Writing Works: A Resource Handbook for Therapeutic Writing Workshops and Activities

Writing Works: A Resource Handbook for Therapeutic Writing Workshops and Activities

Writing Works: A Resource Handbook for Therapeutic Writing Workshops and Activities

Writing Works: A Resource Handbook for Therapeutic Writing Workshops and Activities

Synopsis

The use of creative writing as a route to personal development is a powerful therapeutic tool - a fact that is recognized in the growing numbers of workshops and writing groups within professional contexts, including clinical, health and criminal justice settings. Writing Works is a guide for writers or therapists working with groups or individuals and is full of practical advice on everything from the equipment needed to run a session to ideas for themes, all backed up by the theory that underpins the methods explained. Experienced practitioners in the field contribute detailed illuminating accounts of organizing writing workshops for a wide range of different clients, together with examples of their outcomes. This book will be an invaluable start-up reference for arts therapists and professionals working across the health, social care and caring professions, and one that will be referred to again and again.

Excerpt

Supporting and enbaling people to find their own way into writing is an art. Writing offers a powerful avenue towards finding out what one thinks, feels, knows, understands, remembers. It can enable fruitful and open exploration of potential thoughts and ideas. If writing can be this illuminating and opening, it can therefore be potentially personally dangerous. Helping people make contact with such essential, deeply vital personal material is, then, a very responsible practice.

Yet, unlike medicine, anyone can do it. There are myriads of writers' groups and individual facilitators of all sorts doing excellent work of encouragement and enablement. Groups are run by writers and writer facilitators, psychological therapists, health professionals such as occupational therapists or nurses, social workers and teachers or tutors. The client group might be called patients, students, service users, participants, clients. And the work happens in community centres, hospitals, schools, colleges, hospices, prisons, substance abuse rehabilitation centres, family medicine centres, and homes. It is undertaken with people from all cultures, with those for whom English is a subsequent language, with the disabled and able-bodied, with the very sick, and with those with few literacy skills.

Writing Works offers a helping hand, guidance and dozens of tried and tested ideas from experienced practitioners for working with writers or would-be writers whatever the setting, and whether in groups or individually. Each exercise gives far more than a writing idea. Each exercise shares the author's experience, knowledge and skill in working with people; each has vital how-to embedded within it.

The activities, exercises or workshops in this collection seem many and varied. They are all very stimulating and can give rise to wonderful . . .

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