Writing for wellbeing is a creative therapy using guided writing activities, often around a theme or topic, for personal discovery, reflection and recovery. Technique is unimportant; as with therapy the emphasis is on personal insight and creativity. There are different kinds of writing. Expressive Writing involves personal writing about emotional events. Reflective Writing offers a way of reflecting on different aspects of experience, whether personal, professional or from some other life domain. Shared Reading or Reading Bibliotherapy: focuses on the interaction between the reader and a poem, song lyric or short story. A growing body of research indicates that writing for wellbeing helps people order and externalise their thoughts, calm the mind and strengthen personal identity. It can be meditative as well as highly creative. At the core of these approaches is ‘free writing’, an activity that invites people to simply – and literally – put pen to paper, let the hand move the pen over the page, and see what comes. With no ‘right or wrong’, free writing is a permissive activity. People may share what they’ve written but are not required to do so.
8 June Tariki Forum: will briefly touch on theoretical frameworks, but most of the time will be spent in a range of different writing and reading activities that can be used with both individuals and groups. Free writing will underpin all of our activities. We will experiment with particular themes; work as a group to create a short poem or story; use free writing to re-engineer an unhelpful word or thought; get a taste of how poetry and metaphor can positively alter self-process, and conclude with time for reflective writing to process and sum up the day. No previous writing experience necessary. If you have a favourite writing tool, eg a particular pen, please bring this with you.
About Margaret: I worked as a publisher and literature developer both in the UK and abroad for many years before starting to train as a therapist in 2007. I have diplomas in Gestalt Counselling and Hypno-Psychotherapy, and qualifications in creative groupwork, relationship counselling, metaphor-based coaching, poetry therapy and creative writing for therapeutic purposes (CWTP). I’m increasingly interested in the role of the arts in ‘creative recovery’, and especially in ‘words for wellbeing’, which includes CWTP and shared reading. I’ve used these approaches in many contexts, including prisons, addiction recovery centres and with women recovering from depression. I’m currently studying for a master’s degree in creative writing. I’m a member of Lapidus International, the therapeutic writing organisation, www.lapidus.org.uk.
Buddhist Therapists Forum is a gathering of people interested in therapy and Buddhism. We usually host a speaker/facilitator who has an interesting perspective or methodology to share. Our programme is wide-ranging and draws on different spiritual and philosophical traditions as well as Buddhism, and on a broad range of therapeutic and psychological topics.
Forums are open to anyone with an interest, but most of those who attend are practising therapists, students on counselling programmes or others who work in the mental health field. If you are unsure about attending, do ask.
Tariki students can count forums towards peer learning requirement. We provide letters confirming attendance for CPD purposes.
Venue: The Buddhist House
Cost: £30 including lunch; Tariki students £20 including lunch
Booking: email email@example.com
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