction, journalism, poetry) I have never entirely shaken the belief that we can write ourselves well. Which is to say, not only proficiently and with interest to others, but also as a way of getting to the nub of the issues and concerns that we often turn to talking therapy to help us understand and process.
This led me to train and work for The Reader Organisation who offer bibliotherapy in diverse settings. I also then did some training in Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes, which has led me to now working with clients chiefly through a writing/reading practice.
So how does Writing Well differ from “standard therapy”? Initially, not much. We meet and discuss areas of your life that you feel are not working in a way you would like them to be. But from there, things get interesting. Depending on your needs, I might “prescribe” for us some poems to read and talk about together, a short story, or an essay. You will also be encouraged to produce some of your own writing which we will look at and talk about in relation to your life, but also your practice (publishing, community, development) if that interests you.
The objective of Writing Well is twofold: to develop and stretch you as an artist, but also as a person. Often creative writing courses don’t make enough space for “the person” and their well-being, while traditional psychotherapy foregrounds the person above the artist. Writing Well seeks to meld the two.
This form of therapy might work especially well for you if:
a) you realise you could benefit from making changes in your life and outlook but find CBT form-filling (the usual way this is done) dull and uninspiring, and would enjoy a more creative approach
b) you are open and attracted to the idea of “using” your life (its pain, pleasure, trials and tribulations) to make something ultimately transcendent (a poem, a short story, a novel, a creative non-fiction essay)
c) you are looking to have some help in shaping, and guiding your writing practice; also offering assistance in the logistical, non-creative side of writing (perseverance, establishing good work practices, dealing with rejection, writing blocks)
If you are interested in finding out more about my Writing Well sessions, please do get in touch either by email or telephone (07804197605).