Writing Cures is a result of situational, vocational, personal and temporal synchronicities. All four of us editors were colleagues at the University of Sheffield when we started, three as counsellors in the University Counselling Service and one as Research Fellow in Medical Humanities. Jeannie and Colin had been involved in developing an online counselling service. Steph had used writing as part of evaluating a counselling research project with great success and appreciation from clients. Gillie, the researcher, was actively engaged on a daily basis, sharing the values of writing with medical students, practitioners and patients.
The book began to germinate after 'Writing for You, Writing for Me', the landmark conference in May 2001 organised by Colin, Jeannie and Steph at Sheffield University Counselling Service; Gillie gave the keynote talk. Our first acknowledgement, then, is to the synchronistic forces that have brought this project into being.
We are most grateful to all our chapter writers who not only have managed to keep within the editing deadlines but more importantly have produced wonderfully insightful chapters; to Wanda Palfreyman and Kerry Mellors for their support; and to Joanne Forshaw for her thoughtfulness and patience.
Colin's personal acknowledgements must firstly go to my family who are very tolerant of dad 'disappearing to the other room to write again'. One further specific and completely idiosyncratic acknowledgement I would like to make is to the teacher who got me to write an essay rather than 'do lines' once, when I had contravened some rule or other at school. The essay turned out to be somewhat longer than anything I had hitherto produced and showed me the creative potential of writing!
Thanks from Steph go first and foremost to Lindiwe and Daniel, for putting up with a mother who has been tired, distracted and absent-minded at times. I am grateful for the help and support of Julia Ginn and many other people in the Samaritans. Finally, my thanks to all the clients over the years who have shared their writing with me.
Thank you from Jeannie to all those people who talked to me about their writing and came to counselling willing to share it. Katie and Liam-sorry about being so absorbed in this book and burning so many dinners. Thank you to you and Jimmy too, and especially to mum.