The Therapeutic Potential of Creative Writing: Writing Myself

By Gillie Bolton | Go to book overview

CHAPTER NINE

Writing and Groups:
Laugh and Cry with Each Other

I felt like I’d been given something – real parts of other people.

(Liz)

Somehow the process of being part of the reflective writing group has
helped me to dig down to new layers of depth and understanding within
myself. It has been a journey rather like an archaeological exploration
through ancient layers of protective and professional gubbins. I knew
there was something stirring deep down, but never gave myself the time,
or quite found the mechanism to bring it into the light of day.

(Tom Heller 1997, p.29)

Reflection is a real key to change, but facilitating good reflective learning
experiences is probably more difficult than many anticipate.

(Ann)

Relating to a piece of paper and a pencil on one’s own can be lonely, frustrating at times, puzzling even, or become unproductive. Mixing the solitary activity with a bit of being with like-minded others will be perfect for some. Bramley apples are good for you; mixing them with brown sugar and putting them under crumble to eat warm and gooey with yoghurt or custard is even better – for your soul as well as your insides. A therapeutic writing group can provide a trusted ongoing forum for the sharing of writings, hopes, fears, ideas, anticipations, tears, laughter…

We learn from our tutors, teachers and lecturers; we learn far more from our peers – colleagues, relatives, lovers, friends and those with like interests. As Catherine Byron makes clear at the end of this chapter, it was the writing of one student, and her response to that writing, which enabled an understanding ‘of what writing is about’ for the other members of that

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